Is Australia the China it accuses of being Secretive?(ODT)
Witness J spent 15 months behind bars in Canberra’s Alexander Maconochie Centre, after being sentenced in the ACT Supreme Court to two years and seven months in jail for serious national security offences.
After being released from jail in August 2019 under strict conditions, including six-monthly regular psychological testing and an overseas travel ban without prior permission, Witness J launched civil proceedings against the ACT Government.
Witness J has used the anonymity of social media to criticise his former employer and the secrecy shrouding his case.
Former independent national security legislation monitor and leading barrister Bret Walker was alarmed by the Witness J case.
“Permanently secret legal proceedings is not the kind of conduct we want an Australian justice system to include,” he told the ABC late last year.
“The public has an interest to know when information is being kept secret from them — it’s not good enough for the public to be told ‘it’s in your interests that you are not told’.”
There has been a deal made (ODT)
Right-wing media outlets, led by Trump allies at Infowars and Fox News, have waged a months-long campaign to interfere with criminal proceedings against Roger Stone. Now that Stone has been convicted of seven felonies and is facing the possibility of significant jail time, his conservative and far-right media defenders are drumming up support for President Donald Trump to pardon him.
George Pell has the right to appeal. Survivors of childhood sexual abuse in Religious Institutions also have the right to appeal.
And here’s where the absolute bloody bullshit of equitable appeal for justice for all here in Australia starts to kick in.
Whatever the source of those dollars, the fact is George Pell’s appeal has been buttressed and supported by a well-heeled appeal fund. Engaging high-flying barristers and solicitors are not cheap.
I, and many other Survivors of the heinous crimes that have been committed against us, would love to have our cases, and our stories, and our quests for justice, heard in the highest court in this land. Of course, we have a snowball’s chance in hell of that ever happening.
The majority of the Survivors of childhood sexual abuse are mired in poverty. They are beaten down not only by their punishing experiences, they are also gutted by years, decades, and in many cases, lifetimes swamped by the negative legacies of depression, and PTSD.
It implies that the jury did not comply with the Judge’s directions and the law. In all trials across this nation, juries are warned and directed they must only consider the evidence before the court.
Without the vast majority of us being present at that trial, we can be sure the learned Judge Kidd gave that direction.
“Pell could well be an innocent man who is being made to pay for the sins of his church and made to pay after an astonishing campaign of media vilification.”
Jury’s capacity to discharge their sworn duty to judge only on the evidence presented during trial. In their anonymity, they cannot respond; they are barred by law from responding to Andrew Bolt about their jury room deliberations.
No one else can usurp the jury’s role, only a Court of Appeal can do that.
The Foundation of Democracy and our Justice System (ODT)
A Greek cleaning lady has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for fibbing about her elementary school record in a court ruling which has provoked uproar in the country.
Samir Awad was unarmed when he was shot in the back eight times by soldiers. During his killers’ trial, the judge and defense treated the dead boy as if he was the one being charged with a crime.
A soldier who killed a Palestinian teen has been praised as “excellent” and “conscientious” by an Israeli judge, who sentenced him to a mere nine months in prison.
This conclusion to the trial of Ben Dery for the cold-blooded killing of 17-year-old Nadim Siam Nuwara is another all too predictable episode of how Israel’s military investigation system whitewashes crimes against Palestinians.
“Despite clear and overwhelming video, spatial and sound forensic analysis showing Ben Dery intentionally killed Nuwara, he was charged with a lesser crime and a wilful killing was whitewashed into an accident,” Brad Parker, international advocacy officer for Defense for Children International Palestine, told The Electronic Intifada on Wednesday.
“The lenient sentence announced today is not surprising and illustrates how pervasive and entrenched denial perpetuates impunity even where video evidence shows Israeli forces intentionally killing children.”
Unlike in the vast majority of fatal shootings by police officers, someone is going to prison for the 2015 death of 16-year-old A’Donte Washington in Alabama. It just isn’t the police officer who shot him.
Lakeith Smith was sentenced last week to 30 years for A’Donte’s murder, even though no one disputes it was an officer’s bullet that killed him. Smith is not even accused of having possessed a weapon. Under the state’s accomplice law, co-defendants can be guilty of murder if a death occurs when they are in the midst of committing a felony.
Felony murder: why a teenager who didn’t kill anyone faces 55 years in jail
Smith was one of five teens who were allegedly committing a burglary when responding officers opened fire, killing A’Donte. Smith, now 18, was also sentenced to another 35 years for crimes related to the the burglary, for a total of 65 years.
Ahed Tamimi was sentenced to eight months in prison for slapping a soldier. Col. Israel Shomer, who shot a Palestinian teenager in the back three times didn’t sit a single day behind bars.
More than 200 people who were arrested on Trump’s inauguration day risk up to 60 years of jail. Meanwhile, the white supremacists in Charlottesville walk free
It gives an opportunity to harvest revenue from the McMansion classes that can well afford it.
Police investigating London’s Grenfell Tower disaster, in which 80 people were killed in rapidly spreading fire, have sent a letter to survivors and families of victims saying there are “reasonable grounds” to suspect it was a case of corporate manslaughter.
Court rejects petition filed by family of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, claiming too much time passed since his murder and the filing of the petition. By +972 Magazine Staff Israel’s High Court of Justice on Tuesday ruled that the families of three Israelis who were convicted of kidnapping and murdering Muhammad Abu Khdeir, a 16-year-old Palestinian who was burned alive in 2014, won’t have their homes demolished. Israel regularly demolishes the family homes of Palestinians who commit acts of violence against Israelis. [tmwinpost] Supreme Court Vice President Elyakim Rubinstein explained in the judgment that the court was rejecting the petition to demolish the homes…
MK Basel Ghattas will serve two years for smuggling cellphones to Palestinian security prisoners. That’s a longer sentence than the one handed down to an Elor Azaria, who executed an incapacitated Palestinian in the middle of the street. Congratulations are in order to the attorney general and the Knesset for the latest Arab they managed be put up on the cross. Palestinian MK Basel Ghattas (Balad), who was accused of smuggling cellphones to Palestinian security prisoners, agreed to sign a plea bargain according to which he will admit to committing an act that could lead either directly or indirectly to…
The trials of two police officers in Israel-Palestine and the U.S. collapsed within hours of each other on Monday. Both cases prove how difficult it is to secure justice for Palestinian and African-American victims of state violence. On May 15, 2014, three Palestinian teenagers were shot by Israeli security forces with live ammunition as they attended a Nakba Day protest in the West Bank town of Beitunia. Nadim Nawara, 17, and Muhammed Abu al-Thahir, 16, were both killed. Fifteen-year-old Muhammed Azzeh survived, despite having been shot in the lung. Just under a year later, over 6,000 miles away, a police officer…
Australia’s model of locking up children makes us all less safe, and lags behind global developments on crime prevention, writes Laura Hogan. Fyodor Dostoyevsky said that “the degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.” The footage aired on the 7:30 Report of the torture of young people in detentionMore
A County Court judge has found former federal MP Craig Thomson not guilty of 49 charges of misappropriating Health Services Union (HSU) funds, but guilty of 13 theft charges.
Thomson is appealing against 65 convictions of obtaining financial advantage by deception by misappropriating union funds during his term as national secretary between 2002 and 2007.
The former member for Dobell was convicted and sentenced to 12 months in prison, with nine months suspended, after a trial in the Melbourne Magistrates Court in March.
He was ordered to serve three months in prison but his lawyers lodged an appeal straight away, meaning he spent only two hours in custody before being freed on bail.
During the appeal hearing, prosecutors told the court Thomson had no authority to spend the union’s funds on personal expenses.
It was alleged the expenses included brothel visits.
But Thomson’s lawyer, Greg James QC, argued there should not be a case against his client.
He said when Thomson withdrew cash from his credit cards the cash was the property of the bank, not the union, so there was no basis to the theft allegations against him.
Today, Judge Carolyn Douglas said Thomson had “clearly deceived his employer”.
But Judge Douglas said the prosecution case was put in error.
“This is a court of law, not a court of morals,” the judge said.
“It is my role to determine the legal issues, according to law. Our system relies on legal principles.”
Judge Douglas said it was “regrettable” the prosecution had not argued its case properly, but “in the interests of justice” she could not allow it to make alterations.
She said prosecutors had already had “ample time” to get their case right.
Thomson was found not guilty on two theft charges but was convicted on 13 other charges of theft. One charge was withdrawn.
Judge Douglas said the court’s judgment should not “in any way” be seem as an endorsement of Thomson’s actions.
The hearing is continuing.