Court Orders Transfer Of Ex-Brazilian President To Sao Paulo Prison

Lula Says Party Free To Find New Candidate For Brazil Vote
Former Brazilian president (2003-2011) Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attends a rally of Brazilian leftist parties at Circo Voador in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

 

A judge in Brazil on Wednesday ordered the transfer of jailed leftist icon Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to a prison in Sao Paulo, citing the inadequacy of the current facility. 

The ex-president is serving eight years and 10 months for accepting a bribe as part of a massive kickback scheme involving state oil giant Petrobras.

Since April 2018, Lula has been incarcerated at the federal police headquarters in the southern city of Curitiba, where a group of supporters has been camped out to demand his release.

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Police have requested Lula’s transfer, claiming the presence of “antagonistic groups” outside the facility had stretched security resources, Federal Judge Carolina Lebbos said.

Another issue was the design of the federal police headquarters, which was not suitable for long-term prisoners. Lula is living in a room, not a cell.

Lebbos said Lula would be transferred to Sao Paulo where he would be closer to family and have better conditions for “resocialization”.

The court order did not say when Lula would be transferred.

A Sao Paulo court said Lula would be held in the Doctor Jose Augusto Cesar Salgado Penitentiary II in Tremembe, some 150 kilometres (90 miles) from the state capital.

Lula’s lawyers have demanded the former president be kept in conditions “compatible” with his current accommodation.

They also pushed for the supreme court to decide quickly on whether Justice Minister Sergio Moro, who was the convicting judge in 2017, had been biased, which could lead to a review of Lula’s case.

Moro, the powerful judge behind the Car Wash probe before he was appointed to President Jair Bolsonaro’s cabinet, has been accused of conspiring with prosecutors to keep Lula out of the 2018 election race that he was favored to win.

Scores of high profile politicians and business leaders have been caught up in the years-long investigation.

Lula was sentenced to almost 13 years in jail in February in a separate corruption case and still faces another half dozen corruption trials.

He has denied all the charges.

AFP

At Least 52 Killed In Brazil Prison Riot

 

 

At least 52 inmates were killed in a prison riot in northern Brazil on Monday as rival gang factions fought each other, an official said.

Sixteen of the dead were decapitated in the second major eruption of violence to rock the country’s severely overpopulated and deadly prison system in as many months.

Fighting broke out in the Altamira Regional Recovery Center at around 7:00 am (1000 GMT), an official from the Para state government’s penitentiary department told AFP.

Two guards were taken hostage during the hours-long clashes, which were brought under control at around midday. They were eventually freed.

Brazilian TV stations showed footage of thick black smoke rising from the prison compound and people sitting on the roof of a building.

Other images showed flames inside a building that almost reached the ceiling and people, apparently prisoners, sitting on the ground outside.

“It is likely that many detainees died from asphyxiation (from smoke),” the government official said, adding the death toll could rise.

Around 300 prisoners were being held at the jail, the official said, which reportedly has a capacity for 200.

READ ALSO: Three Killed In US Festival Shooting, Suspected Gunman Dead

An outbreak of violence in the same prison in September 2018 left at least seven inmates dead, local media reported previously. Guards had apparently foiled an attempted prison escape.

In May this year, at least 55 prisoners were killed in several jails in the neighboring state of Amazonas in violence also blamed on an apparent drug trafficking gang dispute.

Most of the victims were killed by asphyxiation, the state government said at the time.

The federal government dispatched reinforcements to boost security in the jails.

Overcrowded prisons

Brazil has the world’s third largest prison population after the United States and China, with 726,712 inmates as of June 2016, according to official statistics.

The population is roughly double the capacity of the nation’s jails, which in the same year was estimated to be 368,049 inmates.

The federal government had been expected to add another 115,000 inmates by the end of 2018, Human Rights Watch said in a recent report.

Around 40 percent of the prison population is made up of pretrial detainees.

Along with severe overcrowding and gang violence, riots and breakout attempts in Brazil’s prisons are not uncommon.

Experts have described conditions in the country’s jails as inhuman, with most inmates poor, black and with little formal education.

Man Gets 15-Year Jail Term For N5.2m Fraud

Man Bags 15 Years In Prison For N5.2m Fraud

 

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court sitting in Apo has sentenced one Clement Joseph to 97 years in prison with no option of fine.

Justice A.O. Otaluka gave the judgement during the arraignment of the defendant by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday.

Joseph, who is also known as ‘Dr Omale’, was first arraigned by the EFCC on March 7, 2017, on seven counts of conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N5,600,000 only.

READ ALSOMan Gets Death Sentence For Killing Ex-Deputy Governor’s Daughter

He was sentenced to seven years imprisonment on the conspiracy charge and 15 years each on the rest of the six charges, totalling 97 years.

Justice Otaluka held that the prison terms would run concurrently.

But Joseph would serve only 13 years, having been in custody for two years.

The judge also ordered the accused to make N5.6million restitution to his victim, one Bola Akintola, following a plea by the prosecuting counsel Elizabeth Alabi.

Joseph had defrauded Akintola of the said sum on the false pretence of having mystical power to deliver her from an untimely death.

According to the EFCC, the offence is contrary to Section 8(a) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006, and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.

Neymar May Go To Prison Over Barca Move, Says Spanish Magistrate

 

A Spanish magistrate leading an investigation into alleged irregularities in Neymar’s move to Barcelona in 2013 said on Wednesday the Brazilian superstar could face up to six years in prison.

“The term imposed, in principle, could be between four and six years,” said a decree issued by judge Jose Maria Vazquez Honrubia, a copy of which was seen by AFP.

Neymar, his parents, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu and his predecessor Sandro Rosell are all awaiting trial over alleged corruption concerning Neymar’s move to the Spanish La Liga giants in 2013.

The Brazilian international forward is now with Paris Saint-Germain in France’s Ligue 1.

The case, which follows a complaint by DIS, a Brazilian group which part-owned the rights to Neymar, surrounds allegations of “corruption” and “fraud” in the player’s move to Barcelona.

Neymar moved to the Spanish La Liga giants in May 2013 for a reported fee of 57.1m euros. Although no financial details of the deal were revealed by either Barcelona or his Brazilian club FC Santos, Neymar’s parents were said to have received receive 40m euros and FC Santos 17.1m.

In January 2014, prosecutors in Madrid began investigating the transfer because documents requested by the authorities contained contradictory information.

Rosell resigned from his post as president a week later and Barcelona subsequently revealed they had actually paid 86.2m euros for the Brazilian star.

DIS, who received 6m euros of the 17.1m given to FC Santos, alleges that Barcelona and the Brazilian club colluded to mask the true cost of the deal.

Bartomeu, Rosell, Barcelona, FC Santos and its former president, Odilio Rodrigues Filho, are now expected to answer charges of fraud, according to the decree.

Because the prison term involved exceeds five years, three judges are set to preside over Neymar’s trial which is expected to be heard at the Audiencia Nacional, a high court with jurisdiction over Spanish territory as well as over international crimes which come under the jurisdiction of Spanish courts.

Whether Neymar faces a prison term remains to be seen, however.

In May 2017 the Spanish authorities said Neymar should stand trial but no date has yet been set.

AFP

Trial Of Dane Who Allegedly Killed His Wife, Daughter To Start In October

Alleged Murder: Danish Man To Remain In Prison As Trial Begins In October
Peter Nielsen during his arraignment on charges of allegedly killing his wife and daughter at the Lagos High Court, Igbosere, Lagos on June 13, 2018.

 

Mr Peter Nielsen, the Danish man who allegedly killed his wife and daughter is to remain in prison custody while his trial will commence in October.

The Lagos High Court sitting in the Igbosere gave the order following Nielsen’s arraignment by the Lagos State government on Wednesday.

READ ALSO: Lagos Arraigns Danish Man Who Allegedly Killed Wife, Daughter

The suspect appeared before Justice Bola Okikiolu-Ighile on two counts of murder, an offence contrary to Section 223 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos, 2015.

The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos, Adeniji Kazeem, led the state prosecution team at today’s proceedings.


He told the court that Neilsen, 53, allegedly killed his 37-year-old wife, Zainab, and his three-year-old daughter, Petra, on April 5, 2018, at about 3:45 am at their Banana Island residence in the Ikoyi area of the state.

But defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges while the Attorney General consequently asked the court for a trial date.

Counsel to the defendant and a former Attorney-General of Lagos, Mr Olasupo Shasore, had no objections to the request but he told the court that the defence team would like to carry out a test.

he said, “We are interested in taking the blood sample of the defendant; I thought it will be better to inform this court that his blood sample would be taken for DNA, analysis.”

Justice Okikiolu-Ighile then asked the defendant if he would like to give his consent for his blood sample to be taken for the DNA test.

Nielson, in his response, said, “Yes I give my consent for my blood sample to be taken for DNA”.

Shasore further informed the court that the defence team needed the results of an autopsy report earlier conducted by the prosecution team for trial.

“We are interested in the autopsy report and the prosecution has assured us that we would get it in four weeks. We need to consult some of our experts for analysis of the test as we would need it during the trial,” he added.

The commissioner, on his part, promised to make same available to the defence team, noting that the state government’s forensic lab would collect the blood sample of the defendant.

He explained that this was because of the pending medical tests and the fast-approaching annual court vacation scheduled to commence in July.

In her ruling, Justice Okikiolu- Ighile ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison custody.

She then adjourned the case till October 8 and 9 after the court’s vacation, for the commencement of trial.

Court Remands Woman For Allegedly Killing Husband

Court Remands Woman For Allegedly Killing Husband
File photo

 

A Chief Magistrate Court sitting in the Ebute Meta area of Yaba, Lagos has remanded one Olamide Akinbobola in prison.

The Chief Magistrate, Mrs O.A. Komolafe, who gave the ruling on Wednesday, remanded the 24-year-old in Kirikiri Prison for allegedly stabbed her husband to death in the Ikorodu area of the state.

She said the defendant, who appeared before her on a charge of murder, should remain behind bars pending the advice from the State Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The magistrate also directed that the case file should be duplicated, and a copy forwarded to the DPP for the advice.

Before the order for remand was made, a police prosecutor, Sergeant Kehinde Omisakin, told the magistrate that the woman, a school teacher, committed the offence on May 30, 2018, at a residence in Gbaga, off Ijede Road, Ikorodu.

Omisakin also alleged that the defendant stabbed her husband, Dare Akinbobola, 28, on his neck to death with a kitchen knife.

The offence is said to contravene Section 233 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015 (Revised) and attracts a death penalty on conviction.

Katsina Govt Calls For Total Reforms In Nigeria’s Prison

file photo

 

The Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari has said emphasised the need for Nigeria’s prisons to be reformed.

The Governor made the call on Monday during a courtesy visit a study tour team of advanced command course from Prisons Academy, Ijebu-Igbo in Ogun state led by Assistant Controller General of Prisons, ACG Oluwayiopese Benson at the Government House Council Chamber, Katsina.

He asks the participants of the course to utilize every opportunity to call on the relevant authorities to change the status quo of the prisons to conform to the world best practices.

On his part, Mr Oluwayiopese commended the Governor for being the first to visit Katsina state command of the prison Service shortly after he was sworn in in 2015.

He further commended the governor for being the first chief executive to give amnesty to 35 condemned convicts whose cases did not involve loss of life emphasized the need for the governor to construct a hostel to be dedicated and engraved in his name in the Academy in Ogun state or in the alternative provide a vehicle to the Academy.

It could be recalled that the academy is structured and purposed towards training officers at the managerial levels and equip them with internationally accepted technical skills and best practices.

From Palace To Prison: Brazil’s Ex-President Lula In Dates

Brazilian ex-president (2003-2011) Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (L) speaks next to Brazilian former president (2011-2016) Dilma Rousseff during a Catholic mass in memory of Lula’s late wife Marisa Leticia, at the metalworkers’ union building in Sao Bernardo do Campo, in metropolitan Sao Paulo, Brazil. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFPNELSON ALMEIDA / AFP

 

Brazil’s ex-president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, better known as Lula, was on Sunday serving his first full day behind bars after receiving a 12-year prison sentence for corruption. 

The 72-year-old arrived at the jail in the southern city of Curitiba late Saturday after days of political drama that gripped Brazil, becoming the country’s first former leader to end up behind bars.

Here is a list of key dates in the life of one of the world’s most popular politicians.

– October 27, 1945: Lula is born to a poor farming family in Brazil’s northeast. His family moves when he is seven to the state of Sao Paulo to escape hunger.

– 1975: He becomes president of the metal workers’ union, having worked in that sector since the age of 14.

– 1978-80: At the height of the military dictatorship, Lula leads major strikes in the industrial suburbs and is jailed for a month for his role.

– 1980: Lula co-founds the leftist Workers’ Party (PT) and goes on to take part in the creation, in 1983, of the Unified Workers’ Central (CUT), which becomes Brazil’s largest trade union federation.

– 1986: He is elected to Congress.

 First leftist President

– 2003: Lula becomes Brazil’s first leftist president after winning the election in the previous year. He is re-elected in 2006 for a term ending in 2010.

– 2016: The Supreme Court blocks his appointment as chief of staff to President Dilma Rousseff, his handpicked successor. She is then impeached in August after allegations of financial wrongdoing.

– July 2017: Lula is found guilty of receiving a bribe from a Brazilian construction company in return for contracts with state oil giant Petrobras. He is sentenced to nine and a half years behind bars.

– January 2018: He loses an appeal and his sentence is increased to 12 years and one month.

– April 5, 2018: After losing an appeal to delay the start of his sentence, Lula is ordered to turn himself in within 24 hours. He defies the order but later agrees to comply.

– April 7, 2018: Shortly before midnight, Lula becomes an inmate at the federal police headquarters in Curitiba.

AFP

Military Court Sentences Policeman To Life In Prison For Killing Protester

 

A military court in the Democratic Republic of Congo has jailed a police officer for life for killing a demonstrator opposed to President Joseph Kabila, a judicial source said Tuesday.

“Police officer Agbe Obeid is sentenced to life in prison for having shot Eric Boloko at point-blank range with live ammunition on Sunday, February 25,” in Mbandaka, a registry official at the military tribunal in the northwestern city told AFP.

“This trigger-happy policeman shot the young man as he was peacefully going home (after a demonstration). I hope that he will really serve out his sentence,” said Fabien Mongunza, president of the civil society movement in Equateur province, of which Mbandaka is the capital.

“This verdict has calmed people’s minds because the tension was noticeable. Military justice has done well to swiftly convict this policeman,” Mongunza added.

Boloko was one of two people reported killed by security forces during weekend marches in Congolese cities banned by Kabila’s regime but supported by the influential Roman Catholic church.

The protests were prompted by Kabila’s failure to quit power when his second elected five-year mandate expired in December 2016 and by delays in holding elections, now scheduled for the end of 2018.

‘Stop these shameful practices’

Marches in Mbandaka on December 31 and January 21, called by a group of intellectuals close to the church, took place with no serious incidents, several witnesses said.

A policeman who shot prominent activist Rossy Mukendi of the Collective 2016 citizen’s movement in the capital Kinshasa on Sunday has been arrested, according to police spokesman Colonel Pierrot-Rombaut Mwanamputu.

Mukendi died of his wounds, prompting one lobby group, the Congolese Association for Access to Justice, to speak of a premeditated “assassination”.

The chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, on Tuesday lamented the deaths at the protests, calling on Congolese authorities to “shed light on the events” of Sunday.

He asked “Congolese political actors to show more responsibility and defence and security forces to exhibit the greatest restraint”.

Also on Tuesday, local press watchdog Journalists in Danger denounced the government’s decision to cut internet across the country for 10 hours on Sunday.

“Stop these shameful practices, which seriously harm freedom of information and further tarnish the image” of the country, the watchdog said in a statement.

Anti-Kabila protests on New Year’s Eve and on January 21 had left 15 people dead at the hands of the security forces, according to tolls given by organisers and the United Nations.

The government said that just two people died.

Protest organisations have said there will be no let-up until Kabila declares publicly that he will step down after the presidential poll planned for December 23.

AFP

American Recaptured After Escaping Bali Prison

This recent handout picture released by the Badung police on December 18, 2017 shows US prisoner Christian Beasley at a detention room at Kerobokan prison on Bali island following his recapture. The US man convicted of drugs charges who escaped Bali’s notorious Kerobokan jail has been recaptured on a neighbouring island after five days on the run, police said on December 18. HANDOUT / BADUNG POLICE / AFP

An American man convicted of drugs charges who escaped Bali’s notorious Kerobokan jail has been recaptured on a neighbouring island after five days on the run, police said Monday.

Christian Beasley made a break from the Indonesian resort island’s main prison with a fellow inmate after cutting a hole in the roof with a hacksaw, authorities have said.

The 32-year-old, who is awaiting sentencing after being caught in August with five grams of hashish, was caught by police on Lombok, another popular holiday destination.

“He tried to change his appearance by cutting off his hair but we finally caught him on Saturday,” local chief detective Made Pramestia told AFP.

“We knew he would not go far because he did not have proper documents and enough money on him.”

Beasley escaped last Monday along with Paul Anthony Hoffman, 57.

Hoffman, who is serving a 20-month sentence for robbing a number of convenience stores at knifepoint, was immediately recaptured, while Beasley managed to catch a ferry to Lombok before hiding out for a few days.

Police said Beasley’s attempt to flee may see him handed a harsher prison sentence.

It was not immediately clear how much jail time he was facing, but Indonesia has some of the world’s toughest drugs laws, with the death penalty available in some trafficking cases.

Bali police chief Petrus Reinhard Golose said he was investigating how Beasley, whose name was previously reported as Chrishan Beasley, managed to escape.

“We will question the relevant officials why there are so many incidents like this, maybe there are some procedures they have ignored,” Golose told journalists Monday.

Jailbreaks are common in Indonesia, where inmates are often held in unsanitary conditions at overcrowded and poorly guarded prisons.

In May, more than 200 inmates staged a mass breakout from an overcrowded prison on Sumatra island.

AFP

Wrongly Convicted Man Freed After 23 years In Prison

300 Boko Haram Suspects Remanded In Prison

Surrounded by news cameras and supporters, Lamonte McIntyre hugged his mother Friday for the first time as a free man in 23 years.

The 41-year-old Kansas native was wrongly convicted of a double murder and finally set free after spending more than half of his life behind bars. He was serving two life sentences.

The group Injustice Watch said McIntyre’s first words were: “It’s nice outside.”

McIntyre was originally convicted at the age of 17 on the testimony of witnesses who later recanted. Prosecutors presented no physical evidence or motive to tie him to the 1994 murders.

A judge was reconsidering the case in court hearings that were scheduled to last into next week, when the new prosecutor in the case said Friday in a news release that new information cast doubt on witness identification of McIntyre as the killer, and that a jury might have not convicted him.

“In light of information learned by my office since I began in January,” Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree said, “my office is requesting the Court find that manifest injustice exists.”

The original investigators of the daytime shooting never issued search warrants nor discovered a link between McIntyre and the victims, according to The Washington Post. He was arrested after less than 20 minutes of interviews.

“The investigation was hasty and superficial,” said the Midwest Innocence Project, which helped free McIntyre.

McIntyre has always maintained his innocence.

His mother Rose McIntyre, who was present when he was arrested decades ago, on Friday thanked “everybody who never gave up on my son,” according to the Kansas City Star, which reported that there were many tears in the courtroom when the man was finally freed.

“He (the judge) said, ‘You’re free.’ I almost hit the floor,” The Star quoted Rose McIntyre as saying.

“I want him to feel the sunlight.”

AFP

 

300 Boko Haram Suspects Remanded In Prison

300 Boko Haram Suspects Remanded In Prison

Three hundred Boko Haram suspects were officially remanded in prison custody on Tuesday, as hearings got underway in the first mass trials linked to the Islamist insurgency.

The media has been banned on security grounds from attending proceedings at four civilian courts set up in a military base in Kainji, in central Niger State.

But the justice ministry said in an emailed statement that three separate cases, each involving 100 defendants, were heard in three of the courts.

Ministry spokesman Salihu Othman Isah said the judges ordered all the defendants to be remanded in custody for 90 days, pending further investigations and preparation of charges.

The hearings will resume on January 9, the judges ruled.

One defendant, who is accused of attempting to bomb the main mosque in the northeastern city of Bauchi, was ordered to be transferred to face trial.

A total of 1,669 suspects — 1,631 men, 11 women, 26 boys and one girl — are being held at the Kainji facility, pending formal charges and trial.

The government has said it then plans to prosecute 651 others held at the Giwa military barracks in the northeastern city of Maiduguri.

Observers have welcomed the prosecutions as a positive step but lack of access to independent scrutineers has raised concerns about the transparency of the process.

The justice ministry itself has already said the trials could be affected by poor investigation techniques, a lack of forensic evidence and an “over-reliance” on confessions.

That raises the prospect that defendants could be released without charge after years in custody.

The military has been accused of arbitrarily arresting thousands of civilians during the conflict, which has left at least 20,000 and made over 2.6 million homeless since 2009.

Human rights groups claim most have been held in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions in military detention facilities, without access to lawyers or ever having appeared in court.

Since the violence began eight years ago, only 13 people have been put on trial and just nine have been convicted, according to government figures.

The lead judge and state prosecutors on Monday promised to be “just and fair” in the cases.

AFP