Entries in Court (7)


Norway Shooter Anders Breivik Gets the Stage at Trial’s Close

ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images(OSLO, Norway) -- After closing arguments today, a Norwegian court will determine the fate of Anders Breivik, the right wing extremist who confessed to killing 77 people -- most of them teenagers -- in a rampage in Norway last July. But the shooter may have already won part of what he wanted all along: a world stage to spread his anti-Muslim message.

At the end of his trial, which began in April, Breivik took the stand to say that he was justified in killing dozens of youths at a summer camp for the country's liberal party and that history would exonerate him, according to local and international media reports. Breivik, who has confessed to the killing, said it was "self-defense," a preemptive strike against Muslims and "multi-culturalism" he believed were taking over Europe.

"History shows that you have to commit a small barbarism to prevent a bigger barbarism," the 33-year-old Norwegian said Friday. "The attacks on July 22 were preventive attacks to defend the indigenous Norwegian people... I therefore demand to be acquitted."

In what was described as a rambling statement, Breivik also decried perceived faults in the world, everything from Norwegians with non-Norwegian roots participating in the Eurovision Song Contest to the flippant attitude towards sex featured in the television series Sex in the City. Breivik claimed that fellow right-wing compatriots were behind a recent bomb scare at a Swedish nuclear plant.

Family members of several of Breivik's victims who were present in the court reportedly responded to the diatribe by walking out.

The court is expected to rule on the issue of Breivik's sanity before passing sentence. He will either be sent to prison or a psychiatric facility. Prosecutors have asked that he be ruled insane, but Breivik has argued that he was sane during the shooting and considered being called insane the "ultimate humiliation."

Regardless of the outcome, Breivik appears to have accomplished a key part of his plan to battle mutli-culturalism, as laid out in a 1,500-page manifesto posted online just before the massacre.

The meticulous manifesto describes a 60-year "war" against minorities in Europe waged by a secret group called the new Knights Templar and says that getting arrested is all part of the plan.

"Your arrest will mark the initiation of the propaganda phase," Breivik wrote. "Your trial offers you a stage to the world."

"In light of your newly acquired status as a living martyr for the cause, this newly acquired influential position will allow you to significantly contribute to further consolidation of either a national or pan-European Overseer organization or the establishment of a national prison movement (preferably political)," he says. "Alternatively: Escape from prison and initiate your 'bonus operation.'"

As of this report, no new right-wing pan-European Overseer organization has been identified.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Marine Escapes Jail Time in 2005 Slayings of Iraqi Civilians PENDLETON, Calif.) -- There is outrage in Iraq over a deal that allowed a Marine to plea down to a lesser charge in the 2005 killings of 24 people in the town of Haditha.

At the time, eight Marines were charged in the deaths of the unarmed residents.  But charges were dropped since then against seven of the defendants, while Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich's manslaughter trial came to a halt when he pleaded guilty to negligent dereliction of duty.

Initially implicated in 19 of 24 deaths, Wuterich told a military court at Camp Pendleton, Calif., on Tuesday that he did not shoot any women or children.

He said, "I told my team to shoot first and ask questions later, the intent wasn't that they would shoot civilians, it was that they would not hesitate in the face of the enemy."

Wuterich added that his guilty plea should not be construed as admitting that he or any of his squad did anything to dishonor the Marine Corps or the U.S.

Looking at the possibility of three months in prison, the court did not sentence Wuterich to any jail time.  He could, however, be demoted to private, the lowest rank in the service.

Before Tuesday’s hearing, Saleem al-Jubouri, the head of the Iraqi parliament's human rights committee, said the terms of the plea deal were "a violation of Iraqis' dignity."

Meanwhile, residents of Haditha were stunned by the outcome of the trial.  The mayor of the town complained that the trial made a mockery of the U.S. justice system.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Polish Prosecutor Cuts Short News Conference, Shoots Self

Antenna Audio, Inc./Getty Images(WARSAW, Poland) -- A Polish military prosecutor shot himself in the head Monday while news cameras were rolling.   Col. Mikolaj Przybyl made a statement defending a military investigation into the plane crash that killed the Polish president in 2010, then calmly told reporters, “I want to ask you to leave for a minute.  I need a break.”

The journalists left the room and closed the door, but the cameras were still taping, and recorded the sound of a gun being cocked, then fired.  Przybyl was just out of frame when he apparently pulled the trigger.  His feet can be seen on the floor after the gunshot.

Journalists heard the gunshot and rushed back into the prosecutor’s office where they found him lying face down on the floor, bleeding.  One journalist is heard saying, “Don’t record it, but help.”  Another responds, “How do you want us to help?”

Paramedics took Przybyl to a hospital in western Poland where he’s said to be in stable condition and conscious. Hospital director Leslaw Lenartiowicz said Pryzybyl has injuries to his face, but they are not life threatening.

Przybyl is the head of a military prosecutors department investigating organized crime in the army.  Media reports have accused his department of breaking the law while investigating the 2010 crash of the presidential plane in Russia by spying on reporters to find the source of media leaks.

Przybyl called the news conference Monday to refute the claims.   Before shooting himself, he told reporters, “I have never discredited the Republic of Poland and with all firmness I will defend the honor of a Polish army officer and prosecutor.”

The shooting shocked Poland’s politicians and lawmakers.  Some are calling for a special investigation, saying Przybyl’s statement and attempted suicide suggest massive corruption in the Polish Army.

Poland Attorney General Andrezej Seremet promised a thorough investigation, saying, “I am absolutely amazed by what has happened…The police are at the scene and all the necessary procedures are being carried out.”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Bomb Explodes Near Indian Court: Several Dead, Wounded

PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images(NEW DELHI) -- At least 10 people are dead and dozens more injured after an explosion outside the Indian High Court in New Delhi Wednesday morning.

According to the BBC, officials believe the blast derived from a bomb placed inside a case near a security checkpoint at the court complex.

The militant group Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami, or HuJI, has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack in an email that was distributed to several Indian news outlets.  In the email, the group demands that the death sentence of Afzal Guru, who was convicted of attacking India's Parliament building nearly 10 years ago, be dropped.

HuJI warns that if Guru's death sentence is not repealed, it will "target major high courts and the Supreme Court of India."

Investigators are currently looking into the email.

"It would be very premature to make any comment on the mail at this stage, but yes, that mail has to be looked at seriously, because Huji is a very prominent terrorist group," Director General of India's National Investigation Agency SC Sinha told reporters Wednesday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Amanda Knox Appears in Court for TV Movie Case

TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images (File Photo)(PERUGIA, Italy) -- Amanda Knox arrived at Perugia's civil court in Italy Monday for the second hearing of her case against producers of the TV movie about the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher; the murder for which she was convicted in 2009.

Her lawyers have demanded that producers of the movie, Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy, starring Hayden Panettiere as Knox, block its distribution in Italy and immediately remove all images and video of it from the Internet.

The producers, Lifetime TV, aired the movie in February in the United States despite opposition from Knox, Raffaele Sollecito -- Knox's Italian ex-boyfriend who was also convicted for the crime -- and Kercher's family.

Monday's half-hour, closed-door hearing was adjourned and no date for the next hearing was set. The judge, Teresa Giardino, said she would have to decide how to notify the producers of the TV movie because no legal representative had shown up for the hearing and she would then announce the next hearing date.

Knox's lawyers said in the first hearing in March that the movie had caused their client "very serious, irreparable damage" and are demanding total damages for more than $4 million. They are also requesting that Google and YouTube, both with legal representatives present Monday, take all clips from the movie off the Internet.

Knox has been in jail in Italy since November 2007 when she and Sollecito were arrested and charged with the killing in Perugia of Knox's British roommate, Kercher. Knox was convicted to 26 years in prison and Sollecito was convicted to 25 years in 2009 for the murder.

They have appealed the convictions and the appeal sentence is expected sometime in the fall.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Trial Date Set for Former Egyptian President Mubarak

AFP/Getty Images(CAIRO) -- Ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will reportedly go on trial with his sons Aug. 3.

Mubarak, who for 30 years served as Egypt's leader, will be tried on charges of corruption and intentionally killing protesters, according to the country's state news agency.

Hundreds were reported killed in the uprising that eventually led to Mubarak's departure earlier this year.

Asked whether Mubarak's trial is a good or bad step for Egypt's path to democracy, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said it's "a decision for the Egyptians to make."

"Obviously, we want to see the rule of law," Clinton said. "We want to see appropriate due process and procedures followed in anyone's trial, and particularly in such a highly charged trial as that will certainly be.

"We are...keeping very close watch on events in Egypt. We're...disturbed by the reports of efforts to crack down on journalists and bloggers and judges and others," Clinton said, "which we don't think is in keeping with the direction that the Egyptian people were heading when they started out in Tahrir Square."

For the past two months, the 83-year-old has been in custody at a hospital where he's being treated for a heart condition.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Dominique Strauss-Kahn's Lawyers to Seek Bail Again

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who resigned as managing director of the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday, will return to court with his lawyers Thursday morning in a second attempt to win bail on charges that he sexually assaulted a hotel maid.

Strauss-Kahn, until the arrest a likely candidate for the presidency of France, officially resigned from the position he held since 2007 via a letter on Wednesday, an IMF press release stated.

Strauss-Kahn was arrested on Saturday on various charges including committing a criminal sexual act, attempted rape, and unlawful imprisonment, stemming from an alleged incident in a Manhattan suite where he is accused of the attempted rape a hotel maid.

His defense lawyers' offer of a $1 million bail package was rejected by the court at an initial hearing on Monday on grounds that Strauss-Kahn is a flight risk.  Since then he has been held in an 11 by 13-foot cell at the West Facility on New York's Riker's Island, where he remains on suicide watch.

It is unclear if Strauss-Kahn will be present for Thursday's court proceedings.

Thursday is Strauss-Kahn's scheduled visiting day at Riker's Island. Media reports from France indicate that his family is expected to visit him; if so, as many as three of them may visit for up to one hour.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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