Pakistan Court Sentences Former Ruler Musharraf to Death for Treason



Pakistan Court Sentences Former Ruler Musharraf to Death for Treason

Tuesday, 17 December, 2019 – 11:00
A supporter holds a picture of former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, during a protest at the Special Court where Musharraf will attend his trial in Islamabad February 18, 2014. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat

A Pakistani court sentenced on Tuesday former military ruler Pervez Musharraf to death on charges of high treason and subverting the constitution, government officials said.

Musharraf, who seized power in a 1999 coup and later ruled as president, is not in Pakistan and was not available for comment on the sentence, handed down by an anti-terrorism court hearing the high treason case.

“Pervez Musharraf has been found guilty of Article 6 for violation of the constitution of Pakistan,” government law officer Salman Nadeem said, according to Reuters.

The court’s full ruling was not available but it said in a summary it had analyzed complaints, records, arguments and facts in the case and had reached a majority verdict, with two of the three judges giving the decision against Musharraf.

The charges stem from Musharraf’s imposition of a state of emergency in 2007, when he was facing growing opposition to his rule.

He resigned in 2008, after a political party that backed him fared poorly in a general election, and he has spent much of the time since then abroad.

Legal experts in Islamabad said Musharraf can challenge the order in the High Court.

Brazil: Supreme Court President says Operation Lava Jato destroyed companies



Dias Toffoli says Operation Lava Jet destroyed companies

Supreme Court President Dias Toffoli made a harsh criticism of the Lava Jato by highlighting in an interview that the operation destroyed businesses, criticized the lack of transparency of the prosecution and made restrictions on Jair Bolsonaro’s speech that he said he would send the macaw wood, a barbaric method of torture, a minister who found himself corrupt

Toffoli Days
Dias Toffoli (Photo: Carlos Moura / SCO / STF (07/11/2019))

247 – For the president of the Supreme Federal Court (STF), Operation Lava Jato destroyed companies. In his view, the operation “was very important, it uncovered cases of corruption, put people in jail, put Brazil in another dimension from the standpoint of fighting corruption, no doubt.” “But it destroyed companies,” he said.

The president of the Supreme Court criticized the Public Ministry for its lack of transparency and defended opposing views of Jair Bolsonaro when he advocated torture.  

Toffoli’s statements were given in an interview with the newspaper O Estado de S.Paulo .   

In addition to criticizing Operation Lava Jato, Toffoli digresses on the evolution of national political life. “Brazil came from center and center-left governments. And it changed to a right-wing government. So, after redemocratization, there was a first right-wing victory with the support of the extreme right.”  

STF President openly disagrees with former Judge Sergio Moro, current Minister of Justice of Jair Bolsonaro’s far-right government, on the ban on arrest following a second instance sentence. 

According to Moro, the Supreme Court’s decision diminished the public’s perception that the fight against corruption has diminished. “This [Moro’s opinion] has no meaning. The Supreme Court judged the ‘monthly’, condemned several authorities, several businessmen, including banker. It was from there that began all this work to combat corruption, and (began) the bills that led to this legal framework, the norms to fight organized crime. So the Supreme is firm in fighting corruption. It is not a decision that enforces the Constitution that will have an effect on a perception of corruption. ” , said Toffoli.  

Brazil: Lula’s son’s defense requests annulment and removal of Lava Jato Curitiba case



Lula’s son’s defense requests annulment and removal of Lava Jato Curitiba case

Lawyers for Fábio Luís Lula da Silva, son of former president Lula, asked on Friday (13) that the investigation of the 69th phase of the Lava Jato be withdrawn from Curitiba. According to the defense, the case has already been subject to criminal investigation in São Paulo and was filed by the MPF in the state for lack of evidence.

Lula and Fábio Luís Lula da Silva
Lula and Fábio Luís Lula da Silva (Photo: Reproduction)

247 – The defense of Fábio Luís Lula da Silva, son of former President Lula, asked this Friday (13) to the Federal Regional Court of the 4th Region to withdraw the investigation of the 69th phase of the Lava Jato of Curitiba’s federal court and annul the court decision that decreed it, informs Folha de S.Paulo .

In their request to Judge João Pedro Gebran Neto, the lawyers argue that “the case has already been subjected to criminal investigation in São Paulo by order of the Superior Court of Justice. The inquiry was then filed by the Federal Public Prosecution Service in the state for lack of evidence. They claim that any further investigation on the subject can only be done in the same place, “the report says.

They also state that “there is nothing in the 69th phase of Operation Lava Jato that points to any trace of fraud or embezzlement at Petrobras.”

“The jurisdiction of the 13th Federal Court of Curitiba is restricted to illicit cases involving Petrobras, while the 69th Lava Jato Phase clearly investigates alleged illicit acts involving the telecommunications sector, with no relation to oil and gas,” he says. the defense.

Brazil: Lava Jato has no evidence of corruption against Lulinha, admits prosecutor



Lava Jato has no evidence of corruption against Lulinha, admits prosecutor

“We have to wait for the results of the search, this research can mature in this respect,” says Roberson Pozzobon to Globo, who published an analysis text about the operation against Lula’s son in which he says, “So far, there is no document that prove the thesis “


247 – As in the investigations and accusations made against former President Lula, the Lava Jato task force also has no evidence against the petista’s son, Fabio Luis Lula da Silva, known as Lulinha, who is the target of a phase of the operation. triggered this Tuesday 10.

“We have to wait for the results of the search, this investigation to mature in this respect,” said Prosecutor Roberson Pozzobon, who was known to say during the presentation of Deltan Dallagnol’s Power Point on the triplex charge that the task force he had no evidence yet, but convictions that Lula was running a major corruption scheme.

“The PF and MPF maintain that payments may be related to the executive action of President Lula that allowed the merger of Oi with Brasil Telecom. So far, there is no document to prove the thesis,” says Globo, in an analytical test. about Wednesday’s operation, signed by Thiago Herdy. “Obtaining this evidence is currently the biggest challenge of research,” he adds.

The highlight for the lack of evidence was noted by GGN newspaper, journalist Luis Nassif , who explains the case:

Since Monday (10), prosecutors in Curitiba have sold in the mainstream media – which even after the Intercept Brazil dossier, follows without any critical sense regarding the Lava Jato – the narrative that Oi’s business with Gamecorp group, from Squid and partners, need to be investigated.

The task force claims that it is possible that some money paid by Oi to the company linked to Lula, Suassuna and Bittar, was used to buy the Atibaia site.

The hypothesis is all that Lava Jato has at the moment. It was out of the realm of imagination that they launched a blatant police operation with more than 40 search and seizure warrants, hoping to find something to prove them right.

Brazil: Lula and Dilma are acquitted of Janot’s farce



Lula and Dilma are acquitted of Janot’s farce over ‘quadrillion’

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and former President Dilma Rousseff were acquitted on Wednesday of the charge of joining a suspected criminal organization, known as the “quadrillion”. Decision is of the judge Marcos Vinicius Reis Bastos, of the 12th Federal Court of the DF. The magistrate indicated the “attempt to criminalize political activity” by the improper accusation


247 – Former presidents Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff were acquitted on Wednesday of the charge of joining a suspected criminal organization, which became known as the “quadrillion”. 

The decision is made by Judge Marcos Vinicius Reis Bastos, from the 12th Federal Court of DF. In his sentence the magistrate says that the Federal Public Prosecution’s complaint “reflects an attempt to criminalize political activity” and provides no evidence of the involvement of former presidents in the charges. 

Also exonerated from the prosecution were former ministers Antonio Palocci and Guido Mantega, and former PT treasurer João Vaccari Neto. 

“In the face of an impartial judge, we were able today to acquit @LulaOficial briefly . The magistrate of Brasilia has indicated the” attempt to criminalize political activity “by the improper accusation known as the ‘quadrillion’ – which is part of Lawfare against @LulaOficial ‘, celebrated lawyer Cristiano Zanin Martins, who defends former President Lula. 

The charge is from 2017, and was offered to the Federal Supreme Court by then Attorney General Rodrigo Janot. The then PGR stated that between 2002 and 2016, the accused ‘integrated and structured a criminal organization operating during the period in which Lula and Dilma Rousseff successively securitized the Presidency of the Republic to commit a myriad of crimes’.

Read Judge Marcos Vinicius Reis Bastos’ decision in its entirety:

Check out Cristiano Zanin’s Twitter: 

Cristiano Zanin Martins


Perante um juiz imparcial, conseguimos hoje a absolvição sumária de @LulaOficial. O magistrado de Brasília indicou a “tentativa de criminalizar a atividade política” pela descabida acusação que ficou conhecida como “quadrilhão” – que faz parte do Lawfare contra @LulaOficial.

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Trump loses appeal to block Deutsche Bank, Capital One from handing his financial records to Congress



Trump loses appeal to block Deutsche Bank, Capital One from handing his financial records to Congress

  • A federal appeals court rules that Deutsche Bank and Capital One can hand over years of President Trump’s financial records in compliance with House Democrats’ subpoenas.
  • The ruling offers another loss in the courts for Trump, who has fought attempts to obtain his financial records through multiple lawsuits.
  • The case is likely destined for the Supreme Court, where the president has already appealed two other lower court decisions requiring the disclosure of his financial records.
GP: President Trump Holds Listening Session In Cabinet Room On Vaping And The E-Cigarette Epidemic
President Donald Trump listens during a listening session on youth vaping of electronic cigarette on November 22, 2019 in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong | Getty Images

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Deutsche Bank and Capital One can hand over years of President Donald Trump’s financial records in compliance with House Democrats’ subpoenas.

The ruling in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals offers another judicial loss for Trump, who has fought off attempts to obtain his financial records, including his tax returns, through multiple lawsuits.

Neither the White House nor a lawyer for Trump immediately responded to CNBC’s request for comment on the ruling.

In May, U.S. District Court Judge Edgardo Ramos ruled that the two banks can comply with subpoenas issued by the Democrat-led House Intelligence and Financial Services Committees to hand over financial records related to Trump, his businesses and members of his family.

Trump appealed Ramos’ ruling two days later.

Tuesday’s decision was issued by a divided three judge panel made up of two Republican appointees and one Democratic appointee.

Circuit Judge Jon Newman, a Carter appointee, wrote in the court’s decision that the House committees interest in “pursuing their constitutional legislative function is a far more significant public interest than whatever public interest inheres in avoiding the risk of a Chief Executive’s distraction arising from disclosure of documents reflecting his private financial transactions.”

Newman also emphasized in the opinion that the issues raised by the lawsuit “do not concern a dispute between the Legislative and Executive Branches” because the subpoenas sought Trump’s personal, rather than official, records.

But in a partial dissent, Circuit Judge Debra Ann Livingston, a George W. Bush appointee, rejected that argument, and called the subpoenas “deeply troubling.”

“I cannot accept the majority’s conclusions that ‘this case does not concern separation of powers,’ and that there is ‘minimal at best’ risk of distraction to this and future Presidents from legislative subpoenas of this sort,” she wrote.

The case is likely destined for the Supreme Court, where the president has already appealed two other lower court decisions requiring the disclosure of his financial records.

The two other cases involve subpoenas issued to the president’s longtime accounting firm Mazars USA.

The justices are likely to decide soon whether to hear the cases. On Thursday, the president’s private legal team is expected to submit its formal petition to the top court asking it to review a decision by the federal appeals court in Washington that ordered Mazars to comply with a subpoena issued by the House Oversight Committee.

The justices will meet in private later this month to discuss the petition in the other case, over a subpoena issued to the firm by state prosecutors in New York.

Trump’s lawyers have argued in multiple lawsuits that the various requests for his financial records have no “legitimate legislative purpose” and are being pursued merely as an attempt to embarrass the president for political gain.

That legal argument has so far failed to sway judges in New York and Washington and was similarly rejected by the three-judge panel in the Second Circuit.

Trump has defied calls to publicly release his tax returns and provided a variety of explanations for his failure to do so. He is the first president in more than 40 years not to voluntarily make his tax records public.

Germany: Jewelry of ‘immeasurable worth’ stolen in dramatic Dresden museum heist



Jewelry of ‘immeasurable worth’ stolen in dramatic Dresden museum heist

German police say thieves on the run after ‘cultural treasures’ stolen from Green Vault

The Jewel Room at the Green Vault in Dresden
 The Jewel Room at the Green Vault in Dresden’s Royal Palace. Photograph: Sebastian Kahnert/dpa/AFP via Getty Images

Thieves in the German city of Dresden have broken into one of Europe’s largest collections of art treasures, making off with three sets of 18th-century jewelry of “immeasurable worth” in what German media has described as the biggest such theft since the second world war.

The dramatic heist took place at dawn on Monday, after a fire broke out at an electrical distribution point nearby, deactivating the museum’s alarm and plunging the area into darkness.

Despite the power cut, a surveillance camera filmed two men breaking into the Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault) at Dresden’s Royal Palace.

Volker Lange, the head of Dresden police, said the thieves smashed a window and cut through a fence before approaching and breaking open a display cabinet in the Grünes Gewölbe’s Jewel Room in “a targeted manner”.

Officers were at the scene within minutes of being alerted to the robbery shortly before 5 am local time, but the suspects had escaped. A burning car found in Dresden early on Monday may have been the getaway vehicle, police said. They have set up roadblocks on motorway approach roads around the city in an attempt to prevent the suspects from leaving. But the close proximity of the gallery to the autobahn is likely to have helped the thieves’ speedy escape, police said.

German media reported the losses from the burglary could run into the high hundreds of millions of euros, but the director of Dresden’s state art collections, Marion Ackermann, said it was impossible to estimate the value of the items.

“We cannot give a value because it is impossible to sell,” she said, appealing to the thieves not to break the collections into pieces. “The material value doesn’t reflect the historic meaning.”

Ackermann said the stolen items included three “priceless” sets of diamonds, including brilliant-cut diamonds which belonged to an 18th-century collection of jewelry assembled by the museum’s founder.

Created by Augustus the Strong, the Elector of Saxony, in 1723, the Grünes Gewölbe is one of 12 museums which make up the famous Dresden state art collections. It got its name because some rooms were decorated with malachite-green paint.

One of the oldest museums in Europe, the Grünes Gewölbe holds treasures including a 63.8 cm figure of a Moor studded with emeralds and a 547.71-carat sapphire gifted by Tsar Peter I of Russia.

The museum is now made up of two sections, one historic and a newer part. It was the historic section, which contains around three-quarters of the museum’s treasures, that was broken into on Monday.

Entrance to the historic vault must be reserved in advance, and there is a strict limit on the number of daily visitors. Exhibits are arranged into nine rooms, including an ivory room, a silver gilt room and the central Hall of Treasures.

Michael Kretschmer, the leader of Saxony, of which Dresden is the capital, said he was devastated by the losses. “Not only the gallery has been robbed, but also the Saxonians,” he said. “You cannot understand the history of our country, or the free state of Saxony, without the Grünes Gewölbe and the state art collections of Saxony.”

Historic Grape Cups were among the treasures on display in the Green Vault, where burglars carried out a heist.
 Historic Grape Cups were among the treasures on display in the Green Vault, where burglars carried out a heist. Photograph: Ralf Hirschberger/EPA

The Grünes Gewölbe alone consists of 10 rooms teeming with about 3,000 items of jewelry and other masterpieces. The building was heavily damaged during the second world war but has been successfully restored, reopening to great international fanfare in 2006. It has been a tourist magnet since 1724, when it first opened to the public.

One of the museum’s most famous and precious treasures, the Dresden Green Diamond, is currently on loan with other valuable pieces to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for an exhibition.

Saxony’s interior minister, Roland Wöller, said: “This is a bitter day for the cultural heritage of Saxony. The thieves stole cultural treasures of immeasurable worth – that is not only the material worth but also the intangible worth to the state of Saxony, which is impossible to estimate.”

Wöller said police had already set up a special team of investigators to pursue the case. “We will do everything in our power not only to bring the cultural treasures back, but to capture the perpetrators,” he said.

Leading international theft experts speculated about the thieves’ motives.

The Dutch “art detective” Arthur Brand, who made headlines earlier this month after uncovering a long-lost gold ring belonging to the writer Oscar Wilde, said the objects might have been stolen by people hoping to sell them, who would soon realise there was little hope of doing so.

“But the second and worst scenario would be professional robbers who just want the objects for their material value, the melted down gold or silver, who would take out the diamonds and sell them separately,” he told Der Spiegel. “But as soon as the works are destroyed, they are of course lost forever.”

Police in Dresden are investigating how thieves broke into the Green Vault.
 Police in Dresden are investigating how thieves broke into the Green Vault. Photograph: Filip Singer/EPA

Bernhard Pacher, manager of the art auction house Hermann Historica, told the tabloid Bild that if the objects stolen had a value of a billion euros, as initially estimated by police, “even when they are broken down and melted they can still deliver a 100-200 million euro return, which still makes it worth stealing them.”

Ackermann said that security at the state collections would now undergo a thorough review after what appeared to have been a meticulously planned heist.

“An incident like this naturally raises the question as to what can be improved, what can be done differently in future,” she said. “But there’s no such thing as 100% security.”

The theft is the second high-profile heist in Germany in recent years, after a 100kg, 24-carat gold coin was stolen from Berlin’s Bode Museum in 2017.

Agence France-Presse contributed to this report

World’s biggest heists

  1. £100m diamond ‘heist of the century’In 2003, £100m in diamonds were stolen from the Diamond Centre in Antwerp, Belgium. Some of the diamonds have since been recovered.
  2. £90.5m Cannes film-like robberyA thief in Cannes made off with over £90m in jewels in a 2013 smash and grab at a temporary exhibition in the Carlton Hotel, where Alfred Hitchcock filmed To Catch a Thief. The jewels have yet to be found.
  3. £58m airport heistIn 2005, a £58m diamond theft took place at Amsterdam’s Schipol airport. Though the police have recovered some, £43m worth of diamonds are still unaccounted for.
  4. £56m Paris theftIn 2008, Harry Winston’s boutique near Paris’ Champs-Elysees was raided by a group of men in make-up, who lifted £56m of gems and watches.
  5. £40m Mayfair robberyIn 2009, Graff’s Diamond Store in Mayfair was stripped of its rings and diamonds worth more than £40m. It is likely that the jewels have been broken down and sold onto unregulated international markets. Oliver Taylor
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Bolsonaro is denounced to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity



Bolsonaro is denounced to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity

The head of Brazil’s far right government, Jair Bolsonaro, has committed crimes against humanity and is therefore denounced at the International Criminal Court. He is accused of initiating the genocide of indigenous peoples in Brazil.

(Photo: Playback / Twitter)

247 – Jair Bolsonaro was denounced on Wednesday (27) at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity and incitement to genocide indigenous peoples of Brazil. 

The representation is from the Arns Commission and the Human Rights Advocacy Collective, reports journalist Monica Bergamo in her column in Folha de S.Paulo.    

According to the complaint, Bolsonaro incited violence against indigenous and traditional populations, weakened enforcement and was silent on responding to environmental crimes in the Amazon.   

Regretting that in Brazil they have not found an efficient way to stop these actions by an increasingly chief executive trying to massacre the Brazilian people, the Arns Commission and the Human Rights Advocacy Collective say that by going to the International Criminal Court they hope to “stimulate Brazil’s internal forces to investigate these issues, ”says Arns Commission chairman, former Minister Jose Carlos Dias.  

The complaint against Bolsonaro is also signed by former Minister José Gregori and attorneys Antonio Carlos Mariz de Oliveira, Eloisa Machado and Juliana Vieira dos Santos.   

The International Criminal Court began its activities in 2002 and is usually dedicated to cases of genocide and crimes against humanity.

Brazil: TRF-4 must return case against Lula from Atibaia site for final pleadings



TRF-4 must return case against Lula from Atibaia site for final pleadings

The Federal Regional Court of the 4th Region decides on Wednesday (27) on the case of the site of Atibaia against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. The expectation is that the case will be referred to the final allegations phase. It is possible that the court annulled Gabriela Hardt’s judgment in this judgment, without judging the merits of the defenses, due to a recent ruling by the Supreme Court (STF) on the order of speaking of whistleblowers and whistleblowers in first instance proceedings

(Photo: Lula site Atibaia)

247 – The judgment against former President Lula in the case of the Atibaia site may be redone.

The three judges of the 8th Class will assess whether, based on rulings by the Supreme Court (Supreme Court), the last stage of the prosecution – where the defendants give their arguments before the sentence (the final allegations) – should be redone. 

If the TRF-4 decides that the sentence should be redone, the process will return to the 13th Federal Court in Curitiba and return to the final allegations stage. In this case, the conviction of Lula to more than 12 years in prison would be annulled. 

It is possible that the court annulled Gabriela Hardt’s judgment in this judgment, without judging the merits of the defense’s appeals, due to a recent ruling by the Supreme Court (STF) on the speech order of whistleblowers and whistleblowers in first instance proceedings, informs journalist Felipe Bächtold in Folha de S.Paulo .  

Before presenting his final considerations in the criminal action, late last year, Lula’s defense asked to speak only after accused defendants, who had made charges against the petista. The judge denied that request at the time, but in October this year the Supreme Court acknowledged that this benefit is necessary to ensure broad defense to defendants who have not entered into a collaboration agreement. 

Julian Assange: Sweden drops rape investigation



Julian Assange: Sweden drops rape investigation

Julian Assange gestures to the media from a police vehicle on his arrival at Westminster Magistrates court on 11 April 2019Image copyright GETTY IMAGES
Image caption Assange was arrested in London after Ecuador abruptly withdrew its protection in April

Prosecutors in Sweden have dropped an investigation into a rape allegation made against Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange in 2010.

Assange, who denies the accusation, has avoided extradition to Sweden for seven years after seeking refuge at the Ecuadorean embassy in London in 2012.

The 48-year-old Australian was evicted in April and sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaching his bail conditions.

He is currently being held at Belmarsh prison in London.

The Swedish investigation had been shelved in 2017 but was re-opened earlier this year following his eviction from the embassy.

In June, the then UK Home Secretary, Sajid Javed, formally approved an extradition request from the US where Assange is wanted on 18 counts related to the mass leak of American secrets.

What did the prosecutors say?

Deputy Director of Public Prosecution Eva-Marie Persson took the decision to “discontinue the investigation regarding Julian Assange”, the Swedish Prosecution Authority said.

“The reason for this decision is that the evidence has weakened considerably due to the long period of time that has elapsed since the events in question,” it added.

Media caption Julian Assange being dragged from the Ecuadorean embassy in London

Ms Persson said: “I would like to emphasize that the injured party has submitted a credible and reliable version of events.

“Her statements have been coherent, extensive and detailed; however, my overall assessment is that the evidence situation has been weakened to such an extent that that there is no longer any reason to continue the investigation.”

The prosecutors said the decision had been taken after interviews with seven witnesses in the case.

What was the Swedish investigation about?

Assange was accused of rape by a woman and sexual assault by another one following a Wikileaks conference in Stockholm in 2010. He has always denied the allegations, saying the sex was consensual.

Media caption Who is Julian Assange?

He also faced investigations for molestation and unlawful coercion, but these cases were dropped in 2015 because time had run out.