Rabat – The trial of a British woman for causing “public mischief” began today, Wednesday, October 2, in Famagusta, Cyprus. The 19-year-old accused 12 Israeli tourists of rape in July of this year, only to retract her complaint.Speaking to the Independent, Michael Pollak, a human rights lawyer with legal aid group Justice Abroad, claimed that she retracted her statement under duress, after a night of intense questioning by Cypriot police. Police then charged the 19-year-old with “public mischief.” After one month in jail, she was released on bail at the end of August. Pollak condemned the actions of the Cypriot police, saying; “The process by which they obtained a retraction statement from a vulnerable and young girl who had obviously suffered a lot was very worrying. She was kept in the police station for a long time overnight without access to a lawyer or without any other support.” He added that she is now suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of her ordeal and the months following the alleged rape. “Being imprisoned after she was the victim of such a serious crime added to the impact on her. It is amazing that in 2019 nothing is recorded in police stations in somewhere like Cyprus, which is part of Europe and a developed country.”Pollak described his client, the defendant in the case, as a victim. He explained that the initial attitude towards the woman from the Cypriot police means that a thorough investigation into the rape allegations never took place. Read also: France Wants to Expand Tariq Ramadan’s Alleged Rape Investigation“It seems that the Cypriot police have jumped to an incorrect conclusion before investigating and considering the evidence in this case and in doing so they have treated the victim of this terrible crime as a suspect. The effect of the Cypriot authorities prejudging this matter is they are now unable to investigate the serious allegations against the Israeli youths for rape,” said Pollak. The human rights lawyer added that the teenager, whose name is being kept out of the press until the trial’s verdict, wants to clear her name.Witness testimoniesThe Famagusta court heard witness statements from an Isreali tourist who overheard the 12 Israelis accused of the rape. “They were going to f**k her, all of them. They were talking about it and laughing that they were going to do orgies with her.” “They were saying this in a very bad and aggressive way,” the witness statement, which was read out in court, went on. The alleged rape took place on July 17 in an Ayia Napa resort at the hands of 12 Isreali tourists aged from 15 to 18. Police arrested the 12 tourists but released them without charge. They are no longer under investigation and have returned to Israel.Read also: Moroccan MP Supports Sexual Freedoms, Calls for Repealing Law Against AbortionThe Cypriot police have strongly denied forcing the defendant to retract her statement, adding that she wrote the retraction of her own volition. Meanwhile, Pollak told the Independent that; “After providing a further written statement, the police officer told her that he believed that she was lying about the allegations and that he wanted to help her. He told her to write a confession and that if she did not do so he would arrest her friends in Cyprus for conspiracy.”The legal team defending the British woman is moving to have the “public mischief” charges dismissed. However, if the court rules against her, she could face up to one year in prison.
A 38 year -old man accused of misapplying US$26,000, after leasing a story building belonging to Edward Davis, who resides in the United States of America (USA) has been charged and forwarded to the Monrovia City Court for prosecution.Defendant Oscar Holmes was charged with the commission of the crime “Theft of Property” by the Liberia National Police (LNP).He was said to have leased the property in 2013 for five (years), to the Jesus Christ Church of Latter Day Saints.The one story building is situated in the Bong Mines Bridge community in Monrovia.Holmes has denied the charge.But in a complaint filed against defendant Holmes on behalf of Edward Davis, by his legal counsel, Atty. Daliamah Sulonteh, the lawyer alleged that, while his client was in the USA, he (Davis) authorized the defendant in Liberia to lease his property.He further alleged, after Holmes got the authorization, he (defendant) immediately entered into a five (5) years lease agreement with the Jesus Christ Church of Latter Day Saints, from which he, defendant Holmes, allegedly collected the amount of US$26,000 from the church. Unfortunately, the Atty. Sulonteh claimed, defendant Holmes converted the money into his personal use.But, according to police, during their investigation, on September 17, Holmes decided to remain silent, meaning he never wanted to say anything to the police. He apparently wanted to do so at a court’s hearing.However, at Friday’s hearing, Magistrate Kennedy Peabody allowed the legal counsel of defendant Holmes to sign for his release and to ensure that he appears on Monday, October 6, to answer to the crime for which he had been charged.Magistrate Peabody’s action may have been attributed to an appeal made recently to Magistrates throughout the country by Chief Justice Francis Korkpor of the Supreme Court of Liberia.Chief Justice Korkpor, in his appeal, advised magistrates to use what he considered as “descriptive power” to either detain or arrest would-be criminals.The Chief Justice’s decision was part of the Liberian Judiciary’s effort to prevent overcrowding at prisons, which may likely cause several death, if there would have been an the outbreak of the Ebola virus there.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
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Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest (Washington, D.C., May 23, 2019) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will take several actions to assist farmers in response to trade damage from unjustified retaliation and trade disruption. President Trump directed Secretary Perdue to craft a relief strategy to support American agricultural producers while the Administration continues to work on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals to open more markets in the long run to help American farmers compete globally. Specifically, the President has authorized USDA to provide up to $16 billion in programs, which is in line with the estimated impacts of unjustified retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods and other trade disruptions. These programs will assist agricultural producers while President Trump works to address long-standing market access barriers.“China hasn’t played by the rules for a long time and President Trump is standing up to them, sending the clear message that the United States will no longer tolerate their unfair trade practices, which include non-tariff trade barriers and the theft of intellectual property. President Trump has great affection for America’s farmers and ranchers, and he knows they are bearing the brunt of these trade disputes. In fact, I’ve never known of a president that has been more concerned or interested in farmer wellbeing and long-term profitability than President Trump,” said Secretary Perdue. “The plan we are announcing today ensures farmers do not bear the brunt of unfair retaliatory tariffs imposed by China and other trading partners. Our team at USDA reflected on what worked well and gathered feedback on last year’s program to make this one even stronger and more effective for farmers. Our farmers work hard, are the most productive in the world, and we aim to match their enthusiasm and patriotism as we support them.”Listen to Secretary Perdue’s comments about the announcement:Background:American farmers have dealt with unjustified retaliatory tariffs and years of non-tariff trade disruptions, which have curtailed U.S. exports to China. Trade damages from such retaliation and market distortions have impacted a host of U.S. commodities, including crops like soybeans, corn, wheat, cotton, rice, and sorghum; livestock products like milk and pork; and many fruits, nuts, and other crops. High tariffs disrupt normal marketing patterns, raising costs by forcing commodities to find new markets. Additionally, American goods shipped to China have been slowed from reaching market by unusually strict or cumbersome entry procedures, which affect the quality and marketability of perishable crops. These boost marketing costs and unfairly affect our producers. USDA will use the following programs to assist farmers:Market Facilitation Program (MFP) for 2019, authorized under the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act and administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA), will provide $14.5 billion in direct payments to producers.Producers of alfalfa hay, barley, canola, corn, crambe, dry peas, extra-long staple cotton, flaxseed, lentils, long grain and medium grain rice, mustard seed, dried beans, oats, peanuts, rapeseed, safflower, sesame seed, small and large chickpeas, sorghum, soybeans, sunflower seed, temperate japonica rice, upland cotton, and wheat will receive a payment based on a single county rate multiplied by a farm’s total plantings to those crops in aggregate in 2019. Those per acre payments are not dependent on which of those crops are planted in 2019, and therefore will not distort planting decisions. Moreover, total payment-eligible plantings cannot exceed total 2018 plantings.Dairy producers will receive a per hundredweight payment on production history and hog producers will receive a payment based on hog and pig inventory for a later-specified time frame.Tree nut producers, fresh sweet cherry producers, cranberry producers, and fresh grape producers will receive a payment based on 2019 acres of production.These payments will help farmers to absorb some of the additional costs of managing disrupted markets, to deal with surplus commodities, and to expand and develop new markets at home and abroad.Payments will be made in up to three tranches, with the second and third tranches evaluated as market conditions and trade opportunities dictate. The first tranche will begin in late July/early August as soon as practical after Farm Service Agency crop reporting is completed by July 15th. If conditions warrant, the second and third tranches will be made in November and early January.Additionally, CCC Charter Act authority will be used to implement a $1.4 billion Food Purchase and Distribution Program (FPDP) through the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to purchase surplus commodities affected by trade retaliation such as fruits, vegetables, some processed foods, beef, pork, lamb, poultry, and milk for distribution by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to food banks, schools, and other outlets serving low-income individuals.Finally, the CCC will use its Charter Act authority for $100 million to be issued through the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) administered by the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) to assist in developing new export markets on behalf of producers.Further details regarding eligibility and payment rates will be released at a later date.#USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.