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Teen charged in Kenosha killings delays extradition hearing | News

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A judge has agreed on Friday to delay for a month a decision on whether a 17-year-old from Illinois should be returned to Wisconsin to face charges accusing him of fatally shooting two protesters and wounding a third during a night of unrest following the weekend police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha.

The Illinois judge postponed Kyle Rittenhouse’s extradition hearing to September 25 during a brief hearing that was streamed online. Rittenhouse faces five felony charges, including first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless homicide and a misdemeanour charge for possession of a dangerous weapon by a minor.

Rittenhouse did not appear in the livestreamed hearing, where his lawyer Jennifer Snyder, an assistant public defender in Lake County, Illinois, asked for the delay. The judge said Rittenhouse had been allowed to speak by phone with his mother and was in the process of hiring a lawyer.

Rittenhouse, a white teen who was armed with a semi-automatic rifle as he walked Kenosha’s streets with other armed civilians during this week’s protests, would face a mandatory life sentence if convicted of first-degree intentional homicide.

Under Wisconsin law, anyone 17 or older is treated as an adult in the criminal justice system.

He was taken into custody on Wednesday in Antioch, Illinois, the city about 24 kilometres (15 miles) from Kenosha where he lives.

The shootings late on Tuesday were largely caught on cellphone video and posted online. The shooting by police on Sunday of Blake, a 29-year-old Black father of six who was left paralysed from the waist down, was also caught on cellphone video.

Demonstrators take part in a protest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin [Stephen Maturen/Reuters]

That shooting made Kenosha the latest focal point in the fight against racial injustice that has gripped the country since the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

Three nights later, Rittenhouse was armed and on the streets of Kenosha, saying that he was protecting businesses from protesters, according to widely circulating cellphone footage.

Prosecutors used that footage to piece together the events. 

The criminal complaint said that Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, of Kenosha, followed Rittenhouse into a used-car lot, where he appeared to throw a plastic bag at the gunman which did not hit Rittenhouse. Rosenbaum “continued to move across the parking lot”, a loud bang is heard on the video, then Rosembaum “appears to continue to approach the defendant” as he gets in “near proximity” “four more loud bangs are heard'” on the video. 

The medical examiner found that Rosenbaum was shot in the groin and back – which fractured his pelvis and perforated his right lung and liver – and his left hand.

He also suffered a superficial wound to his left thigh and a graze wound to his forehead.

As he is on the ground, Rittenhouse “approaches Rosenbaum” then “appears to get on his cellphone and place a call”. Running away from the scene he can be heard saying, “I just killed somebody.”

Rittenhouse then ran down the street and was chased by several people shouting that he just shot someone before he tripped and fell, according to the complaint and video footage. Anthony Huber, 26, of Silver Lake, was shot in the chest after apparently trying to wrest the gun from Rittenhouse, the complaint said.

Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, who appeared to be holding a gun, was then shot in the left arm after approaching Rittenhouse, the complaint said.

Rittenhouse’s lawyer, Lin Wood, said on Thursday that the teenager was acting in self-defence.

“From my standpoint, it’s important that the message be clear to other Americans who are attacked that there will be legal resources available in the event false charges are brought against them,” he said. “Americans should never be deterred from exercising their right of self-defence.”

Police criticism

Kenosha police faced questions about their interactions with the gunman on Tuesday night. According to witness accounts and video footage, police apparently let the gunman walk past them and leave the scene with a rifle over his shoulder and his hands in the air, as members of the crowd yelled for him to be arrested because he had shot people.

Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said the gunman likely slipped away because the scene was chaotic, with lots of radio traffic and people screaming, chanting and running – conditions he said can cause “tunnel vision” among law officers.

Video taken before the shooting shows police tossing bottled water from an armoured vehicle and thanking civilians armed with long guns walking the streets. One of them appears to be Rittenhouse.

NBA postpones play-off games after Bucks boycott over Jacob Blake

Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis appeared to suggest the killings would not have happened if people upheld the curfew at a Wednesday news conference.  

“Everybody involved was out after the curfew,” Miskinis said. “I’m not gonna make a great deal of it but the point is – the curfew’s in place to protect. Had persons not been out involved in violation of that, perhaps the situation that unfolded would not have happened.”

The American Civil Liberties Union has called for the resignation of Beth and Miskinis.  

“The ACLU strongly condemns Sheriff Beth and Police Chief Miskinis’ response to both the attempted murder of Jacob Blake and the protests demanding justice for him. Their actions uphold and defend white supremacy, while demonizing people who were murdered for exercising their first amendment rights and speaking out against police violence”, wrote Chris Ott, executive director of the ACLU-Wisconsin. “The only way to rectify these actions is for both Sheriff Beth and Police Chief Daniel Miskinis to immediately tender their resignations.”

If the two law enforcement leaders do not tender their resignations, the “ACLU is calling for Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian to demand the police chief’s removal by the Kenosha Police and Fire Commission, and the sheriff’s removal”, the letter concluded.  





Source – www.aljazeera.com

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FDC activists win Bank of Uganda pig case by simply keeping quiet

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FDC activists Augustine Ojobile and Robert Mayanja

Buganda Road Magistrate’s court has acquitted two opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) activists Augustine Ojobile and Robert Mayanja of common nuisance charges.

FDC deputy chief administrative officer Ojobile and Mayanja have been acquitted by the grade one magistrate Fidelis Otwao on charges stemming from their protest held in November 2018 when they carried pig heads to the central police station (CPS) in Kampala protesting the rot in the Bank of Uganda that had reportedly resulted into the closure of a number of commercial banks in the country for many years.


According to them, corruption at the Central bank had been the sole ingredient for the closure of commercial banks in Uganda over the years because it reportedly mismanaged them and made erroneous decisions that led to their closure.

With fresh pig heads tied around their necks and stinking blood oozing across their white T-shirts, Mayanja and Ojobile walked through the streets of Kampala to the police in a protest that was spearheaded by their pressure group known as the Jobless Youth.

One pig head had a placard bearing the name of the former and late BOU governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile and the other of his former deputy Louis Kasekende.

The protest at CPS came a few days after another that was staged at the Central bank where two piglets were dumped bearing the name of Juma Kisaame (a Muslim), the former managing director of DFCU bank. 

As a result, the duo was arrested and taken to Buganda Road court on charges of common nuisance and the prosecution adduced evidence from five witnesses who included police officers and Muslims who were reportedly angered by the protest.

According to the witnesses, the actions of Mayanja and Ojobile were annoying to the people whose names were mentioned and tagged on pig heads, and the smell that was coming out of the fresh pig heads was most likely to result in injury to a considerable number of the public by affecting their health, and the protest affected businesses since some shops allegedly had to close to see what was happening outside due to their commotion.

But when Mayanja and Ojobile were asked to defend themselves over the allegations, the duo that didn’t have legal representation chose to keep quiet as their defense and let the court make its decision based on what the prosecution witnesses had testified to.

In a judgement read today Friday by Otwao, he indicated that the evidence from the prosecution witnesses is wanting because none of the people alleged to have been annoyed by the actions of the activists testified in the case or recorded a statement with police.

According to Otwao, the testimonies were based on what the witnesses were feeling as individuals and that there were no abusive statements on the pig heads that the prosecution had indicated which would cause annoyance, save for putting the names of people only. 

As such, the court has ruled that such testimonies cannot be relied on to convict a person because the prosecution has failed to prove that there was common injury, danger to the public or destruction of property.

Consequently, the magistrate has acquitted the duo and directed that each of them starts the process to seek a refund of the Shs 500,000 that each had paid to be released on bail.

The activists have welcomed the ruling saying that the court has recognized that the citizens have a right to protest peacefully.

The pig protests have been commonly used by activists who subscribe to this group known as the Jobless Brotherhood which has since rebranded to the “Alternative”.

In 2016, their members including Luta Ferdinand who is now facing trial in the court-martial on different charges, and Joseph Lukwago were arrested for dumping piglets at parliament protesting the Shs 200 million given to each MP for buying personal cars.



Source – observer.ug

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Saudi Arabia executes 81 people in a single day | Death Penalty News

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The death penalty applied for a range of charges in the largest known mass execution carried out in the kingdom’s modern history.

Saudi Arabia has executed 81 men over the past 24 hours, including seven Yemenis and one Syrian national, on charges including “allegiance to foreign terrorist organisations” and holding “deviant beliefs”, state news agency Saudi Press Agency said, in the largest known mass execution carried out in the kingdom in its modern history.

The number dwarfed the 67 executions reported in the kingdom in 2021 and the 27 in 2020.

“These individuals … were convicted of various crimes including murdering innocent men, women and children,” SPA said on Saturday, citing a statement from the interior ministry.

“Crimes committed by these individuals also include pledging allegiance to foreign terrorist organisations, such as ISIS [ISIL], al-Qaeda and the Houthis,” it added.

Some travelled to conflict zones to join “terrorist organisations”, according to the SPA.

“The accused were provided with the right to an attorney and were guaranteed their full rights under Saudi law during the judicial process,” it said.

“The kingdom will continue to take a strict and unwavering stance against terrorism and extremist ideologies that threaten the stability of the entire world,” the report added.

The men included 37 Saudi nationals who were found guilty in a single case for attempting to assassinate security officers and targeting police stations and convoys, the report added.

Saudi Arabia’s last mass execution was in January 2016, when the kingdom executed 47 people, including a prominent opposition Shia leader who had rallied demonstrations in the kingdom.

In 2019, the kingdom beheaded 37 Saudi citizens, most of them minority Shia, in a mass execution across the country for alleged “terrorism”-related crimes.

Saudi Arabia’s human rights records have been under increasing scrutiny from rights groups and Western allies since the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

It has faced strong criticism of its restrictive laws on political and religious expression, and the implementation of the death penalty, including for defendants arrested when they were minors.

Saudi Arabia denies accusations of human rights abuses and says it protects its national security according to its laws.

SPA said the accused were provided with the right to a lawyer and were guaranteed their full rights under Saudi law during the judicial process.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Nigerian student in Ukraine: 'Mummy we keep hearing bombs'

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Hauwa’s son Suleiman is a Nigerian student in Sumy – she says the family are fearful and anxious.



Source – www.bbc.co.uk

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