Beny Steinmetz, a Mining Magnate, Found Guilty in Swiss Corruption Trial


GENEVA — A Swiss court on Friday convicted the French-Israeli mining magnate Beny Steinmetz on charges of corrupting foreign public officials and forging documents, in a trial over his successful bid to reap lavish iron ore resources in the West African nation of Guinea.

Mr. Steinmetz, one of the richest people in Israel, was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay a $56.5 million fine.

The case centered on alleged payouts of millions of dollars to a former wife of an ex-president of Guinea, Lansana Conté, who died in 2008. The trial exposed the shady and complex world of deal-making and cutthroat competition in the lucrative mining business.

His defense lawyer, Marc Bonnant, said he would “immediately” appeal the ruling. Mr. Bonnant said his client had not given “a single dollar” to any official of the Guinea regime during Mr. Conté’s presidency.

The prosecutor, Yves Bertossa, told reporters he was “satisfied” with the verdict, and the Swiss transparency group Public Eye hailed a “landmark ruling.”

“This conviction of a high-profile business figure not only sends a strong signal to the commodities sector as a whole, but also demonstrates the vital need for Switzerland to finally remedy the legal loopholes that allow such predatory practices,” it said.

Mr. Steinmetz, 64, denied the charges, which date to the mid-2000s and involved his company, BSG Resources, squeezing out a rival for mining rights to vast iron ore deposits in the Simandou region of Guinea.

The Geneva prosecutor’s office alleged that Mr. Steinmetz and two other defendants engaged in corruption of foreign officials and falsification of documents to hide from authorities and banks the paying of bribes. Some of the funds allegedly transited through Switzerland — and the case has been investigated in Europe, Africa and the United States.

The Swiss prosecutor’s office said Mr. Steinmetz, starting in 2005, crafted a pact of corruption with Mr. Conté, who ruled the West African country from 1984 until his death, and his fourth wife, Mamadie Touré, involving the payment of nearly $10 million.

In its court filing, the prosecutor’s office said BSG Resources won exploration and exploitation licenses in Guinea between 2006 and 2010 in the Simandou region, and that its competitor — the Anglo-Australian mining group Rio Tinto — was deprived of the concessions it had held until then in that region.

In 2014, the Guinean government, after a review launched by the democratically elected president, Alpha Condé, accused Mr. Steinmetz’s company of corruption, paying millions of dollars through a representative to Ms. Touré.

Civil society organizations have lobbied for proposals that would add accountability for businesses headquartered in Switzerland for their actions abroad. One such proposal, which would have held companies based in Switzerland liable for human rights violations and environmental damage committed by subsidiaries abroad, failed in a referendum last year.

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Richmond’s Sydney Stack pleads guilty to WA quarantine breach


Richmond player Sydney Stack has pleaded guilty to breaching Western Australia’s quarantine rules after he was issued a move-on notice by police at a Perth entertainment precinct when he was meant to be in self-isolation.

The Tiger was granted an exemption to return home to WA on December 10 to attend his grandfather’s funeral, however he was required to complete 14 days quarantine at a residence in Northam, the country town where he grew up.

Sydney Stack.Credit:Getty Images

The quarantine requirement was sparked by his Melbourne flight’s brief stopover in Adelaide, which was experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak at the time.

On Wednesday, the 20-year-old pleaded guilty in Perth Magistrates Court to one count of failing to comply with a direction under the Emergency Management Act after police issued him a move-on notice in Northbridge on December 19.

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Richmond AFL player Sydney Stack guilty of COVID breach after visiting Northbridge



Richmond AFL player Sydney Stack has pleaded guilty to breaching WA’s strict COVID quarantine laws, but will have to wait until March to find out his penalty.

Stack, who last year breached AFL COVID protocols by attending a Gold Coast strip club, spent nearly three weeks in jail after being arrested in Perth’s entertainment precinct of Northbridge.

The footballer had been granted permission, on compassionate grounds, to enter WA from Melbourne via South Australia 10 days earlier so that he could attend his grandfather’s funeral.

He was permitted to complete his 14-day quarantine at a property in Northam, about 100 kilometres east of Perth, but police said he was found in Northbridge in the early hours of Saturday, December 19.

He first appeared in court on Sunday, December 20.

Officers said he was staying at a house in suburban Belmont and not at the Northam address where he was supposed to be quarantining.

Stack was granted bail earlier this month after a Supreme Court judge said it was unlikely he would receive a jail term if convicted.

The footballer appeared in the Perth Magistrates Court again on Wednesday morning and pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to comply with a direction.

Stack’s lawyer requested that pre-sentence and psychological reports be prepared for his sentencing, but they usually took six weeks to complete so the case was adjourned until March 25.

Stack made no comment as he left court, but his manager Paul Peos said neither he nor Stack could say anything because the matter was still before the courts.

Thank you for visiting My Local Pages. We hope you enjoyed checking out this story regarding current Australian Sports news called “Richmond AFL player Sydney Stack guilty of COVID breach after visiting Northbridge”. This news article was brought to you by My Local Pages as part of our World sports news services.

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Richmond AFL player Sidney Stack guilty of COVID breach after visiting Northbridge



Richmond AFL player Sidney Stack has pleaded guilty to breaching WA’s strict COVID quarantine laws, but will have to wait until March to find out his penalty.

Stack, who last year breached AFL COVID protocols by attending a Gold Coast strip club, spent nearly three weeks in jail after being arrested in Perth’s entertainment precinct of Northbridge.

The footballer had been granted permission, on compassionate grounds, to enter WA from Melbourne via South Australia 10 days earlier so that he could attend his grandfather’s funeral.

He was permitted to complete his 14-day quarantine at a property in Northam, about 100 kilometres east of Perth, but police said he was found in Northbridge in the early hours of Saturday, December 19.

He first appeared in court on Sunday, December 20.

Officers said he was staying at a house in suburban Belmont and not at the Northam address where he was supposed to be quarantining.

Stack was granted bail earlier this month after a Supreme Court judge said it was unlikely he would receive a jail term if convicted.

The footballer appeared in the Perth Magistrates Court again on Wednesday morning and pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to comply with a direction.

Stack’s lawyer requested that pre-sentence and psychological reports be prepared for his sentencing, but they usually took six weeks to complete so the case was adjourned until March 25.

Stack made no comment as he left court, but his manager Paul Peos said neither he nor Stack could say anything because the matter was still before the courts.

Thank you for dropping by My Local Pages and checking out this news update about current Australian Capital Territory News named “Richmond AFL player Sidney Stack guilty of COVID breach after visiting Northbridge”. This news release was presented by MyLocalPages as part of our local news services.

#Richmond #AFL #player #Sidney #Stack #guilty #COVID #breach #visiting #Northbridge



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Claire Parry death: Dorset PC Timothy Brehmer was paid after guilty plea


Brehmer, of Hordle, Hampshire, was

cleared of murder at Salisbury Crown Court in October but was jailed for 10-and-a-half years for manslaughter.



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‘Are You a Bad Puppy?’: Labrador Looks Guilty After Destroying Couch at Wyoming Home


A yellow Labrador retriever looked especially guilty on December 23 after he destroyed a sofa in the living room of his home in Glendo, Wyoming. Major, the yellow Labrdaor, and Teetoe, a pug, stood looking guilty beside the ruined furniture while their owner shouts toward Major. “Are you a bad puppy,” Greg Hagen can be heard saying in this video. His wife, Brenda, took the footage. Hagen can be heard scolding: “Did you do that? Are you a bad puppy? Should I spank your butt? Didn’t you tell me you were going to be a good boy? Is this what you call being a good boy?” In response Major would occasionally lower his head and avoid eye contact. Credit: Brenda Hagen via Storyful



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Both accused found guilty after 28 years


Another accused in the case, Fr Poothrakayal was discharged earlier over lack of evidence

Thiruvananthapuram: A CBI court here on Tuesday found a catholic priest and a nun guilty in connection with the murder of 21-year-old Sister Abhaya, whose body was found in the well of a convent in Kottayam in 1992.

The verdict in this regard was pronounced by CBI special court judge J Sanal Kumar.

 

The quantum of sentence will be pronounced on Wednesday.

The court said the murder charges against Father Thomas Kottoor and Sister Sephy guilty will stand. Both are in judicial custody.

Another accused in the case, Fr Poothrakayal was discharged earlier over lack of evidence.

The judgement comes 28 years after the young nun was found dead in the well of St Pius convent, where she stayed.

Abhaya’s parents Thomas and Leelamma passed away few years ago awaiting justice for their daughter.

First local police and then crime branch investigated and concluded that it was a case of suicide.

The CBI took over the investigation of the case in 2008.

 

The trial in the case began on August 26 last year and many witnesses had turned hostile.

According to prosecution, Abhaya was attacked with the handle of an axe because she was witness to some alleged immoral activity involving the three accused.

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Blake Davis guilty of manslaughter over 2018 samurai sword death of Jett McKee


A Sydney man has been found not guilty of the murder of an aspiring rapper during an alleged botched home invasion in 2018.

Blake Davis was found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter over the death of Jett McKee, who performed as Scepaz.

Davis’ girlfriend Hannah Quinn was found guilty of accessory after the fact to manslaughter.

Quinn and Davis were in a bedroom at Forest Lodge in Sydney’s inner-west when Mr McKee allegedly broke in and threatened them at gunpoint.

Mr McKee was then struck with the sword by Davis as the couple pursued him onto the street outside.



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Vietnamese truck deaths: UK court finds two men, Eamonn Harrison and Gheorghe Nica, guilty of manslaughter



Two men have been found guilty of the manslaughter of 39 men, women and children from Vietnam after they were found dead in the back of a refrigerated truck near London last year.

The deaths shone a spotlight on the illicit global trade that traffics poor people from Asia, Africa and the Middle East through perilous journeys to the West.

Eamonn Harrison, a 24-year-old lorry driver from Northern Ireland, was found guilty of 39 counts of manslaughter and one count of conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration.

Gheorghe Nica, 43, from Essex in southeast England, was found guilty of the same charges.

Two others have already pleaded guilty to being involved in the deaths.

Most of those who died, aged between 44 and 15, were from Nghe An and Ha Tinh provinces in north-central Vietnam, where poor job prospects, environmental disasters and the promise of financial reward abroad fuel migration.

More to come.

Reuters



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Shawn Newton found guilty of murder of Rebecca Gascoigne after Mitchell Freeway body discovery


A Perth man who claimed he was framed by corrupt police has been found guilty of murdering his girlfriend after her body was found by police in the boot of a car on the Mitchell Freeway in Perth.

WARNING: This story contains graphic content that some readers may find upsetting.

Shawn Adam Newton was convicted of the crime in September but the verdict was suppressed until today because he was facing other charges which have now been dealt with.

He has been in custody since July 2017, when he was arrested for the murder at a northern suburbs tavern while he was drinking a beer and wearing a wig.

That was 10 days after the body of Rebecca Jane Gascoigne was discovered by police when a motorist, Gavin Barr, waved them down on the Mitchell Freeway.

Rebecca Gascoigne was repeatedly assaulted before her body was locked the boot of the car.(Supplied: WA Police)

Mr Barr, who was Ms Gascoigne’s housemate in Scarborough, was a crucial witness at Newton’s trial earlier this year, testifying he was present during the fatal assault.

Victim assaulted, rolled in carpet

The Supreme Court was told Ms Gascoigne and Newton had been in a relationship for about six weeks and prosecutors alleged he killed her because she wanted to end it.

Mr Barr claimed when he arrived home on the night of the murder, Newton had threatened him with a gun and a knife before making him lie on his stomach next to Ms Gascoigne, who already had her hands and feet bound with zip ties.

headshot, man with shaved head not smiling.
Newton claimed he had been “framed” for the murder and said his flatmate was the real killer.(Supplied: WA Police)

Mr Barr told the court he saw Newton repeatedly punch Ms Gascoigne in the head before wrapping cling film around her face and putting a bag over her head, which he secured with tape.

Mr Barr said Newton then rolled her in carpet while continuing to assault her.

He claimed Newton told him he would kill him if he did not help dispose of Ms Gascoigne’s body, which was put in the boot of a car before they then drove away.

Newton blamed flatmate for murder

Mr Barr testified he managed to escape in the car when Newton got out at Kallaroo beach.

He drove along the Mitchell Freeway and when he saw police cars he pulled over and flagged them down, telling them Ms Gascoigne was in the boot.

The boot of a car with a blanket inside.
The boot of Mr Newton’s car, where the body of Ms Gascoigne was found by police.(Supplied: WA Supreme Court)

Newton went on the run for 10 days before police tracked him down to a tavern in Hillarys.

He claimed he had been “framed” for the murder, arguing at his trial that Mr Barr was “the real killer”.

Newton’s lawyer Simon Watters accused Mr Barr of lying and claimed he had planned to kill Ms Gascoigne after keeping her in his flat “as nothing short of a sex slave”.

But Mr Barr denied the allegations, testifying he would have needed to be a “criminal mastermind” to pull off such a crime.

Acquaintance felt ‘obligated’ to help

In his evidence, Newton maintained he was at the home of an acquaintance who he had only met that night at the time of Ms Gascoigne’s alleged murder.

He testified after he was charged with her murder, he saw the acquaintance again in his unit at Hakea prison and when they started talking about his case, the inmate offered to give evidence as part of his defence.

Night shot of a man wearing a cap backwards and a Comancheros sweatshirt.
Newton went on the run for 10 days before police found him at the pub in Hillarys.(Supplied: WA Supreme Court)

But in a phone call to his partner, recorded by the prison and played to the court, the acquaintance Liam O’Neill was heard saying he was “really unsure” about the dates he was with Newton and that he had not wanted to help him, but felt obligated.

Newton’s trial was heard by a judge sitting without a jury, and when Justice Michael Corboy delivered his verdict Newton yelled “you’ve made a shocking decision, a terrible decision, based on police corruption”.

Newton was also found guilty of unlawfully detaining Mr Barr and threatening him.

Today his lawyer, Terry Dobson told the court Newton did not accept the verdicts and maintained that he did not kill Ms Gascoigne.



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