Drug kingpin Tony Mokbel hires George Pell’s lawyer for freedom bid



Convicted drug kingpin Tony Mokbel could have his bid for freedom heard by Victoria’s highest court in July.

Mokbel has now hired the lawyer who helped Cardinal George Pell quash his conviction in the High Court.

READ MORE: Three family members in Victoria have coronavirus


His defence hopes the betrayal he suffered at the hands of
The Court of Appeal said Mokbel’s case would be heard as a matter of priority.

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Trump’s lawyer vaporizes corporate media narrative in epic interview


by WorldTribune Staff, February 14, 2021 Game, set, match. In one epic interview, Donald Trump impeachment lawyer Michael van der Veen said to a smarmy, condescending media personality what some 75 million Americans would like to share with the entire  Trump Derangement Syndrome-suffering corporate media monolith. Van der Veen even finished off the master stroke […]

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Ex-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell served at NC home with $1.3B Dominion Voting lawsuit


This article is published through the N.C. News Collaborative, a partnership of Lee Newspapers, Gannett and McClatchy newspapers in North Carolina that aims to better inform readers throughout the state.

After evading attempts for weeks by a civil process server that included being “pursued over state lines,” ex-Donald Trump lawyer Sidney Powell was served with a $1.3 billion lawsuit at her Biltmore Forest home, near Asheville, according to recently filed court papers by Dominion Voting Systems.

Dominion filed the defamation lawsuit against Powell Jan. 8 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. But attempts to officially serve the Texas-based attorney with the summons took until Jan. 28, said attorneys for the company.

“Powell evaded service of process for weeks, forcing Dominion to incur unnecessary expenses for extraordinary measures to effect service, including hiring private investigators and pursuing Powell across state lines,” according to a Feb. 9 answer to Powell’s request for more time to respond to the complaint.

She is being sued over her false claims that the company, which manufactured electronic voting machines used by some districts in the 2020 election, changed votes for then-President Trump to votes for then-President-elect Joe Biden.

Powell’s wide-ranging conspiracy theory variously implicated Dominion, deceased Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, the CIA and Chinese communists in a plot to rig the election against Trump. But federal and state judges repeatedly rejected, sometimes derisively, her efforts to prove her assertions in court.

Powell also is named in a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit by Smartmatic, a voting technology company, along with Fox News, three of its hosts and Rudy Giuliani, who served as Trump’s lawyer.

Powell’s Asheville connections

Powell had been active civically and professionally in the Asheville area, advocating for a new performing arts center and for domestic violence prevention. Little had been heard of her locally since 2014, when she was the featured speaker at a Buncombe County Bar luncheon.

She has owned the Biltmore Forest home with an appraised tax value of $812,700 since 2012. She also owned a home in Biltmore Park until 2017, county records show.

But in the weeks after the Nov. 3 election, she made national news with repeated claims of an anti-Trump plot and for being part of multiple legal efforts to overturn the results. She worked with the Trump campaign’s legal team for a time and appeared at a news conference with Trump attorneys Giuliani and Jenna Ellis.

But as Powell’s conspiracy theories drew national attention and ridicule, Giuliani and Ellis said in a Nov. 22 statement that she was “practicing law on her own.”

Court filings note that Biltmore Forest Police were present the night she was served with the summons. Police Chief Chris Beddingfield said officers were called after 9 p.m. about a suspicious vehicle near Powell’s house. The call was from a third party and likely a neighbor, Beddingfield said.

“We responded to the suspicious vehicle call, which turned out to be the process server, and was completely legitimate,” he said.

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US lawyer goes viral over kitten filter


A West Texas judge has a word of caution to those attending court hearings via Zoom: always check for filters before logging on.

Judge Roy Ferguson’s warning comes after lawyer Rod Ponton accidentally joined a video court hearing while using a Zoom filter that made him appear like a fluffy white kitten.

“I’m here live. I’m not a cat,” Ponton said.

“I can see that,” replied Ferguson, whose district covers five counties in West Texas.

The short video clip, which was shared online by Ferguson, ends with others coaching Ponton on how to remove the cat filter.

The judge said on Twitter: “These fun moments are a by-product of the legal profession’s dedication to ensuring that the justice system continues to function in these tough times. Everyone involved handled it with dignity, and the filtered lawyer showed incredible grace. True professionalism all around!”

A re-post of the video to Twitter now has more than six million views.

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Lawyer for man charged in Capitol riot says he worked for the FBI, had top-secret security clearance


An attorney for Thomas Caldwell, a Virginia resident accused of participating in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, said on Monday that his client is a Navy veteran who has had a top-secret security clearance since 1979, worked as an FBI section chief from 2009 to 2010, and ran a consulting firm that did classified work for the U.S. government.

Caldwell’s lawyer, Thomas Plofchan, wrote about his work history in a motion filed on Monday, which stated that because Caldwell has “been vetted and found numerous times as a person worthy of the trust and confidence of the United States government,” he should be released from jail as he waits for his trial to start.

Authorities have said Caldwell, 66, is a leader of the right-wing Oath Keepers militia group, and helped plan the attack on the Capitol. On Jan. 19, Caldwell was arrested and charged with conspiracy. He denies being involved with the Oath Keepers, and Plofchan said Caldwell is a “100 percent disabled veteran,” and because of his “physical limitation,” could not have forced his way into a building.

The charging documents show that during the attack, Caldwell received messages about lawmakers being “in the tunnels” under the Capitol. After the riot, he also allegedly shared video of the incident on Facebook, saying it was time to “storm the capitol in Ohio.”

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Harry Dunn’s alleged killer Anne Sacoolas was an intelligence worker, her lawyer confirms | UK News



The woman accused of killing Harry Dunn was employed by an intelligence agency in the US at the time of his death, a court has heard.

Anne Sacoolas was leaving RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire in August 2019 when she was involved in a crash with 19-year-old Harry, who was on his motorbike.

She had been driving on the wrong side of the road but claimed diplomatic immunity and returned to the US with her family.

Despite being charged with causing Harry’s death by dangerous driving a few months later and an extradition request by the UK, Mrs Sacoolas has refused to return.

US presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden have both declined to send her back, saying the US rejection of the extradition request is “final”.

Harry’s family has made a civil claim for damages against Mrs Sacoolas and her application to dismiss this claim is being heard at the Alexandria District Court in Virginia.

Sacoolas’s barrister John McGavin said the suspect was “employed by an intelligence agency in the US” at the time of the fatal road crash – which was “especially a factor” in her departure from the UK.

The admission about her employment calls into question the diplomatic immunity that was asserted on her behalf.

Under the agreements at RAF Croughton dating back to 1995, anyone working at the base from the US as part of the “administrative and technical staff” would have their immunity pre-waived, meaning they would not be immune from criminal jurisdiction.

Spokesman for Harry Dunn‘s family, Radd Seiger, told PA: “Given the admission in open court by Mrs Sacoolas’s counsel that she was employed by US intelligence services at the time of the crash, the UK authorities must now urgently reinvestigate whether she had diplomatic immunity.

“They have to investigate given that employees had their immunity pre-waived under the 1995 RAF Croughton legal agreement.”

Mr McGavin said Sacoolas, 43, had “fled” the UK due to “issues of security”, adding that he could not “completely candidly” explain the reason behind this.

He added: “I know the answer but I cannot disclose it.”

Mr McGavin said the suspect was “currently apologetic” and has “accepted responsibility for the accident” but there had been “fear” that because of the “media attention, she would not have a fair trial”.

The case has been adjourned until 17 February.

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«I ask you not to believe». After reporting threats to his lawyer, Navalnyʼs jailed campaign coordinator in Nizhny Novgorod appears in a strange confession video




In a strange video that started circulating on Russian social media on Saturday, January 30, Roman Tregubov, Alexey Navalnyʼs jailed regional coordinator in Nizhny Novgorod, announces his resignation from the movement and urges people not to attend protests planned for Sunday, when activists will gather in cities nationwide to demand the release of Navalny and his other jailed associates.

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TMR lawyer seeks medical records for driver in fatal crash


Update: A barrister for Transport and Main Roads has pushed for medical records dating back at least five years to uncover if the driver involved in a fatal bus crash in the Whitsundays had any pre existing conditions that may have precluded him from holding a commercial licence.

Benjamin McMillan, for TMR, argued the information could be linked to why the Whitsunday Transit bus left the road on February 16, 2016 and crashed into a ditch.

Fatal bus crash at Cannon Valley near Airlie Beach.

“There is enough evidence in the medical records provided to suggest he was suffering from a number of serious medical conditions in the immediate period before the accident,” Mr McMillan said during a pre-inquest conference in Mackay Coroners Court.

A coronial inquest into the death of Casey Brown has been listed for two days in March this year during which up to six witnesses will be questioned over the fatal crash on Shute Harbour Rd.

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The 19 year old had finished his studies at Tafe in Cannonvale when he jumped on the bus travelling from Airlie Beach to Proserpine.

He had been one of 10 passengers onboard when the route bus, driven by experienced driver Alan Dorman, left the road about 1pm “for reasons still to be determined” and rolled.

The teen suffered traumatic head injuries and was comatose but alive when paramedics arrived. Tragically he could not be revived and died.

Two others also suffered serious injuries, which included a traumatic hand amputation.

Casey Brown was killed in the Whitsunday bus crash in February 2016.

Casey Brown was killed in the Whitsunday bus crash in February 2016.

“It was not required under the Australian standards to be fitted with seatbelts,” Council assist John Aberdeen said, adding that CCTV footage taken inside the bus captured “the moments leading up to, at the time of and immediately after the rollover”.

“The dynamics of what occurred inside the bus are confronting when one sees how the passengers were displaced from their seats and it certainly raises the question of the desirability of seatbelts in these types of buses,” Mr Aberdeen said.

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The inquest will focus on a number of issues including whether the teen’s death could have been prevented had the bus been fitted with compliant seatbelts or driven at the slower speed.

The court heard there was nothing to suggest the bus was travelling beyond the 100km/h speed limit at the time of the crash.

Mr Dorman, 70, was charged with dangerous driving causing death and grievous bodily harm over the crash but died before the case was finalised.

Mr Aberdeen said the Central Coroner would be able to make recommendations including whether or not route buses should travel at a speed under the posted speed limit and if seat belts should be mandatory on route buses.

The scene of the fatal bus crash at Cannon Valley on Shute Harbour Road.

The scene of the fatal bus crash at Cannon Valley on Shute Harbour Road.

But Mr McMillan argued there was a “substantial gap” in the medical evidence so far supplied in the inquest in relation to Mr Dorman – the court heard they were limited to 2016 only.

“What is particularly relevant from my client’s perspective is whether he in fact had medical conditions at the time of the accident that he was in fact obliged by the various statutory obligations upon him to inform the department and (that) might have affected his entitlement to hold a (commercial or any) licence,” Mr McMillan said.

The court heard reference to medical records in 2011 when Mr Dorman’s GP signed medical certificates in relation to his driver’s licence and authorisation to drive a commercial vehicle.

“Your honour will be assisted by the production of all records back to 2011,” Mr McMillan said.

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The court heard TMR also intended to produce a witness to testify about the consequences of limiting the speed of certain vehicles on a high speed road.

Mr Aberdeen labelled Mr McMillan’s submission as “somewhat opaque” in that there was nothing within the evidence to indicate Mr Dorman had been suffering from a condition that may have contributed to the crash.

“I’m opposed to any sort of fishing expedition … to try and seek simply for the sake of finding out whether there’s been a failure to disclose,” Mr Aberdeen said.

Coroner David O’Connell allowed medical records dating back to 2011. 

The witness list also includes the investigating officer, Mackay Forensic Crash unit, the pathologist who performed the autopsy, an independent bus proprietor and a TMR principle engineer.

The inquest will begin on March 2.

Whitsunday Transit fatal bus rollover near Brandy Creek outside Airlie Beach. Bus runs from Airlie Beach to Proserpine several times per day. Pic Bob Fenney.

Whitsunday Transit fatal bus rollover near Brandy Creek outside Airlie Beach. Bus runs from Airlie Beach to Proserpine several times per day. Pic Bob Fenney.

Earlier: A pre-inquest conference into the death of Casey Brown in a fatal bus crash in the Whitsundays begins today.

The 19 year old was killed on February 16, 2016.

He had been a passenger on a Whitsunday Transit bus travelling from Airlie Beach to Proserpine when it left Shute Harbour Road about 1pm and crashed into a ditch.

The bus was not required to be fitted with seatbelts.

Two people also lost limbs and another eight, including a baby, were taken to hospital in what has been labelled one of the region’s worst road incidents.

The inquest will explore a number of issues including if seatbelts on the bus or a slower speed could have prevented Mr Brown’s death.

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Central Coroner David O’Connell will also question if the State Government should reconsider whether route buses should be required to have compliant lap/sash seatbelts for the driver and all passengers, and if this should be done immediately or over a fixed time frame.

Other issues include what caused the bus to veer off the road and roll, if buses such as these should travel at a fixed maximum speed – even if it is lower than the speed zone – and if any new bus should be fitted with seat belts.



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Tom Starling victim of ‘brutal’ assault by NSW Police, claims lawyer


Following the court proceedings, Singh-Panwar told the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age the CCTV footage from the restaurant showed Starling being punched and elbowed to the face by police while restrained.

Shortly after the incident, pictures emerged of Starling with a bloodied face, which required medical treatment from Gosford Hospital.

“The essential part of the defence case is what we consider a brutal assault by police,” he said.

“I can only speculate that they [the police] simply didn’t consider any of the evidence before lying charges; in particular, they didn’t view the CCTV footage or they were not aware it existed during the time of laying charges.

“There was no justification given for the original charges.”

Starling’s case was in Gosford Local Court on Thursday, where six out of the seven charges laid against him were dropped by police. Credit:NRL Photos

Singh-Panwar said he believes the officers involved will be subject to an official investigation as a result.

“I have no doubt that his reputation has been affected as a result of the original charges, and he’s deserving of that reputation being reinstated out of the police, now that the police accept that there’s essentially no evidence to support any of those allegations,” he said.

After the original charges were laid in December, sources close to Starling told the Herald the Raiders star became involved in the brawl to assist his brother after a bouncer made a comment to his mother.

It was subsequently reported the Raiders hooker reached for a gun of one of the officers but Starling vehemently denied the allegation.

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“The families were understandably upset that these charges were laid when there was no foundation for them,” Singh-Panwar said.

“He has never accepted that he was involved in any wrongdoing, in particular, he denies that he ever assaulted police arrest or reached for a firearm and was involved in any unlawful violence.”

Starling and his brother were at the venue celebrating the birthday of the brother of Newcastle player Connor Watson with Kalyn Ponga and Jack Johns also in attendance.

Shortly after the incident, Raiders coach Ricky Stuart came out in defence of his player saying he would have been more disappointed in Starling if he hadn’t intervened.

“His version of events is a lot different than what’s been publicly stated,” Stuart said at the time.

The case will return to court in March where the CCTV will be used by his lawyer in an attempt to have the seventh charge dropped.

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Lawyer moves to have charges dropped after Payne Haas allegedly swore at police


MacCallum is also seeking footage from the body-worn cameras of officers involved in the incident.

“There was potentially a few f-bombs and f—wits, and those types of things, but nothing too drastic,” he said. “There was nothing personal towards the police.”

Payne Haas’ lawyer has outlined the series of events that led to the Origin star allegedly calling police officers “f—wits”.Credit:NRL Photos

MacCallum said the incident occurred while Haas was walking to the beachside of the Jack Evans Boat Harbour after dinner with his partner.

A brawl had occurred down the street and a large police presence was required. Officers approached Haas and asked if he had been involved.

The NRL star was in the middle of an emotional discussion with his partner when the officers approached, causing an intoxicated Haas to lash out.

“He lost his brother last year … and he’s the kind of person who bottles up his emotions and that was all sort of kind of spilling out,” MacCallum said.

“He was just in the middle of being consoled by his wife … and then suddenly, he was confronted by a number of police.

“He makes the comment, ‘what do you want, leave me alone, I just want to be with my wife’, and then it escalated from there, with police thinking he was involved.”

MacCallum said Haas was “hard done by” after receiving the intimidation charge, which he believed was a result of his size.

“There’s no allegation that he physically touched any police officer,” he said.

“He doesn’t remember saying too much which could be inferred or interpreted as intimidating. He says he remembers swearing but that was his emotional state at the time and he was quite calmly put into the police paddy wagon.”

‘He was just in the middle of being consoled by his wife … and then suddenly, he was confronted by a number of police.’

Lawyer Campbell MacCallum

Haas will likely face a hefty sanction from the Brisbane Broncos if he is found guilty. The club is waiting for the Origin star’s first day in court to make a decision on whether he will be allowed to play in round one.

Broncos chief executive Paul White on Monday said Haas had made a “really poor decision” in his response to police.

“Everyone jumps straight to what type of sanctions are going to be in order for this type of offence,” White said.

“He was alone and acted alone in this instance, and he made a really poor decision. He’ll have to suffer the consequences for that.

“We’re not just jumping straight to what a sanction might look like. We’re looking at what are the opportunities for learning right here and right now.”

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White said Haas was “embarrassed, ashamed and remorseful” over the incident.

“Payne, first and foremost, needs to own it,” White said.

“We don’t accept that type of behaviour. The community that we live in don’t accept that type of behaviour. The people that support our club, our sponsors and our members don’t support that type of behaviour.

“Sanctions could be a necessary outcome from the court proceedings and the integrity investigation.”

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