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Hilarious reactions over the arrest of crack granny

Hilarious reactions over the arrest of crack granny

by staff writer

by Marvin Hockstam

PARAMARIBO, Suriname, Jan 16, CMC – The arrest of a 75-year-old grandmother on drug related charges is resulting in people hilariously trolling police and calling for her release.

The woman had been arrested on Tuesday after police raided her home and found that she was running a small “cocaine empire” from her house in the western Paramaribo.

Nankoemarie N

The arrest of coke Nani (granny) Nankoemarie N. has become such a hot topic in the country that the hashtag #FreeGazaNani has been trending all day Wednesday.

Prior to the arrest of the woman, police had caught a group of teenagers selling crack cocaine in Piano Street in Victoria Park, a neighbourhood in Kwatta, in western Paramaribo. The boys, ages ranging from 15- to 20 years told police that they were selling the narcotics for a woman with one of them identified her as his aunt.

When police raided the house, they did indeed find a large amount of cocaine inside. They also found proof that the boys were selling the drugs at her behest. The grandma was immediately arrested. The boys were also kept in custody.

The case took an unexpected turn however, when people nicknamed the woman Gaza Nani – a play on the Gaza Strip’s terrorism reputation and the woman being as tough as a terrorist- and started calling for her release.

“Free Gaza Nani, she is so inspiring. Girl Power Female Power! Let her go. She is a well-respected drug dealer who wasn’t selling kilograms, but just a couple of grams here and there so she could buy bread, milk and masala,” one person joked on social media.

Another person, who said he had spoen to one of her customers said the she could easily rival the big dealers….

Then someone found a photograph of the bespectacled Gaza Nani clad in a pristine sari, grinning widely and throwing gang signs, and that only served to further fuel the virality of the story.

The hashtag #freegazanani quickly started trending, with many people joking around about the case, but some hinting seriously that a little old lady did not belong in a cold prison and that police would do better to go after big drug dealers. Some also pointed out that the country is in sad state when its elders have to resort to crime to stay afloat.

Media reports said that Nankoemarie went into the drug trade to augment her retirement income.

“When she started having trouble walking, she asked her nephew to help out and together with friends of his she built her own little drug empire,” the report stated.

None of this has been confirmed by police.

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CARICOM Secretary General says youth crime and violence demands a regional solution

CARICOM Secretary General says youth crime and violence demands a regional solution


by staff writer

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Jan 15, CMC – A two-day conference aimed at examining and redefining violence prevention solutions as it relates to youth violence and prevention in the Caribbean began here on Tuesday with the Secretary General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Irwin LaRocque, saying it is a regional problem that demands a regional solution.

LaRocque told the conference that has brought together leaders from youth movements, governments, civil society, development organizations and academia that crime and security is an issue that is having an impact on all the 15-members of the regional integration grouping.

CARICOM Secretary General, Irwin LaRocque

“It is a regional problem that demands a regional solution.  It not only requires the full co-operation of all our countries but also all the stakeholders within the member states.  The multi-state, multi-sectoral response to this challenge is vital for us to succeed in defeating it,” LaRocque told the opening ceremony.

He said a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 2012 Caribbean Human Development Report on Citizen Security, noted that crime and violence impose high social, economic and cultural costs.

Crime and violence are development issues and the report recommended that a model of security for the region should be based on a human development approach with citizen security being paramount, he added.

The two day conference, which is being hosted by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, UNICEF, the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat, the St. Lucia-based Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Commission, and the Caribbean Learning for Youth Networking and Change Sessions (LYNCS) Network., is intended to design transformational youth-centered action to combat crime and violence and address constraints that youth activists face in improving safety outcomes in their communities.

LaRocque told the conference that the youths are the demographic that is most affected by crime and violence and that some of the main findings of recent studies are that the majority of victims, as well as perpetrators of crimes recorded by the police, are young males 18 to 35 years old.

He quoted the UNDP report as indicating that the Caribbean has some of the highest figures of youth convicted of crime with at least 80 per cent of prosecuted crimes being committed by young people between the ages 19 to 29 years old.

“There are a number of socio-economic determinants of crime, not least of which is the high youth unemployment rate in the region of 25 per cent in 2017. That is three times the adult average and highest among young women ages 18 to 30 at 33 per cent,” he said, adding that to combat this scourge, Caribbean leaders approved the CARICOM Crime and Security Strategy in 2013, which incorporates the CARICOM Social Development and Crime Prevention Action Plan.

LaRocque said that the plan hinges on a multi-pronged approach, including crime prevention, justice reform, prison and corrections reform, capacity development within law enforcement and border security, and intelligence-led law enforcement.

He said that within the realm of crime prevention, it has been recognised that there is a need to work closely with communities, to address citizens’ perception of, and support for, the security and law enforcement sector.

This involves the development of close collaboration between and among ministries responsible for national security and their counterparts in related sector.

LaRocque said that the Crime Prevention Action Plan and the CARICOM Youth Development Action Plan (CYDAP) are two of the main policy frameworks which guide the design and implementation of policy and programmes in member states to address crime and violence from a prevention perspective and through addressing the underlying social factors.

He said they also seek to create an enabling environment for adolescent and youth well-being, empowerment and participation in national and regional development.

But LaRocque told the delegates that notwithstanding the value of the projects and programmes that are put in place to deal with crime and violence in the region, he is of the firm view, “the core of this battle must be fought in the home.

“Families have a vital role to play in turning the tide of this struggle.  The universal values of love, hard work, honesty, character building, belief in self and self-respect are key weapons.

“The first intervention must be in the home.  It is there that our youths are first socialised. It is there that we must tackle the concept of toxic masculinity which comes out of a false notion of what it takes to be a man,” he said, adding ‘we must demonstrate that gangs, crime and violence are not the answer to a path of success and self-actualization”.

He said conferences such as this one provide an opportunity for young people to be fully involved in providing solutions to problems that affect them.

“The engagement of youth at all levels of the decision-making process is critical for the successful outcome of all these interventions.  It is not only your future that is at stake but your present circumstances.  You must be equal partners in this struggle as your theme, “Youth as Partners and Innovators” suggests,” he added.

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Guyana-murder-cocaine-seizor-gunned-down

Surinamese rice exporter gunned down in Guyana

By Ivan Cairo

PARAMARIBO, Suriname, Jan 15, CMC –A Surinamese national, who was being sought by police for questioning in connection with the seizure of a large quantity of cocaine, has been found dead in neighbouring Guyana.

Guyana police at the scene of the murder (Guyana Chronicle newspaper Photo)

Relatives have positively identified the body of Nitinder Oemrawsingh, a rice exporter, after it was discovered with a single bullet wound to the head on the Corentyne Beach in Guyana on Monday.

The relatives said they were able to identify Oemrawsingh, from photographs that were circulating on social media.

His attorney, Irvin Kanhai has also confirmed to reporters here that he had been reliably informed that his client had been shot and killed in Guyana.

Oemrawsingh was named a person of interest by the Surinamese police in the investigation of 2,300 kilos of cocaine seized last Tuesday in the Jules Sedney port in Paramaribo.

While he wasn’t regarded as a suspect as yet, acting Police Commissioner Roberto Prade told a news conference weekend that the exporter was wanted for questioning.

The drugs were found in one of eight freight containers with rice that were being prepared for export through Guadeloupe to France. The Port Control Unit discovered the cocaine during a routine check.

The Guyana police said that spent shell case believed to have been fired from a caliber .32 pistol and a cell phone supposedly belonging to the victim were found near the body.

A post mortem is expected to be conducted on Tuesday and Lyndon Alves, head of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Guyana Police Force, said that he is in contact with his counterpart in Suriname.

The Guyana police have ruled out robbery as a motive, noting that less than US$400 had been found near the body.

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Man jailed for killing son over 300 dollars

Man jailed for killing son over 300 dollars

by staff writer

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Jan 9, CMC – A High Court judge has sentenced a 49-year-old man to 12 years in jail after he was found guilty of killing his son who had given his mother GUY$300 (One Guyana dollar=US$0.004 cents) to end a heated row in the home.

Justice Navindra Singh, sitting in the Demerara High Court, imposed the sentence on Amarnauth Chand, who on September 29, 2016 was involved in a heated argument with his wife over GUY$300.

The Court heard that the son, Mahesh Chand, 24, gave his mother the money in an effort to stop the argument.

Mahesh’s action is said to have angered the accused, who concluded that his son was ‘siding with his mother’. The father armed himself with a cutlass and inflicted a stab wound to the chest of his son, who was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Chand pleaded guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter and the judge noted that he had use a base of 25 years, but deducted eight years for the guilty plea and not wasting the court’s time and three years for his genuine display of remorse.

Justice Singh told Chand that he should participate in anger management courses that may be available in prison, so that he would become a better person.

A tearful Chand told the court that he regretted the incident and begged for mercy and that he was aware that his family was hurt by his actions. He said during his incarceration awaiting trial he had turned his life around and accepted Jesus as his Lord and Saviour.

Defence attorney Keoma Griffith told the court that his client, a father of four other children had acted in a spontaneous manner and urged the judge to consider the mitigating factors.

But in response, State Prosecutor Abigail Gibbs said that while the accused had shown genuine remorse the State had no problem with showing mercy but, at the same time, a strong message needed to be sent, since his behaviour was not acceptable and a life was lost.

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Posted in Crime, Local, News, OECS, Regional0 Comments

Man jailed for killing son over 300 dollars

by staff writer

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Jan 9, CMC – A High Court judge has sentenced a 49-year-old man to 12 years in jail after he was found guilty of killing his son who had given his mother GUY$300 (One Guyana dollar=US$0.004 cents) to end a heated row in the home.

Justice Navindra Singh, sitting in the Demerara High Court, imposed the sentence on Amarnauth Chand, who on September 29, 2016 was involved in a heated argument with his wife over GUY$300.

The Court heard that the son, Mahesh Chand, 24, gave his mother the money in an effort to stop the argument.

Mahesh’s action is said to have angered the accused, who concluded that his son was ‘siding with his mother’. The father armed himself with a cutlass and inflicted a stab wound to the chest of his son, who was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Chand pleaded guilty to the lesser count of manslaughter and the judge noted that he had use a base of 25 years, but deducted eight years for the guilty plea and not wasting the court’s time and three years for his genuine display of remorse.

Justice Singh told Chand that he should participate in anger management courses that may be available in prison, so that he would become a better person.

A tearful Chand told the court that he regretted the incident and begged for mercy and that he was aware that his family was hurt by his actions. He said during his incarceration awaiting trial he had turned his life around and accepted Jesus as his Lord and Saviour.

Defence attorney Keoma Griffith told the court that his client, a father of four other children had acted in a spontaneous manner and urged the judge to consider the mitigating factors.

But in response, State Prosecutor Abigail Gibbs said that while the accused had shown genuine remorse the State had no problem with showing mercy but, at the same time, a strong message needed to be sent, since his behaviour was not acceptable and a life was lost.

Posted in CARICOM, Court, Crime, News, Regional, Youth0 Comments

Bulgarian - stole from ATM Antigua

Bulgarian charged with stealing more than $25K from ATM in Antigua

 

Police over the weekend charged Mark Vas Nelsen, a Bulgarian/Canadian citizen with stealing more than $25,000 from a local bank. The authorities did not name the bank but said the man used fraudulent means to obtain the funds from the ATM.

The alleged offences took place over the period of one month from November 27 to December 27, 2018.

Nelsen was arrested last Friday after police searched his hotel and found what appears to be a machine used in the act. Several credit cards were also found.

Earlier this year, another Bulgarian, Martin Dimitrov Dachenski was charged with larceny in connection with another ATM fraud. He was ordered by the court to repay close to $25,000.

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Military called in to help with Gatwick drone crisis

The Guardian

https://youtu.be/RqP5xCrrXZE

Airport still closed after what police describe as deliberate attempt to disrupt flights

Matthew Weaver, Damien Gayle , Patrick Greenfield and Frances Perraudin

Thu 20 Dec 2018 17.02 GMT First published on Wed 19 Dec 2018 23.16 GMT

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First flights leave Gatwick after drone disruption – video report

The army has been called in to help with the ongoing crisis at Gatwick airport, where drones flying near the runway have kept planes grounded for more than 24 hours.

The airport has been closed since Wednesday night, when the devices were repeatedly flown over the airfield in what police and the airport described as a deliberate attempt to disrupt flights.

Tens of thousands of travellers have been affected, with 110,000 passengers on 760 flights due to fly on Thursday. People camped out overnight at Gatwick, waiting for news of whether the airport would reopen on Friday.

At around 9:30pm on Thursday Gatwick’s chief operating officer Chris Woodroofe said the airport would be reviewing the situation overnight to see “whether there is any potential to open tomorrow” but they are “working up contingency plans all the way through to no flights tomorrow.”

How dangerous are drones to aircraft?

Woodroofe said the situation remained “fluid”, given the drone operator had not yet been found. He said the airport is expected to be closed for the “foreseeable future” while the hunt for the drone operator continues.

The airport’s advice is that those due to travel on Friday should check with their airline before arriving at the airport.

The defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, told Sky News Sussex police had requested support from the armed forces. “We will be deploying the armed forces to give them the help that they need to be able to deal with the situation of the drones at Gatwick airport,” he said. Advertisement

Williamson added that he could not say how the armed forces would help but said: “The armed forces have a range of unique capabilities and this isn’t something we would usually deploy but we are there to assist and do everything we can so that they are in a position to open the airport at the earliest opportunity.”

Flights were suspended at Gatwick just after 9pm on Wednesday, when two drones were spotted flying near the runway. The runway briefly reopened at 03.01 on Thursday morning but closed 45 minutes later after a further drone sighting. There was another sighting around midday.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Theresa May said: “I feel for all those passengers whose travel plans have been disrupted by this drone activity and the action that has had to be taken in response to it. At this particular time of year this is particularly difficult for people.

“We have already passed legislation in relation to the use of drones. As it has been made clear, the activity we have seen is illegal and those who are caught endangering aircraft can face up to five years in prison. And we’re consulting on further aspects of this, including further police powers.

“We will continue to work with the Gatwick authorities in order to bring this to a close such that people will be able to get on to the travel that they were expecting over the Christmas.”

Woodroofe told BBC News: “There are 110,000 passengers due to fly today, and the vast majority of those will see cancellations and disruption. We have had within the last hour another drone sighting so at this stage we are not open and I cannot tell you what time we will open.

“It was on the airport, seen by the police and corroborated. So having seen that drone that close to the runway it was unsafe to reopen.

“Realistically if we do reopen today, what the airlines will seek to do is deal with the passengers who are on site and to prepare for an operation tomorrow morning where we repatriate passengers who are in the wrong place. It’s realistically going to take several days to recover.”

Earlier, he said the drones could not be shot down because of the risk posed by stray bullets. Officers from Surrey and Sussex police forces have been scouring the perimeter to try to catch the operators of two drones. Sussex police said there was no indication that the ongoing incident was terrorism-related.

Updating the House of Lords on events, the transport minister Elizabeth Sugg revealed the scale of the response. “Sussex police are in the lead and have officers on the ground. They are doing everything they can to locate drone and its operators,” she said.

“All relevant parts of government including the Department for Transport, Home Office and the Ministry of Defence, are involved in the response.”

Justin Burtenshaw, Gatwick’s policing commander who was in charge of trying to catch the operators of the drones, told the BBC it was a painstaking process because the bigger the drone the further away the operator could be. “Each time we believe we get close to the operator, the drone disappears,” he said.

“When we look to reopen the airfield, the drone reappears, so I’m absolutely convinced it is a deliberate act to disrupt Gatwick airport.”

Some people reported being left on aircraft for several hours while they waited to find out what was going on. Gatwick advised anyone flying from the airport, or collecting someone, to check the status of their flight. EasyJet advised its passengers not to travel to the airport if their flights had been cancelled.

Arthur Serbejs, 22, and Domante Balciuniate, 21, factory workers from Hastings, sat on the floor by a prayer room on Thursday morning, approaching their 16th hour of waiting for a flight to Barcelona.

“We came about 6pm yesterday, and we’re going to be here until like 7pm,” Serbejs said. “At 9pm yesterday we were on the plane for four hours – they turned the lights off and everything like it was going to take off.”

“But we were still sitting there,” Balciuniate added. Serbejs said he had fallen asleep while the plane sat on the airport apron, hoping to wake up in Spain, “and I woke up and we hadn’t moved”.

How have you been affected by the delay at Gatwick airport?

Eventually they were taken off the flight, and offered a hotel in Brighton, which they declined as they live nearby. They were told they would get an email with a ticket for another flight, but none came. “We stood in line for three hours for a 30-second conversation saying: ‘Your flight has already been transferred hours ago,’ but we didn’t know about it,” Serbejs said.

“It’s crazy, it’s my worst airport experience.”

“We don’t even expect to go to Barcelona any more,” Balciuniate said. “Maybe there’s another drone up there – but we have hope. There’s a prayer room over there, we were thinking about going.”

Mamosta Abdulla said he was on an Iraq-bound flight on Wednesday evening before getting stuck on the tarmac for four hours. He would miss his father’s memorial service, he said.

“We got here at 6pm and should have flown at 9.10pm, but we were stuck four hours on the plane with a crying baby, the child was disabled, and everyone was sweating because it was so hot in there,” he said.

Passengers were given a voucher for food, he added, but were left to sleep “in a freezing place on uncomfortable chairs”.

“We are in Iraq with bombs going off nearby and the plane still lands. But here some drones have shut down the airport.”

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There was criticism from opposition parties as well as unions representing pilots and engineers that the rules on drones needed to be toughened up and enforced. The British Airline Pilots Association said the government should consider creating a larger no-fly zone around airports.

Labour said the government has been too slow to address safety concerns about drones and should fast-track laws to protect against their misuse and create a drone exclusion zone around airports. The Liberal Democrats also called for more stringent rules.

Lady Sugg said: “We absolutely need to make sure that we introduce new laws to ensure that drones are used safely and responsibly. Earlier this year we brought in a law that makes it illegal to fly within a kilometre of an airport and above 400ft.

“We are also introducing a registration system, which will include a mandatory safety check before you are able to fly your drone.”

She added that research was being carried out into counter-drone technology.

An airport spokeswoman said that airlines were working to provide affected passengers with hotel accommodation, or transport for those whose flights were diverted.

Luton, Heathrow, Stansted and Manchester were among the airports that accepted diverted flights. Passengers were also sent as far as Amsterdam and Paris.

• The graphic in this article was amended on 21 December 2018 because an earlier version said drones must not fly within 50 metres of crowds and built up areas. This has been corrected to say 150 metres.

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PHOTO: Michael Cohen sits down for an interview with ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on

Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen says Trump knew it was wrong to make hush-money payments during campaign


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ERIC AVRAM, ELIANA LARRAMENDIA and JAMES HILLGood Morning America – December 14, 2018

Donald Trump directed Michael Cohen to arrange hush-money payments with two women because then-candidate Trump “was very concerned about how this would affect the election” if their allegations of affairs became public, the president’s former personal attorney said in an exclusive interview with ABC News.

Cohen’s comments are his first since being sentenced earlier this week to three years in federal prison for financial crimes, lying to Congress and two campaign finance violations in connection with the deals with the women, Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels, who claim past affairs with Trump.

“I knew what I was doing was wrong,” Cohen told ABC News’ Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos. “I stood up before the world [Wednesday] and I accepted the responsibility for my actions.”

PHOTO: Michael Cohen sits down for an interview with ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on 'Good Morning America,' Friday, Dec. 14, 2018. (ABC News)
PHOTO: Michael Cohen sits down for an interview with ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on ‘Good Morning America,’ Friday, Dec. 14, 2018. (ABC News)

When asked if the president also knew it was wrong to make the payments, Cohen replied, “Of course,” adding that the purpose was to “help [Trump] and his campaign.”

Cohen said he is “angry at himself” for his role in the deals, but that he did it out of “blind loyalty” to Trump.

(MORE: Cohen said Trump made him ‘follow a path of darkness rather than light’)

“I gave loyalty to someone who, truthfully, does not deserve loyalty,” he said.

Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York have implicated, but not charged, the president in the deals reached in the closing weeks of the 2016 election. They allege that Cohen acted “in coordination with and at the direction of” Trump, according to court filings. Prosecutors also reached a non-prosecution agreement with AMI, the publishers of the National Inquirer, in which the tabloid admitted to making a $150,000 payment to McDougal “in concert” with the Trump campaign.

The president has denied allegations of the affairs — but has had shifting explanations about when he learned about the payments to the women. He has also contended that the deals were private and unrelated to the campaign and that if anything illegal occurred, it was Cohen’s responsibility.

PHOTO: Michael Cohen sits down for an interview with ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on 'Good Morning America,' Friday, Dec. 14, 2018. (ABC News)
PHOTO: Michael Cohen sits down for an interview with ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on ‘Good Morning America,’ Friday, Dec. 14, 2018. (ABC News)

Trump has lashed out at Cohen since his sentencing, contending in a Thursday tweet that his former close confidant only agreed to plead guilty “in order to embarrass the president and get a much reduced prison sentence, which he did.”

“It is absolutely not true,” Cohen said. “Under no circumstances do I want to embarrass the president. He knows the truth. I know the truth.”

(MORE: Tabloid involved in Trump hush money payment reaches deal with federal prosecutors)

Cohen was particularly distressed by another Trump tweet on Thursday, in which the president implied that prosecutors investigating Cohen had let his wife and father-in-law off the hook.

“Instead of him taking responsibility for his actions, what does he do?” Cohen said. “He attacks my family.”

And Cohen refuted the president’s contention that he never directed Cohen to do anything wrong.

PHOTO: In this Sept. 19, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen departs following a closed door meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Andrew Harnik/AP, FILE)
PHOTO: In this Sept. 19, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen departs following a closed door meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Andrew Harnik/AP, FILE)

“I don’t think there is anybody that believes that,” Cohen told Stephanopoulos. “First of all, nothing at the Trump organization was ever done unless it was run through Mr. Trump. He directed me to make the payments, he directed me to become involved in these matters.

“He knows the truth. I know the truth. Others know the truth,” Cohen continued. “And here is the truth: People of the United States of America, people of the world, don’t believe what he is saying. The man doesn’t tell the truth. And it is sad that I should take responsibility for his dirty deeds.”

(MORE: Trump denies he ‘directed’ Michael Cohen to break the law as prosecutors contend)

When confronted about his convictions for lying to Congress and for tax evasion and banking crimes, Cohen said he was “done with the lying. I am done being loyal to President Trump and my first loyalty belongs to my wife, my daughter, my son and this country.”

“Why should we believe you now?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“Because the special counsel stated emphatically that the information that I gave to them is credible and helpful,” Cohen replied. “There’s a substantial amount of information that they possessed that corroborates the fact that I am telling the truth.”

PHOTO: President Donald Trump answers questions from the press while departing the White House, Nov. 29, 2018 in Washington. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
PHOTO: President Donald Trump answers questions from the press while departing the White House, Nov. 29, 2018 in Washington. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Cohen — who is due to report to prison on March 6 — has professed his willingness to continue to answer questions for special counsel Robert Mueller and other federal and state investigators.

He declined in the interview to answer specific questions about the Mueller investigation “out of respect for process.”

“I don’t want to jeopardize any of their investigations,” he said.

(MORE: Federal judge orders Stormy Daniels to pay Trump nearly $300K in legal fees)

But when asked if he thinks the president is telling the truth about the Russia probe, Cohen replied simply, “No.”

Cohen once said he would “take a bullet” for the president, but now he finds himself opposing the president and facing the prospect of becoming a witness against him.

“It’s never good to be on the wrong side of the president of the United States of America, but somehow or another this task has now fallen onto my shoulders and as I also stated … I will spend the rest of my life in order to fix the mistake that I made.”

PHOTO: Michael Cohen, center, President Donald Trump's former lawyer, accompanied by his children Samantha, left, and Jake, right, arrives at federal court for his sentencing in New York, Dec. 12, 2018. (Craig Ruttle/AP)
PHOTO: Michael Cohen, center, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, accompanied by his children Samantha, left, and Jake, right, arrives at federal court for his sentencing in New York, Dec. 12, 2018. (Craig Ruttle/AP)

Cohen said as he observes Trump’s actions in the White House, he barely recognizes the man he served for more than a decade at the Trump organization.

“He’s a very different individual,” Cohen said. “I think the pressure of the job is much more than what he thought it was going to be. It’s not like the Trump organization where he would bark out orders and people would blindly follow what he wanted done. There’s a system here; he doesn’t understand the system and it’s sad because the country has never been more divisive and one of the hopes that I have out of the punishment that I’ve received as well as the cooperation that I have given I will be remembered in history as helping to bring this country back together.

“I will not be the villain of his story,” he said.

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In Plea Deal, Russian Woman Admits to Being a Secret Agent

In Plea Deal, Russian Woman Admits to Being a Secret Agent

Associated Press

Published 13 December 2018

Image via AP Photo/File

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Russian woman accused of being a secret agent admitted Thursday that she conspired to infiltrate the American gun-rights movement to gather intelligence onconservative political groups as Donald Trump rose to power.

Maria Butina, 30, agreed to plead guilty to a conspiracy charge as part of a deal with federal prosecutors.

The case, which is separate from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, has offered insight into how Moscow seeks to influence American policy.

Prosecutors say Butina and her Russian patron, Alexander Torshin, used their contacts in the National Rifle Association to pursue Russian back channels to American conservatives during that campaign, when Republican Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Butina’s case, brought by federal prosecutors in Washington, also comes amid a broader push by the Justice Department to enforce U.S. laws governing foreign agents, including those accused of working for Russia.

As part of her deal, Butina pleaded guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to act as an unregistered foreign agent and she agreed to cooperate with investigators.

Prosecutors also say it is “very likely” that she will be deported from the U.S. after her sentence is completed. The charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, though the defense noted Thursday that federal sentencing guidelines recommend no time to six months.

According to her plea agreement, Butina’s work was directed by Torshin, a Russian government bank official now under sanction by the Treasury Department for his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Butina admitted that she “sought to establish unofficial lines of communication with Americans having power and influence over U.S. politics.” She said her boyfriend, conservative political operative Paul Erickson, helped her as she tried to use his ties with the NRA to set up the back channels. Erickson, who is referred to as “U.S. Person 1” in court papers, he has not been charged.

In their filings, prosecutors have said federal agents found Butina had contact information for people suspected of being employed by Russia’s Federal Security Services, or FSB, the successor intelligence agency to the KGB. Inside her home, they found notes referring to a potential job offer from the FSB, according to the documents.

Investigators recovered several emails and Twitter direct message conversations in which Butina referred to the need to keep her work secret and, in one instance, said it should be “incognito.” Prosecutors said Butina had contact with Russian intelligence officials and that the FBI photographed her dining with a diplomat suspected of being a Russian intelligence agent.

Butina’s lawyer, Robert Driscoll, had previously decried the charges against her as “overblown” and said prosecutors criminalized her mundane networking opportunities. He has said his client was a student interested in American politics and wanted to see a better relationship between the U.S. and Russia.

Butina, jailed since her arrest in July, had mounted an aggressive defense and tried to have the charges against her tossed. But for several weeks, Butina’s lawyers and federal prosecutors had indicated in court papers that they were working toward a resolution in the case.

___

Associated Press writer Chad Day contributed to this report.

By Associated Press

Published 13 December 2018

Filed Under russia , russian spy

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Court, Crime, International, Local, News, Politics, Regional0 Comments

Man jailed for beating girlfriend whom he accused of having sex with senior government official

Man jailed for beating girlfriend whom he accused of having sex with senior government official


by staff writer 

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Dec 14, CMC – A magistrate has sentenced a 26-year-old man to three years in jail who assaulted his girlfriend after accusing her of having sex in the office of a senior government official last month.

Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett handed down the sentence, after hearing that woman had to be rushed to the emergency department of the hospital on November 30.

The court heard it was the third such beating in four days.

The accused had been in custody since he pleaded guilty, on December 3, to the charge of assault occasioning bodily harm, stemming from the incident.

The Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) is withholding the name of the man and his 26-year-old girlfriend, who live in south-western St. Vincent, in the interest of the abused woman and her children, who are now receiving support from the Social Services.

At the sentencing hearing, the woman told the court she and the man have been together for three years and have three children including twins, who will be three years old next month.

She told the court that while the abuse started some time ago, she never believed her boyfriend would have gotten so aggressive over simple things.

She said she was beaten by the man on November 26 when he accused her of being in a sexual relationship with their neighbour and even though he said he would not do it again, he did so three days later.

On November 30, the man beat her so severe after she had gone to the office of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture in search of a job that she had to be taken to hospital.

The boyfriend had accused her of having sex with the senior government official and even searched her underwear.

The man was arrested at the hospital and charged.

The woman told the court that because of the beating, she did not get a chance to take up the job and even though the children have been asking for their father.

She said since the last incident she has been receiving counselling and assistance from the government.

Even though the man told the court he was “sorry” over the incident, Senior Magistrate Burnett said “the sentence of this court is three years in prison”.

Posted in Court, Crime, Kids, Local, News, Police, Regional0 Comments

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