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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

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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”.

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Educator calls for criminal prosecution of those responsible for circulating sex video featuring school child

Educator calls for criminal prosecution of those responsible for circulating sex video featuring school child

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Dec 10, CMC – A former president of the St. Lucia Teachers Union (SLTU) is calling on stakeholders including the police to take the necessary action against those responsible for the circulation of a video on social media showing a school girl in uniform engaged in sexual acts.

“This is getting out of hand,” Virginia Albert-Poyotte, a veteran educator told the on-line publication, St. Lucia Times after the police and education officials confirmed they were aware of existence of the video, involving the 13-year-old student.

Albert-Poyotte, said the authorities should ensure that the persons with whom the teenager was engaging in sexual activity, those who recorded the video as well as those circulating the video face criminal prosecution.

“Whoever is involved in this type of activity needs to be pursued and justice needs to be administered in order to curtail that kind of behaviour,” the former school principal said, urging the Ministry of Education, the SLTU, the National Principals Association and the police to come together and decide how to deal with the matter.

The publication said that in addition to the video, there are also reports that nude photos of another young girl have been posted on social media.

Under the St. Lucia Criminal Code, no person under the age of sixteen can legally consent to sex. The code makes it a criminal offence for anyone to have sexual intercourse with or attempt to have sex with a child under 16, commonly known as statutory rape.

The maximum penalty for rape in St. Lucia is life imprisonment.

Posted in CARICOM, Crime, Kids, Local, News, OECS, Police, Regional, Youth0 Comments

Police probe murder/suicide case

Police probe murder/suicide case

by staff writer 

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Dec 10, CMC – The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) says it has activated its  Chaplaincy Unit to provide grief counselling after a police constable is alleged to have killed an elderly woman and then committed suicide.

The JCF statement said that the Community Safety and Security Branch has also been directed to offer support.to persons affected by the incident at the Islington Police Station in St. Mary, north-east of here.

Police said that Constable Toyan Ormsby, 25, and  62-year-old Dawnett Maxwel, ,died from gunshot wounds in what investigators believe was a murder/suicide.

Media reports said that Maxwell had gone to the police station on Sunday to visit a prisoner and following the visit, she and Ormbsy, who was on cell duty at the time, were seen in conversation outside the building.

Gunshot were later heard and police officers who responded found the couple with bullet wounds.

The police said that the officer shot Maxwell before turning the gun on himself.

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MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell: ‘Donald Trump Will Be, Must Be Impeached’

“Michael Cohen is facing substantial prison time for those same crimes. And Donald Trump is facing, what?”

headshot

By Lee MoranX

MSNBC anchor Lawrence O’Donnell said Friday that President Donald Trump “will be, must be impeached because of the crimes prosecutors say he committed” in the case of his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen.

“The Last Word” host noted that “nothing in the Constitution” says a president cannot be indicted, charged with a crime or put on trial.

“And so the only conceivable reason why Donald Trump has not been indicted as a co-conspirator in the Cohen case is that he won the presidential election, that he conspired with Michael Cohen to illegally affect,” he explained.

O’Donnell suggested that had Trump lost the 2016 presidential election to Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, then “he would be facing exactly the same consequences as Michael Cohen.”

He also noted how both Cohen and prosecutors had named Trump as a co-conspirator in Cohen’s crimes. “Michael Cohen is facing substantial prison time for those same crimes. And Donald Trump is facing, what?”

“Will Donald Trump be the only president in history accused by federal prosecutors of committing federal crimes who does not then face impeachment for those crimes?” he added. 

Posted in Court, Crime, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

Cruise ships lie at anchor at the terminal in Lisbon in Portugal

British pensioners arrested after ‘large amount of cocaine’ found in cruise ship cabin

Pair aged 70 and 72 held on arrival at Lisbon after Caribbean voyage

Cruise ships lie at anchor at the terminal in Lisbon in Portugal
Cruise ships lie at anchor at the terminal in Lisbon in Portugal ( EPA )

Two British pensioners have been arrested on a Caribbean cruise ship after “a large amount of cocaine” was found in their cabin.

The suspects, aged 70 and 72, were detained on suspicion of international drug trafficking moments after the vessel docked at the terminal in Lisbon, Portugal.

Portuguese police said a search revealed the cocaine had been “ingeniously concealed” within four suitcases. Top articles4/5READ MOREI’m A Celebrity winner odds: Harry Redknap favourite to win 2018 final

The authorities did not identify the pensioners but indicated the suspects have already appeared before a judge and remain in custody.

“The National Drugs Trafficking Unit has identified and arrested a foreign couple who were travelling on a cruise line doing a circuit between the Caribbean and Europe and on which there was a strong suspicion of international drugs trafficking,” the Policia Judiciaria said in a statement.

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“The arrests took place moments after the vessel had landed at the cruise terminal in Lisbon and following a search of the cabin that was occupied by the suspects.

“Officers located four suitcases in whose structures was ingeniously concealed a large amount of cocaine.

“The suspects, aged 70 and 72, were present at the first judicial interrogation and detained in preventive custody.”

The Policia Judiciaria said the arrests followed an “exchange of information” with the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA).

It did not reveal when the arrests took place, the cruise ship involved or exactly how much cocaine had been seized.

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10 December 2018

The NCA refused to comment on the investigation because it is led by the Portuguese authorities but said in a statement: “The NCA works with a wide range of international partners and routinely both shares and receives information.”

Posted in Court, Crime, International, Local, News, Regional, TOURISM0 Comments

David-Brandt

Appeal Court denies two major appeals

Dr Perkins and lawyer Brandt lose their appeals

Dr. Franklin Perkins was adjudicated guilty by a nine-member panel jury on March 1, 2017, following a trial in the allegation that he indecently assaulted a nineteen-year-old female in his private surgery at Cudjoe Head.

Dr Franklin Perkins

Justice Ian Morley in the high court on Monday morning handed down the sentence in March this year, where he was ordered to pay the victim $10,000 within three months in default of which, he would serve a period of six months in jail. In addition, he was given an 18-month suspended prison sentence.

The 67-year-old medical doctor appealed the sentence against his conviction seeking to have the conviction quashed or reduced, insisting that it was a routine medical examination. This week the Appeal Court denied his appeal commenting that he in fact received a light sentence and that the $10,000 compensation was reasonable.

Dr. Perkins had appealed on five grounds which the court rejected.

They were: That the Trial Judge interfered in the case to such an extent that he became another prosecutor in the matter.

That the judge failed to carry out a means test and as a result the $10, 000 compensation awarded by the court was too severe in all circumstances;

That the judge did not properly direct the jury on how to treat with the evidence of the victim’s demeanor;

That the Judge failed to properly direct the jury on recent complaint; and, that the trial judge erred when he failed to allow the accused (Dr. Perkins) to give an unsworn statement from the dock.

At the sentencing, the doctor having denied that he committed the act, insisting that it simply was a routine medical examination, trial judge Justice Morley said he considered the statements given by persons who spoke in support of Dr. Perkins during his sentencing, adding that he also received a letter from some members of the medical fraternity on Montserrat who expressed surprise and disappointment at the guilty verdict.

 Giving an extended account of the case, he stated that this assault on the victim’s reputation and that of her family indicates an undercurrent of racism, sexism and snobbery in the Montserrat society.

Related – see: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/dr-perkins-gets-suspended-prison-sentence-and-victim-compensation-fine/

Brandt loses appeal but hints at taking the matter further to Privy Council

In another high-profile matter before the appeal court this week, Attorney David S. Brandt also lost a five-ground appeal against the decision of the trial judge, Justice Bell, at sufficiency hearing when Justice Bell ruled against him that on the strict construction of the statutes, the prosecution was right to lay the charges.


Attorney David S. Brandt

The lawyer was charged in 2015 with five counts of child sexual exploitation.

He had appealed to the court on the grounds that he was denied the protection of the law as provided for under the Montserrat Constitutional order 2010, the high court judge in his ruling calling the grounds ‘absurd’.

The court of appeal, in handing down the decision Thursday afternoon, was in full agreement with the trial Judge Justice Bell. In dismissing the appeal, the court ordered that the matter be remitted to the trial judge in the high for the continuation of the sufficiency hearing.

The court also asked that counsel provide submissions regarding the costs of the appeal.

However, it is believed that the Attorney will take the matter to the Privy Council convinced that his attorneys are right in their constitutional arguments.

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