EGYPT: ‘ COURT AGREES RETRIAL OVER UNSAFE CONVICTIONS OF AL-JAZEERA JOURNALISTS ‘

#AceNewsServices – Editors Update: Jan.03: British-Lebanese lawyer Amal Alamuddin, who married Hollywood actor George Clooney in September, was threatened with arrest in Egypt over her criticism of the country’s justice system for flaws that led to the jailing and trial of three al-Jazeera journalists.

' Al-Jazeera Journalists get their Retrial '

‘ Al-Jazeera Journalists get their Retrial ‘

She represents Mohamed Fahmy, one the three journalists convicted of terrorism in December 2013 and on Thursday, an Egyptian court ordered the retrial of the three journalists, acknowledging major problems with their initial conviction.

Back in 2013 the lengthy trial, which followed a melodramatic raid on the bureau at Cairo’s Marriott Hotel on Dec.29, 2013, filmed and subsequently set to music by state television stations, featured a random selection of evidence, much obtained from seized laptops.

It featured safari footage from Kenya, where Mr Greste was usually based, and other images shot by the men before they worked for Al-Jazeera.

Human rights groups and many national governments condemned or expressed concern at the convictions in June.

Prosecutors had accused the men of helping a “terrorist organisation” – the Muslim Brotherhood – by publishing lies that harmed the national interest and supplying money, equipment and information to 16 Egyptians.

The journalists themselves say they were targeted as pawns in a wider political game. The Al-Jazeera network is owned by Qatar, and the arrests took place at the height of a poisonous argument between Egypt and the Gulf nation over the latter’s support for the Brotherhood.

#al-jazerra-journalists, #retrial

VIRGINIA: ‘ FEDERAL JUDGE REJECTS RETRIAL FOR GOV.MC DONNELL & WIFE ‘

#AceNewsServices – UNITED STATES – Dec.01 – A federal judge on Monday rejected a bid from former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, for a new trial or outright acquittal on public corruption charges, though he threw out the first lady’s conviction on an obstruction of justice charge Washington Post reported. 

'Governor Mc Donnell & Wife Found Guilty - Screenshot from 2014-12-01 21:38:33

‘Governor Mc Donnell & Wife Found Guilty – Screenshot from 2014-12-01 21:38:33

The outcome was mostly an expected one; U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer had rejected similar arguments from the former first couple several times before.

The couple can — and very likely will — raise the same issues on appeal, but that won’t come until after they are sentenced early next year.

Spencer’s dismissal of the obstruction of justice charge against Maureen McDonnell was the only surprise, and its rationale is deep in the legal weeds of the case against the former first couple.

The judge ruled, essentially, that prosecutors did not prove sufficiently that Maureen McDonnell intended to obstruct the grand jury’s investigation into her and her husband’s public corruption — even though she took steps to throw off the investigation.

The McDonnells were convicted in September of public corruption after a jury decided unanimously that they lent the prestige of the governor’s office to Richmond businessman Jonnie R. Williams Sr. in exchange for $177,000 in loans, vacations and luxury goods.

The McDonnells argued soon after that the guilty verdicts stemmed from “insufficient evidence” and “numerous legal errors during the proceedings” and asked Spencer to throw out their convictions — or at least order they be given a new trial.

#ANS2014 

#corruption, #justice, #retrial