Egypt Independent: World-Main news en Poland to appeal court decision not to extradite Polanski to the US <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" /><p><span id="articleText"><span class="focusParagraph">Poland will appeal a court decision not to extradite filmmaker Roman Polanski to the United States over a 1977 child sex conviction, Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro said on Tuesday, reigniting a long legal battle.</span></span></p><p><span id="articleText">The United States requested Polanski&#39;s extradition from Poland after he made a high-profile appearance in Warsaw in 2014. The Oscar-winning filmmaker lives in Paris but also has an apartment in Krakow in southern Poland and visits regularly. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">A Polish court rejected the request in October last year, and the prosecutor&#39;s office initially said it would not appeal the decision.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">But since then, Poland&#39;s new, staunchly conservative government of the Law and Justice (PiS) party has merged the posts of justice minister and prosecutor general, giving it more direct control over prosecution. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">Zbigniew Ziobro, who assumed the newly merged post, has been a vocal critic of the court&#39;s decision not to extradite the filmmaker, saying Polanski&#39;s celebrity status had helped him escape justice. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;I&#39;ve decided to file an appeal in the supreme court against the ruling ... in which the ... court decided not to extradite Mr Polanski to the US in a situation when he&#39;s accused of and wanted for ... a rape of a child,&quot; Ziobro told Poland&#39;s state radio.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;If he was just a regular guy, a teacher, doctor, plumber, decorator, then I&#39;m sure he&#39;d have been deported from any country to the US a long time ago,&quot; he said.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Speaking to private broadcaster TVN24, Polanski&#39;s lawyer Jan Olszewski said that given Ziobro&#39;s previous comments, his decision was &quot;not surprising.&quot;</span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;I guarantee that if there were no factual arguments on our side, Polanski&#39;s [celebrity] status itself would not protect him from extradition.&quot;</span></p><p><strong><span id="articleText">Cause celebre</span></strong></p><p><span id="articleText">The case of the Polish-born Polanski, now 82, remains an international cause celebre nearly four decades after the crime, with some demanding harsh punishment and others urging that extradition efforts be dropped.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Polanski pleaded guilty in 1977 to having sex with a 13-year-old girl during a photo shoot in Los Angeles. He served 42 days in jail after a plea bargain but later fled the United States fearing a lengthy jail time if the deal was overruled.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">The Los Angeles County District Attorney&rsquo;s Office has long insisted that Polanski remains a fugitive and subject to immediate arrest in the United States because he fled the country before sentencing. It says his case cannot be resolved until he returns to California to face justice.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">In 2009, he was arrested in Zurich on a US warrant and placed under house arrest. He was freed in 2010 after Swiss authorities decided not to extradite him.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Samantha Geimer, the victim in the case, has made clear she believes Polanski&#39;s long exile has been punishment enough.</span></p> Tue, 31 May 2016 08:50:00 +0000 Reuters 2470023 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/05/31/505021/polanski.jpg Brother of Paris attacker on trial over militant training <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" /><p><span id="articleText"><span class="focusParagraph">Seven people went on trial in Paris on Monday accused of traveling to Syria to train as militant fighters, among them the brother of one of the militants who killed 130 people in the French capital last November.</span></span></p><p><span id="articleText">The seven, aged from 24 to 27, face up to 10 years in jail if found guilty of taking part in an Islamist recruitment network and receiving training in Syria from Islamic State.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">The accused, friends from eastern France, were part of a larger number who in December 2013 traveled to Syria, where two of them died.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">All but one returned to France in early 2014. The one who stayed behind was Foued Mohamed-Aggad, who took part in the three-man team that killed 90 people at the Bataclan concert hall during the multiple attacks in Paris.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Two of the three killed themselves by exploding their suicide vests and another was shot dead by police. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">Foued&#39;s brother, Karim Mohamed-Aggad, is among the seven accused. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">The defendants told investigators they had believed they were going to Syria on a humanitarian mission or to fight Syrian President Bashar al-Assad&#39;s forces but not to become Islamist militants.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;I went there with one goal only: to fight the regime of Bashar al-Assad,&quot; Karim Mohamed-Aggad told the court.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Mohamed-Aggad urged the court not to confuse him with his brother. &quot;You choose your friends, not your family,&quot; he said. &quot;My brother did what he did, he alone bears responsibility.&quot;</span></p><p><span id="articleText">The group&#39;s defense team says the seven were duped and when they realized they had fallen into the hands of a militant network they looked for a way out.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;They were told they could be useful,&quot; said Martin Pradel, lawyer for one of the defendants, told Reuters ahead of the hearing. &quot;Their mistake was to believe the propaganda.&quot;</span></p><p><span id="articleText">His colleague Xavier Nogueras said: &quot;This is the trial of seven youths who came back after three months. That will allow us to highlight the difference between those who decided to come back and the one who stayed.&quot;</span></p> Tue, 31 May 2016 07:52:00 +0000 Reuters 2470022 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/05/31/505021/east_france.jpg Attempted North Korea missile launch fails: South Korea <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p><span id="articleText"><span class="focusParagraph">North Korea attempted to fire a missile from its east coast early on Tuesday but the launch appears to have failed, South Korean officials said, in what would be the latest in a string of unsuccessful ballistic missile tests by the isolated country.</span></span></p><p><span id="articleText">The launch attempt took place at around 5:20 a.m. Seoul time, said the officials, who asked not to be identified, without elaborating.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Tension in Northeast Asia has been high since North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test in January and followed that with a satellite launch and test launches of various missiles.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Japan put its military alert on Monday for a possible North Korean ballistic missile launch.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;We have no reports of any damage in Japan. We are gathering and analyzing data. The defense ministry is prepared to respond to any situation,&quot; Japanese Minister of Defence Gen Nakatani told a media briefing.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;North Korea shows no sign of abandoning the development of nuclear missiles and so we will continue to work closely with the US and South Korea in response and maintain a close watch on North Korea,&quot; Nakatani said.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">South Korea&#39;s Yonhap News Agency said it appeared North Korea had attempted to launch an intermediate-range Musudan missile. North Korea attempted three test launches of the Musudan in April, all of which failed, US and South Korean officials have said.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Yonhap quoted a South Korean government source as saying the missile was likely to have exploded at about the time it lifted off from a mobile launcher.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">The flurry of weapons technology tests this year came in the run-up to the first congress in 36 years of North Korea&#39;s ruling Workers&#39; Party early this month, where young leader Kim Jong Un further consolidated his control.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Tuesday&#39;s attempted launch appears to have been its first missile test since then, and experts have said it was unusual to test-fire a missile so soon after a previous failure. </span></p><p><span id="articleText">The South Korean military said Pyongyang&#39;s continuous missile launches could stem from Kim&#39;s order in March for further tests of nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;They must&#39;ve been in a rush. Maybe Kim Jong Un was very upset about the failures,&quot; said Lee Choon-geun, senior research fellow at South Korea&#39;s state-run Science and Technology Policy Institute.</span></p><p><strong><span id="articleText">Repeated failures</span></strong></p><p><span id="articleText">North Korea has never had a successful launch of the Musudan missile, which theoretically has the range to reach any part of Japan and the U.S. territory of Guam.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">North Korea is believed to have roughly 20 to 30 Musudan missiles, according to South Korean media, which officials said were first deployed in around 2007.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">&quot;It could have cracks and something wrong with the welding,&quot; Lee said of possible causes for the latest failure. &quot;But deployment before test-firing these to complete development seems unusual.&quot;</span></p><p><span id="articleText">The attempted launch took place near the east coast city of Wonson, one of the South Korean officials said, the same area where previous Musudan tests had taken place.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Separately, Japan&#39;s Kyodo news agency reported on Tuesday that career diplomat Ri Su Yong, one of North Korea&#39;s highest-profile officials, would visit China on Tuesday.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">There was no indication of any link between the latest failed missile launch and Ri&#39;s visit to China.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">China is reclusive North Korea&#39;s only major ally but has been angered by Pyongyang&#39;s nuclear and missile tests and signed up to tough UN sanctions against the reclusive country.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Ri was North Korea&#39;s foreign minister until he was named a member of the politburo during the recent Workers&#39; Party congress.</span></p> Tue, 31 May 2016 07:10:00 +0000 Reuters 2470015 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/05/31/505021/rocket_north_korea.jpg Rio de Janeiro police search slums for suspects in gang-rape case <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Rio de Janeiro police swarmed two slums on Sunday searching for suspects in the alleged gang rape of a 16-year-old Brazilian girl who said more than 30 men assaulted her, a case that shocked the nation set to host the Olympics in August.<br /><br />More than 70 officers used helicopters, armored vehicles and dogs to enter the slums, but there was no word if any suspects had been captured in the operation.<br /><br />In the five days since a video of the rape was posted by an alleged perpetrator on Twitter and set off a wave of outrage, police have brought in five people for questioning and made no arrests.<br /><br />Police said there are indications the gang rape occurred on May 21, but they could not confirm how many took part.<br /><br />Over the weekend, women and men marched in several cities to demand justice and decry sexism in Brazilian culture. A woman who sits on the Supreme Court lashed out at a pervasive macho culture that permits such barbaric acts.<br /><br />&quot;Each and every woman is a victim,&quot; Justice Carmen Lucia said in a written statement. &quot;Our bodies are tormented, our souls are trashed. That is what these criminals think and do, and they must quickly be held accountable.&quot;<br /><br />The case added to concerns about security in Rio and the political breakdown in Brazil as the city and country prepare for South America&#39;s first Olympics starting on Aug. 5.<br /><br />Crime has fallen in recent years, but there has been an increase in homicides in recent months as Rio&#39;s police department had its budget slashed during an economic downturn.<br /><br />The country&#39;s elected president, Dilma Rousseff, has been suspended on allegations she broke budget laws, and her impeachment trial in the Senate will likely play out as the Games are held. Brazil&#39;s worst economic crisis since the 1930s has compounded the political chaos.<br /><br />In addition, an outbreak of the Zika virus has prompted health warnings and led top global health experts to advise that the Games be postponed or moved.<br /><br />The reported rape came to light in a video of the nude, semi-conscious youth, with a few men brazenly insulting the girl, showing their faces, and one man heard saying: &quot;More than 30 impregnated her!&quot; The Twitter account where the video was posted has been suspended.<br /><br />Both Rousseff, the first woman to be elected president in Brazil, and interim President Michel Temer condemned the act.<br /><br /><strong>&#39;Feel like piece of trash&#39;</strong><br /><br />In an interview with Rio&#39;s O Globo newspaper, the alleged victim said she wanted to see justice done so that no other person would have to go through a brutal assault like the one she said she suffered.<br /><br />&quot;Today I feel like a piece of trash,&quot; she told the newspaper. &quot;I hope that no other person ever feels this way.&quot;<br /><br />Late on Sunday, the police said in an emailed statement they removed the original lead investigator from the case.<br /><br />That was in response to a formal request made by the alleged victim&#39;s lawyer, Eloisa Samy, to have investigator Alessandro Thiers taken off the case because she said he made the girl feel uncomfortable during questioning.<br /><br />Samy told TV Globo in an interview that Thiers asked the girl if she had participated in group sex parties.<br /><br />Samy was not immediately available to provide further details.</p> Mon, 30 May 2016 08:44:00 +0000 Reuters 2469996 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/05/30/504802/brazil.jpg