Friday, August 12, 2011

Judge gets 28 years for 'kids for cash' scandal

By Michael Rubinkam
August 12 2011

A judge has been ordered to spend almost 30 years in prison for his role in a massive juvenile justice bribery scandal that prompted the Pennsylvania's high court to quash thousands of convictions. Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr was sentenced yesterday to 28 years for taking $1m (£617,000) in bribes from the builder of a pair of juvenile detention centres in a case that became known as "kids-for-cash".

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned about 4,000 convictions issued by Ciavarella between 2003 and 2008, saying he violated the constitutional rights of the juveniles, including the right to legal counsel and the right to intelligently enter a plea.

Ciavarella was tried and convicted of racketeering charges earlier this year. Known for his harsh and autocratic demeanour, Ciavarella filled the cells of the private lock-ups with children as young as 10, many of them first-time offenders convicted of theft and other minor crimes.
The judge remained defiant after his arrest, insisting the payments were legal and denying he incarcerated youths for money.Source

Thursday, August 11, 2011

NATO kill 85 civilians in Libya

NATO kill 85 civilians

Libyan state TV has broadcast what it said was footage of Colonel Gaddafi's son Khamis visiting people wounded in an air attack. Earlier rebels claimed he had been killed in a NATO air strike last week.
Libyan TV said the footage was recorded on Tuesday. Khamis al-Gaddafi is shown visiting a hospital chatting with people wounded in an air strike on farmhouses near the town of Zlitan, the comment said. It is the first visual evidence of Khamis being alive after the claims of his death.

Tripoli says 85 civilians from 12 families, including 33 children and 32 women, were killed on Monday night by NATO forces near Zlitan. NATO denied the allegations and said all the targets they bombed were military.

The rebels earlier said that Khamis, who commands elite loyalist troops, had been killed in a NATO strike. The government denied the report. Khamis was also wrongly reported dead in March.

Meanwhile, the head of Libya's rebel National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, has sacked the entire executive committee which functions as a cabinet. It followed the assassination of Abdel Fattah Younes, the former interior minister, who commanded the rebel forces. Source
NATO Bombing Libyan Schools, Hospitals, Food Supply and Water Pipeline

For more information

NATO raids kill 85 civilians in Libya