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More charged with terrorism offences in Australia

uk.reuters.com

More charged with terrorism offences in Australia

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australian police charged four more men on Wednesday with planning to attack an army base and shoot soldiers as the government considered whether to ban a Somalia militant group linked to the plot.

During a brief court hearing in Melbourne on Wednesday, one of those charged refused to stand before the court and then shouted at the presiding magistrate.

“You call me a terrorist? I have never killed a person in my life, said Wissam Mahmoud Fattal, 33, before he was led to a jail cell. “Your army kills innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan and Israel takes Palestinian land by force,” he said.

Australia has gradually tightened anti-terrorism laws since the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, but analysts say the country remains a target because of its contribution to the Iraq war and its more than 1,500 troops in Afghanistan.

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Prosecutors to resume their case in Hosni Mubarak’s trial

 Cairo (CNN) — Prosecutors are scheduled to continue their case Wednesday in the trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who is accused of ordering protesters killed during the country’s uprising last year.

The former president also faces corruption charges. He has pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors started presenting their case Tuesday with their opening statements.
“Mubarak is a tyrant who aimed to hand the rule to his younger son Gamal, who promoted corruption in Egypt, allowing his friends and relatives to destroy the country without accountability,” Suleiman told the court, according to Khaled Abu Bakr, a civil rights lawyer involved in the trial.
As during his previous appearances, Mubarak was wheeled into the courtroom on a stretcher, with a green blanket draped over him.
After hearing Suleiman speak for an hour Tuesday, the judge adjourned the court until Wednesday.
Abu Bakr said he expected a verdict “before January 25, the anniversary of the revolution,” referring to the beginning of the uprising that ended Mubarak’s 30-year rule in February.
Many Egyptians are critical of the court proceedings and some worry that Mubarak may be acquitted of the murder charges. Five police officers accused of killing protesters were acquitted last week.
Mubarak’s health has been in question since his detention began in April after reports of his cancer and heart problems surfaced in the media.
Former Egyptian Interior Minister Habib El Adly, six of his aides and two of Mubarak’s sons are also on trial on a variety of charges.Sons Gamal and Alaa have also pleaded not guilty.

About 840 people died and more than 6,000 were wounded in the 18 days of uprising that toppled Mubarak, according to Amnesty International.

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SCENARIOS – Malaysia’s opposition leader on trial

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Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim speaks during an interview at his office in Parliament building in Kuala Lumpur June 17, 2009.

SCENARIOS – Malaysia’s opposition leader on trial

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – The conduct and outcome of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s trial will have political repercussions for this Southeast Asian country of 27 million people.

The country’s former deputy prime minister who now leads the three-party People’s Alliance is charged with sodomising a male aide in a trial scheduled to open on Wednesday.

Anwar was first charged with committing sodomy in 1998 after he was sacked by then premier Mahathir Mohamad amid a leadership dispute at the height of the Asian economic crisis. But the Federal Court overturned his conviction in 2004.

The following scenarios may unfold from what is being dubbed in the Malaysian media “Sodomy 2”.

CHARGES ARE DROPPED

Least likely outcome. Anwar’s lawyers plan to appeal on Wednesday for the charges to be dropped, arguing that medical reports of the victim indicate no physical signs of sodomy.

But this is considered a remote possibility given the determined work that investigators have done to build the case against him.

GUILTY, THEN JAILED

Likely. A lengthy sentence means that Anwar, now 61, would miss his final chance to wrest power and lead the country. Protests will erupt.

The opposition will also restart attacks on Prime Minister Najib Razak over corruption allegations andlinks to a murdered Mongolian model, both of which he has denied and which no evidence has been presented.

But this will sidetrack efforts to shore up the economy and could also spook foreign investors.

GUILTY, BUT FREE UNDER BAIL PENDING APPEAL

Anwar’s lawyers say this scenario is possible. An appeal would take years, allowing Anwar to fight on. But there is a flipside.

Allowing Anwar to remain free pending the outcome of an appeal allows the government to do two things simultaneously — argue that it was not victimising while at the same time increase the political attacks on Anwar to try and taint him as a man

guilty of the crime.

NOT GUILTY

Seen as unlikely, given the prosecution’s determination in pursuing the case.

Anwar’s aim of leading the opposition to power in the next poll will remain on track, but it may not be a total loss for the ruling National Front coalition. The government would argue that the verdict proves judicial impartiality, allowing some space for the country’s heated political temperature to normalise.

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