« View all News

News Round-Up Week Ending 10.10.14

(Posted on 10/10/14)


Dusting for Prince

The high court in London has quashed a decision by the director of public prosecutions (DPP) to grant immunity from legal action to Prince Nasser bin Hamad al-Khalifa due to his royal status.

Scotland Yard will now be asked to investigate allegations of torture of prisoners detained in the 2011 pro-democracy uprising.

A Bahraini citizen, identified only as FF, initially requested the arrest of the Sandhurst-educated prince, a competitive equestrian and regular visitor to the UK.

Representing FF, solicitor Sue Willman of Deighton Pierce Glynn said: “The UK has a duty under the [UN] convention against torture and under its own laws to investigate, arrest and prosecute those who are alleged to have committed acts of torture abroad. They should be applied to all, regardless of the UK’s economic interests for this regime.”

“This has been an ill-targeted, politically motivated and opportunistic attempt to misuse the British legal system,” a spokesman for the Bahraini government countered.

Marrakesh Jail No Holiday Camp

A British man jailed for four months in Morocco for being gay is free following an appeal by his legal team. â€œI did not expect this at all,” said Ray Cole, 70 this month, now back with his family in Deal, Kent. “I thought I was going to be transferred to a different prison. They gave me a choice of staying in Morocco another night or getting the next flight back.

“You would not believe it, it’s horrendous. It’s not a prison, it’s a concentration camp. People are in there from the age of 10 to 80 and 90s for nothing.”

Mr Cole was imprisoned together with a young Moroccan man, whom he met on Facebook. It is not clear what has happened to Jamal Jam Wald Nass.
Homosexuality is a criminal offence in Morocco.

Another SA Murder Trial


After Oscar Pistorius’ televised manslaughter conviction in Pretoria, this time Cape Town is the scene of a high profile trial as British businessman Shrien Dewani is accused of ordering his wife’s murder.

Mziwamadoda Qwabe, already sentenced to 25 years in prison for the murder of Swedish citizen Anni Dewani, said he was paid £1,300 to stage the hijack, together with Zola Tongo and Xolile Mngeni.

"I stopped the vehicle, I asked the husband to get out of the car,” Qwabe told the court. "I heard a gunshot. [Mngeni] said ‘I shot the lady’.”
In a written statement, Mr Dewani had earlier told the court how his “whole world came crashing down” after his wife’s death. He also revealed that he is bisexual.

The trial continues.

Twitter Troll Found Dead

Brenda Leyland was found dead after being outed by Sky News as a “troll”. The 63-year-old mother of two had used Twitter to draw attention to what she felt was an appalling miscarriage of justice. Her 5,000-odd tweets from @sweepyface reveal an obsession with the McCanns – she accused them of neglect and seeking the media’s attention, even of profiting from Madeleine’s disappearance – but Claire Hardaker in the Guardian asks whether she posed any real threat.

“She regularly tweeted the Metropolitan Police and Crimewatch, demanding they do more. She would highlight what she felt were untruths in the stories of major press outlets such as the Daily Mail. She railed at media outlets such as LBC for not airing what she felt was the other side of the story.

“Ultimately, individuals who troll or become obsessed with conspiracy theories can be driven by many factors – boredom, loneliness, a need for validation – and we cannot discount the possibility of mental health problems. At times, their behaviour may border on loathsome, but a news team with a high-profile journalist at the helm is not the way to bring about justice.”