November 2023

Pistorius lawyer eyes ‘immediate release’ if parole granted

Lawyers for Oscar Pistorius said on Wednesday they hope the former South African Paralympic champion who was convicted of murdering his girlfriend a decade ago will be released immediately if granted parole later this week.

Pistorius, 37, will appear before a parole board at a correctional centre outside Pretoria where he is currently detained on Friday.

Asked whether the hope was for the ex-athlete to be home for Christmas, Pistorius’ lawyer Conrad Dormehl, told AFP that “the best-case scenario” was “an immediate release” on Friday.

“An immediate placement on parole would be the best-case scenario, which would obviously be before Christmas,” Dormehl said.

Legal experts and a lawyer for the victim’s family have previously told AFP that, normally, it can take weeks before a prisoner who is granted parole is effectively discharged from jail.

Pistorius lost a first bid for parole in March, when a board found he had not completed the minimum detention period required to be let out.

But the Constitutional Court last month ruled that was a mistake, paving the way for a new hearing.

South Africa’s Department of Correctional Services (DCS) normally follows a “one-month policy”, allowing 30 days for prisoners to complete a pre-release programme before letting them out, said Nicole van Zyl, a law researcher at University of the Western Cape.

An earlier date could be set if authorities were to take into consideration the delay caused by the error previously made in calculating Pistorius’ minimum detention period and the public scrutiny that followed, she said.

An immediate release was thus “not impossible”, said Dormehl.

“We are hoping that the parole board can come to a swift resolution of the matter,” he said.

Pistorius killed Reeva Steenkamp, a model, in the early hours of Valentine’s Day 2013, firing four times through the bathroom door

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‘He hasn’t yet lost his humanity’: Lawyer argues young Black Power man is not ‘who he seems’

Puniwahirau Mason earned his Black Power patch at the age of 17, the court heard (file photo).

David Hallett/Stuff

Puniwahirau Mason earned his Black Power patch at the age of 17, the court heard (file photo).

A young man’s extensive gang tattoos across his face are not representative of who he really is, a lawyer says.

Puniwahirau Mason, 25, earned his Black Power patch at the age of 17 but has not yet “lost his humanity”.

Defence lawyer Fergus Steedman told the Palmerston North District Court on Thursday his client was not who he appeared to be and in his experience was actually a “thoughtful” man with potential.

Mason was appearing for sentence on charges of assaulting a prison officer, breach of release conditions, driving while disqualified and unlawfully getting into a motor vehicle.

With the instantly-recognisable Black Power fist on his cheek, Mason stood silent with his arms crossed throughout the hearing.

Fergus Steedman says his client is hopeful of making a life for himself on the outside.

Murray Wilson/Stuff

Fergus Steedman says his client is hopeful of making a life for himself on the outside.

Steedman said he had little support on the outside, and the gang had become his family “for all the wrong reasons, but all the traditional ones” too.

The assault on the prison officer in February was “random” and Mason had told him he was genuinely sorry for the “unprovoked” attack.

The officer had suffered a broken nose and ongoing pain months after the incident, which involved Mason and two others.

Mason punched the officer in the face, and continued doing so after the victim put his arms up in defence.

The court heard the assault came at a time when frustrations were high and people were being held in cells for up to “27 hours” due to staffing shortages.

Steedman said he had no idea what the future would hold for Mason, but there would need to be a “tectonic shift” in his lifestyle.

He wanted

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Ex-diplomat ‘peace-loving,’ says lawyer at NYC halal hate hearing

An ex-U.S. diplomat and adviser to former President Barack Obama accused of harassing two Manhattan halal vendors with words of hate was described by his lawyer Thursday as without a hateful bone in his body.

“The person standing before this court is not a warmonger or Islamophobe,” said lawyer Scott Bookstein at his client Stuart Seldowitz’s arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court. “He’s a peace-loving person devoid of hate for Muslims or anyone else.”

Seldowitz, 64, faces charges of aggravated harassment and stalking as a hate crime after multiple videos surfaced showing him surfaced of him harassing vendors at the Q Halal food cart on E. 83rd St. and Second Ave. on the Upper East Side in a string of incidents beginning Nov. 7.

In the videos posted online, Seldowitz is depicted saying to the vendors that “Muhammad was a child molester,” asking “Did you rape your daughter like Muhammad?” and declaring “If we killed 4,000 Palestinians kids … it wasn’t enough.”

Stuart Seldowitz is walked from the 19th Pct. Wednesday, Nov. 22, in Manhattan, New York. (Barry Williams for New York Daily News)
Stuart Seldowitz outside the 19th Pct. on the Upper East Side on Wednesday. (Barry Williams for New York Daily News)

Seldowitz’s lawyer claimed that the halal cart vendors — identified by cart owner Islam Moustafa as Mohammed Hussain, 24, and Baha Kamil — provoked his client’s tirade.

“What’s not contained in the people’s recitations of these allegations — what wasn’t contained in any press reports — were comments made by the complainant that actually instigated this whole mess,” Bookstein said in court.

Bookstein did not provide any additional details during the arraignment about how the halal vendors incited Seldowitz’s multiple outbursts, and declined further comment after the proceedings.

In an interview with the Daily News before Seldowitz’s arraignment, Moustafa said that regardless of how the 30-year State Department veteran attempts to portray himself, the footage released online paints

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Kyle Rittenhouse Has Lost All His Money, His Lawyer Says

Kyle Rittenhouse has lost his money since he was acquitted over three shootings at a protest in Wisconsin, his criminal defense attorney Mark Richards has said.

The 20-year-old is releasing a book that describes his life as well as the circumstances around his fatal shootings of 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum and 26-year-old Anthony Huber in August 2020. Rittenhouse also injured 26-year-old Gaige Grosskreutz at the protest held after Jacob Blake, a Black man, was paralyzed from the waist down after he was shot by a white police officer that same month.

Rittenhouse argued that he used the gun in self-defense and was acquitted on charges of first-degree intentional homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, and two charges of first-degree recklessly endangering safety.

Rittenhouse sparked uproar after he announced his new book, Acquitted on his social media accounts on November 20, describing it as a “story of survival, resilience, and justice.”

Kyle Rittenhouse on the set of "Candace"
Kyle Rittenhouse on the set of “Candace” on January 24, 2022. The 20-year-old has now run out of money, according to his lawyer.
Jason Davis/Getty Images

Talking to Court TV, attorney Mark Richards, who represented Rittenhouse, said: “He is working, he is trying to support himself. Everybody thinks that Kyle got so much money from this. Whatever money he did get is gone.

“He’s living, I don’t want to say paycheck to paycheck, but he’s living to support himself. Obviously, as his lawyer and somebody who I want to do well, I hope he does re-engage in his studies. But right now he is working full-time, he is living a law-abiding life and he is doing something that he enjoys.”

Newsweek reached out to Rittenhouse via X for comment.

Rittenhouse has been open about needing money in the past and previously used an appearance on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News

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Mistrial motion for Trump’s New York fraud case will come ‘very soon,’ lawyer Alina Habba says

Former President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Alina Habba, said Sunday that she will be filing for a mistrial “very soon” in Mr. Trump’s New York fraud case.

Mr. Trump and Ms. Habba have repeatedly said that this fraud case is politically motivated and that the people involved are biased.

“I can tell you that we will be filing papers to address all of those issues,” Ms. Habba said on Fox News Sunday, acknowledging that she also has a partial gag order against her.

Asked if she would be filing a mistrial, she replied, “very soon.”

Ms. Habba said a key problem with the case is that there is only one judge who makes the decisions.

“The problem is, with all of these things, such as filing a motion for recusal, which we have done twice, is that the judge has to be the one that decides, is he going to recuse himself? Does he feel that there was a mistrial?” she said, referring to Judge Arthur Engoron.

“It’s a bench trial. We have one judge. And it’s the same judge that issued the gag order that has to make determinations,” Ms. Habba said. “So, at this point, I don’t have any reason to believe he shouldn’t after what we have learned, if it’s true.”

Judge Engoron is presiding without a jury over the case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat. The lawsuit, which involves Mr. Trump, the Trump organization and his two adult sons, alleges that the organization misled banks, insurers and others by exaggerating the net worth to get larger loans and better insurance rates.

Last month, Judge Engoron issued a gag order to stop Mr. Trump and others involved from publically speaking about the judge or his team. The former president has been fined $10,000

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Elderly lawyer shoots dead two climate protesters blocking highway

A retired lawyer allegedly shot and killed two men who were part of a protest blocking a highway in Panama.

While he has not been officially named by police, the suspect has been widely reported to be Kenneth Darlington, 77, a retired American lawyer and university professor who lives in Panama.

Police said on X (formerly Twitter) that a man has been arrested at the scene, where he was charged with aggravated homicide and illegal possession of a firearm.

Mr Darlington, who was born in Panama but has US citizenship, was caught up in a traffic jam on Tuesday on a highway 55 miles west of Panama City, caused by protesters campaigning against the recent deal the Panama government made to restart a copper mine.

The protest attracted a group of photographers and TV reporters to the site of the traffic block, where they had lined the middle of the highway with tyres, flags, tree branches and stones to stop the cars.

Despite the cameras, horrific video footage showed Mr Darlington, who was allegedly caught in the traffic, walking up to the protesters and open firing, leaving two men dead.

According to the Panama TV network TVN, who reported they were able to access the court hearing on the shooting incident for a few minutes, the suspect uttered something along the lines of “this ends here” before leaving his vehicle and storming up the highway towards the protesters.

The widely circulated video footage shows Mr Darlington arguing with a group of men from the protest.

He allegedly asked who the leaders of the campaigners were, to which the men replied that there were none.

“I don’t want to talk to women. I want to talk to men,” he responded, according to TVN.

While he was still confronting the protesters,

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Maria Bartiromo Sets Alina Habba Up to Violate Gag Order

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Texas’ Paxton picks Kirkland lawyer, ex-Alito clerk as solicitor general

Trump rally in Texas

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks ahead of a rally held by former U.S. President Donald Trump, in Robstown, Texas, U.S., October 22, 2022. REUTERS/Go Nakamura Acquire Licensing Rights

Nov 13 (Reuters) – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Monday said he has appointed a Brigham Young University law professor and attorney at law firm Kirkland & Ellis to serve as the state’s next solicitor general.

Aaron Nielson, a former clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, will serve as Texas’ lead lawyer in state and federal appellate courts.

“In this position, he will lead the critical appellate work for some of our most significant, far-reaching cases,” Paxton, a Republican, said in a statement.

Paxton said Nielson will take a one-year leave of absence from Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School to serve as solicitor general.

Nielson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In a statement released by Paxton’s office, Nielson said he looked forward to “working alongside the team Attorney General Paxton has assembled.”

The appointment comes about two months after the Texas Senate acquitted Paxton on 16 articles of impeachment he faced before that body, allowing him to keep his state office. Paxton has been dogged by corruption allegations since taking office in 2014.

Paxton, an ally of former U.S. President Donald Trump, has repeatedly insisted that he is innocent and that the impeachment trial was a political witchhunt.

Nielson has worked at Kirkland for more than decade, according to his LinkedIn profile. The firm’s website said he is an of counsel in its Washington, D.C., and Salt Lake City offices.

Apart from Alito, Nielson has also served as a clerk to Judge Janice Rogers Brown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Judge Jerry Smith of the

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Lawyer Says Trump Aide Told Her After 2020 Election: ‘The Boss Is Not Going to Leave’

In the aftermath of the 2020 election, former President Donald J. Trump planned to refuse to leave the White House “under any circumstances” despite losing at the polls, a longtime Trump aide told one of the lawyers who is cooperating with prosecutors in Atlanta as part of a plea agreement.

The lawyer, Jenna Ellis, described the aide’s statement during an interview with the district attorney’s office in Fulton County, Ga., parts of which were obtained and published on Monday by ABC News.

Such interviews, known as proffer statements, have been conducted with Ms. Ellis and three other defendants who reached plea agreements in the Georgia election interference case against Mr. Trump and more than a dozen of his allies.

ABC obtained excerpts from the interviews with Ms. Ellis and Sidney Powell, another lawyer indicted in the case.

The snippets from the videotaped interviews offer the first public glimpse of the conversations that Ms. Ellis and Ms. Powell have had with prosecutors since their guilty pleas last month. It is not clear what effect the information they are sharing with prosecutors may have at trial.

Ms. Ellis was one of 19 people, including Mr. Trump, who were indicted by a Fulton County grand jury in August on charges of conspiring to overturn the former president’s 2020 election loss. All of the defendants were charged under the state’s racketeering law; each was indicted on other felony counts as well.

As part of a deal that she struck with prosecutors on Oct. 24, Ms. Ellis, a former Trump campaign lawyer, pleaded to lesser charges, avoiding jail time and pledging to cooperate with the investigation. Scott Hall, a bail bondsman in the Atlanta area, and another Trump-aligned lawyer, Kenneth Chesebro, have also pleaded guilty.

Their proffers, and Ms. Powell’s, were recently turned over

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