Jumaat, 4 April 2014

The Star Online: Metro: South & East

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The Star Online: Metro: South & East

India court orders first death sentences for multiple rapes

Posted: 04 Apr 2014 05:14 AM PDT

MUMBAI: An Indian judge on Friday ordered three men to hang after they were convicted of two gang-rapes, the first death sentences to be handed down for multiple sex attacks since the law was toughened last year.

The sentences were announced at a court in Mumbai for the two attacks in July and August last year at the same abandoned mill compound in the city, including an attack on a photographer that made global headlines.

Mohammed Salim Ansari, 28, Vijay Mohan Jadhav, 19, and Mohammed Kasim Hafeez Shaikh, 21 were convicted last month after a fast-track trial.

Double gang-rape convict Mohammed Kasim Hafeez Shaikh prepares to spit at photographers from inside a police van as he is taken to court in Mumbai. -AFP

They were subsequently handed life sentences for one of those assaults, the gang-rape of an 18-year-old phone operator.

But they were also convicted this week under a new section of the law for being repeat rape offenders, which carries the death penalty.

"There needs to be zero tolerance for such incidents," Judge Shalini Phansalkar Joshi said as she announced the sentences.

Double gang-rape convict Vijay Mohan Jadhav is pictured in a police van before taken to court in Mumbai. -AFP

"A loud and clear message needs to be sent to society."

Special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam confirmed to AFP that this was the first such conviction under the modified law. -AFP

Two dead as cargo boat with N. Korea crew sinks off S. Korea

Posted: 04 Apr 2014 04:17 AM PDT

SEOUL: South Korean coastguard units searched Friday for survivors of a cargo ship with 16 North Korean crew that sank with the loss of at least two lives off the South's southern coast.

A coastguard spokesman told AFP that the bodies of two North Korean sailors had been recovered and three other crew had been rescued, with 11 still missing.

The 4,300-tonne Mongolian-flagged ship sent out a distress call shortly after 1:00 am (1400 GMT Thursday) from international waters off South Korea.

The boat, with a cargo of iron ore and copper powder, was sailing from North Korea to China on a sea route regularly used by North Korean cargo ships.

A dozen coastguard vessels, backed by helicopters and civilian cargo ships, were taking part in the search for survivors, the coastguard spokesman said.

The three rescued sailors were taken to a hospital on the southern resort island of Jeju.

"Our operation has been hampered by strong winds and high waves," Kim Sang-Bae, the coastguard chief in Yeosu, told a televised news conference.

A coastguard helicopter found one sailor drifting alive in the sea about three hours after the distress call came. Two crew members were rescued later.

According to the South's Yonhap news agency, the surviving crew told their rescuers that the ship had suddenly listed sharply to one side.

"The cargo shifted right over," said one who abandoned the ship when it became clear it was going to sink.

Yonhap quoted an unnamed government official as saying discussions were under way on repatriating the three and any other survivors. -AFP

Philippine coastguards charged with Taiwan fisherman murder

Posted: 04 Apr 2014 04:22 AM PDT

MANILA: Eight Filipino coastguards have been charged with the murder of a Taiwanese fisherman who was shot dead last year sparking economic sanctions against the Philippines, authorities said Friday.

Coastguard patrol officers opened fire last May at a Taiwanese boat sailing close to the northern Philippine coast but in waters also claimed by Taiwan, killing 65-year-old fisherman Hung Shih-cheng.

The killing sparked angry protests in Taiwan and Taipei responded with sanctions, but lifted them after the Philippine government issued an official apology.

Homicide charges were formally filed in a northern Philippine court last week, the court's legal officer Jurgents Calling told AFP.

"The judge is still studying the information filed, but if he finds probable cause, he will issue warrants of arrest," Calling said.

Homicide is punishable by up to 20 years in jail in the Philippines.

Andrew Lin, director of the political division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Manila, welcomed the charges.

"We recognise that adequate action has been taken by the Philippine government with this development," Lin told AFP.

The coastguard officers had said the Taiwanese vessel was fishing illegally and they were forced to fire in self-defence as it tried to ram their patrol craft.

But prosecutor-general Claro Arellano told reporters the Filipinos' own rules of engagement did not automatically authorise the use of deadly force against a vessel deemed hostile.

During the investigation prosecutors viewed a Filipino coastguard video footage showing officers firing M-14 rifles and a mounted machine gun at the fleeing fishing boat. -AFP

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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