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Berta Caceres Trial Begins, Eight Suspects Stand Trial

The long-awaited trial against eight people accused of killing the Honduran feminist, and environmental activist Berta Caceres in 2016, started at 9 a.m. on Saturday after being postponed several times and without her family’s private attorneys, as informed by the Public Ministry (MP). The oral hearing was programmed for Friday but it was delayed as Caceres’s family filed another appeal against three of the participant judges, whom they accuse of refusing to demand pertinent evidence from the MP. The plaintiff team claims the MP is withholding key evidence, such as digital documents they got from the raids on the accused homes, in order to protect high level staff from the Energetic Development (DESA) company.

Turkey: Show Trials Of Journalists Are A Travesty Of Justice

By Staff of RSF - This week, ARTICLE 19 and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) are monitoring two trials of journalists in Turkey. On Monday 18 September they attended the first hearing in the trial of 30 journalists, columnists and staff working for Zaman newspaper, including Şahin Alpay, Ali Bulaç, Ahmet Alkan Turan and Mümtazer Türköne. Today, on Tuesday 19 September, they are attending the second hearing in the case of 17 journalists and columnists including Ahmet and Mehmet Altan. ARTICLE 19 and RSF call for the journalists to be released from pre-trial detention and for the charges to be dropped. In both trials, the defendants are accused of involvement in last year’s failed coup. They face charges of “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order through violence or force”, “attempting to overthrow or interfere with the work of the national assembly through violence or force” and “attempting to overthrow or interfere with the work of the government”. In the Zaman case, the defendants are also charged with membership of a terrorist organisation, which refers to the Gülen movement, the organisation the Turkish government blames for the coup attempt. In the Altans’ case, the defendants are charged with aiding a terrorist organisation without being a member, which carries the same sentence as membership.

Psychologists Accused Of Designing CIA ‘Torture’ Programme To Face Trial

By Jeremy B. White for Independent - Setting up an extraordinary public airing of how the American government treated terrorism suspects in the years following 9/11, a federal lawsuit against two psychologists accused of being architects of Central Intelligence Agency [CIA] interrogation methods will proceed to trial. Judge Justin L Quackenbush of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Washington cleared the way for the case to move to the trial phase on Monday, rejecting the psychologists’ lawyers request for summary judgement. The American Civil Liberties Union brought the lawsuit on behalf of two men who were captured and detained by the CIA and the family of a third who died of hypothermia while in custody. They allege that they were beaten, deprived of sleep, forced to endure extreme temperatures and subjected to a form of waterboarding, a technique that simulates drowning. The organisation hailed the impending trial as a rare opportunity to cast into the public eye an era that has often been shrouded in secrecy. A exhaustive US Senate report on post-9/11 interrogation techniques concluded that attempts to extract information from suspects were “were brutal and far worse than the CIA represented to policymakers and others.” “This is a historic day for our clients and all who seek accountability for torture,” ACLU attorney Dror Ladin said in a press release.

Fair Trial Under Attack In Reality Winner Whistleblower Trial

By Trevor Timm for The Intercept - THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT is seeking to impose extreme secrecy rules in the trial of alleged Intercept source and whistleblower Reality Winner that could prevent her defense team from citing countless publicly available news articles in appearances before the court — and even prevent Winner herself from seeing evidence relevant to her defense. On July 20, Winner’s defense lawyers moved to challenge those arguments, accusing the government in a court filing of attempting to use the pre-trial discovery process to unfairly gag them from discussing issues both vital to the case and the public at large. Winner was accused last month of leaking a classified National Security Agency document to The Intercept that describes attempts by alleged Russian hackers to gain access to election infrastructure in the United States. She faces charges under the Espionage Act, a 100-year-old law meant for spies and saboteurs, which the government has warped into an anti-leaking statute used to go after sources of journalists attempting to inform the American public. Winner’s trial is set for the end of October. Under the rules established under the Classified Information Procedures Act, the defense has the right to access certain classified documents from the government that may be relevant to Winner’s case.

Haitian People’s Court Will Put 100 Years Of U.S. Occupation On Trial

By Staff of AlterPresse - July 28, 2017, is the deadline to deliver denounces to the symbolic People’s Court, which has been called to examine the 100 years of US occupation of Haiti (from 1915 to 2015). This initiative has been created thanks to a joint effort by many social organizations. From January to February 2017, the organizers will visit all of Haiti’s departments to create departmental committees, as reported by the representative of the Committee of Direction and Coordination of the People’s Court, Camille Chalmers, in a conference/debate on January 17, which was attended by online agency AlterPresse. Between February and May 2017, accusations will be made based on testimonies, scientific research and documentation provided by all the regions and sectors, Chalmers announced.

Mistrial For Cop’s Execution-Style Killing Of Walter Scott?

By Staff of Tele Sur - Late Friday, a single juror wrote Judge Clifton Newman that they could not vote to convict North Charleston, South Carolina police officer Michael Slager of either murder or manslaughter for his April execution-style fatal shooting of unarmed Walter Scott, raising the specter of a mistrial. Earlier Friday, the jury indicated that after two days of deliberation they were deadlocked, meaning they could not achieve the required unanimous agreement on a verdict. The judge sent the jury back to try again, and hours later he received a letter from one anonymous juror saying they could not vote for any form of conviction.

Monsanto Was Put On Trial For Ecocide At The Hague

By Ronnie Cummins for AlterNet - On October 14-16, over 1,000 activists, journalists and witnesses from around the world gathered in The Hague, Netherlands, headquarters of the International Court of Justice, to put Monsanto on trial for crimes against humanity and nature (also called “ecocide”). Before a distinguished international panel of judges, 30 witnesses, including farmers, consumers, scientists, indigenous people and former governmental officials from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, North and South America...

Blackwater Guards Face Trial In Iraq Shootings

Four former Blackwater Worldwide security guards went on trial Wednesday in the killings of 14 Iraqis and the wounding of at least 18 others. Over the next few days, a jury of 12 residents from the District of Columbia will be chosen from a pool of 111 people to decide the guards' fate. The trial is expected to last months. The judge overseeing the trial, Royce Lamberth, has been a U.S. district judge for more than 25 years and he has a military background. He served as a captain in the Army's Judge Advocate General's Corps from 1968 to 1974, including three years at the Pentagon. The prospective jurors filled out 26-page questionnaires that delved into whether they had any personal experience with excessive use of force by security guards; whether they would be able to follow testimony from Arabic-speaking witnesses through a translator; and whether they have strong feelings about the war in Iraq or the prosecution of American citizens for acts committed in a war zone .
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