Daily Archives: 20/02/2016

Nigeria: Nigerian judge hits out at man’s 90-lawyer defence team

February 17, 2016

Rickey Tarfa (centre) with some of his team

(Mr Tarfa (C) arrived at court flanked by a legion of senior lawyers)

A Nigerian judge has criticised a lawyer facing criminal charges after he turned up to court in Lagos with a defence team of more than 90 people.

Justice Aishat Opesanwo described the approach as tantamount to “harassment and intimidation”, a statement by Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency says.

Prominent lawyer Rickey Tarfa is charged with the obstruction of justice and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

He denies both sets of charges.

Mr Tarfa is accused of blocking the arrest of two suspects wanted in a corruption case by keeping them in his car for nearly six hours on 5 February when they were due to be picked up by the authorities, according to a statement from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which brought the case.

In the second charge, he is accused of perverting the course of justice by communicating through his personal mobile phone with a judge overseeing a trial between the EFCC and two private companies which he was representing.


Embattled lawyer, Rickey Tarfa, explains payment of N225,000 to judge

USA: Whistleblower Lawyers Counterattack Against DC Disciplinary Counsel

February 15, 2016

Tom Devine

(Tom Devine)

The DC Disciplinary Counsel — previously known as the DC Bar Counsel — is on the attack against whistleblower lawyers.

And whistleblower lawyers are not happy about it. They have launched something of a counterattack.

The Disciplinary Counsel has filed charges against prominent Washington whistleblower lawyer Lynne Bernabei and former Justice Department attorney Thomas Tamm.

The Disciplinary Counsel brought charges in June 2014 against Bernabei and Notre Dame Law Professor G. Robert Blakey — alleging that the two advised their client — former General Electric lawyer and whistleblower Adriana Koeck — to go public to reporters and law enforcement officials in the United States with incriminating and alleged confidential information against General Electric.

The case was initiated with a complaint filed by General Electric with the Disciplinary Counsel against Koeck.

In November 2015, Blakey was given the mildest possible sanction in the District — an admonition. The cases against Koeck and Bernabei are pending.


China: Defense Attorneys For Jailed Chinese Rights Lawyers ‘Fired’

February 19, 2016


(The defense attorney for jailed rights lawyer Li Heping discovered he was relieved of duty when he visited his client in detention, Feb. 18, 2016.)

A number of prominent Chinese human rights lawyers being held on suspicion of subversion have allegedly “fired” their defense attorneys, but those familiar with the case said it was the authorities who terminated the defenders.

Rights lawyer Wang Yu, detained alongside her husband and several colleagues at Beijing’s Fengrui law firm at the start of a nationwide crackdown that began on the night of July 9, 2015, canceled her instructions to her lawyer on Thursday.

Wang, who is being held on suspicion of “subversion of state power,” fired her lawyer Wen Donghai, who only found out when he tried to
visit her at the Tianjin No. 2 Detention Center on Thursday.

Wen told RFA on Friday he has strong doubts about the claim, however.

“Firstly, they wouldn’t produce written confirmation that Wang Yu has terminated her instructions to me,” Wen said. “Neither would they let me visit Wang Yu to confirm it in person.”

“Given the circumstances, I’d say it is the police who are firing us.”