Daily Archives: 22/06/2019

USA: A Call for Open, Respectful Debate

June 17, 2019

Harvard professors who lost posts leading undergraduate residential college amid criticism of defense of Harvey Weinstein vow to promote change at the university.

Ronald S. Sullivan Jr. and Stephanie Robinson, two married Harvard University law professors, were not renewed in their positions as faculty deans of the residential Winthrop House after a series of controversies set off by Sullivan’s decision to defend Harvey Weinstein. The couple has now released a video saying they are launching a new effort to speak out to promote open debate at the university.

Sullivan and Robinson found themselves at the center of controversy last month as students demanded action over the fact Sullivan chose to serve on the legal defense team for Weinstein. Weinstein, a former Hollywood producer, is facing sexual assault charges and a series of allegations of sexual harassment. The charges against him were a major spark for the Me Too movement. Sullivan said in a new video he is no longer defending Weinstein, as the new trial date interfered with his teaching schedule, but he rejected the idea that his defense of anyone should limit his role at the university.

Appearing with Robinson in the video, Sullivan discussed the decision not to reappoint the two and said definitively it was because he chose to defend Weinstein. However, Sullivan said what’s at stake in the situation goes beyond him and threatened the “great democratic experiment.”

“In America, everyone is entitled to a defense,” Sullivan said in the video. “In America, everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Freedom of intellectual inquiry and reasoned discourse and debate are central characteristics of higher education.”

Harvard maintains Sullivan and Robinson were not renewed due to other issues as faculty deans, not over Sullivan’s decision to defend Weinstein.










USA: Mazzeo and Armato Introduce Bill to Upgrade Assault Violations Against Attorneys

June 18, 2019

Legislation in Response to Recent Courtroom Attack on Atlantic County Public Defender


After an incident in an Atlantic County courtroom prompted safety concerns for attorneys representing clients charged with violent behavior, Assemblymen Vince Mazzeo and John Armato (both D-Atlantic) have introduced legislation (A-5589) to upgrade charges of simple assault to aggravated assault when committed against an attorney while they are performing court duties or because of their status as a counsel.

Last month, an Atlantic County public defender was attacked in a courtroom by her client, who had been accused of fatally stabbing his neighbor. As the attorney spoke for her client at the hearing, her client became disruptive and insisted he did not want his counsel to represent him. After several outbursts, the client lunged toward his attorney and pushed her across the room into a wall.

“Lawyers, who do not always have a choice over their clients, stand by people accused of violent crimes in what may be an incredibly stressful moment in their lives,” said Mazzeo. “Sometimes people don’t handle the pressure well, and the attorney is caught in the cross fire. We must make sure the attorneys who fight for justice every day receive justice themselves should they find themselves a victim of assault.”

Under current law, a simple assault committed against any attorney while they were engaging in courtroom responsibilities or because of their status as a member of the bar is a disorderly persons offense punishable by six months in prison, a fine of $1,000 or both. Aggravated assault under these circumstances would be a crime of the fourth degree punishable by 18 months in prison and fine of up to $10,000. It would be a crime of the third degree if the victim was injured, punishable by 3 to 5 years in prison and be a fine of up to $15,000.




June 19, 2019

The AMIA terror attack on the social services hub of the Argentine Jewish community remains the largest terrorist attack in Latin America.

RESCUE WORKERS search for survivors and victims in the rubble left after a powerful car bomb destroy

Next month will mark the 25th anniversary of the bombing of the AMIA building in Buenos Aires, which took the lives of 85 people and injured more than 300. The attack on the social services hub of the Argentine Jewish community remains the largest terrorist attack in Latin America. Memorial services marking a quarter century since the attack will begin this month.

To this day, justice has not been served to the victims and their families.

For three years in the wake of the attack, the judge heading the inquiry produced 22 arrests – mostly Buenos Aires provincial policemen – and a trial that, in the end, amounted to nothing more than a diversionary wild goose chase. A representative of our organization attended every day of the nearly three-year trial.

But the stench of a cover-up hovered over those proceedings. Not-guilty verdicts were handed down for those brought to trial, and the judge was later impeached for attempting to bribe a witness to give testimony incriminating police officers and for his general mishandling of the case. He was summarily removed from his post.

But what did come out of early scrutiny of the attack was the unmistakable hand of the Iranian regime. At first, it was studied speculation, but by 2006, two prosecutors in the case officially put the finger on Tehran. Operatives connected to the Iranian embassy in Buenos Aires were identified, but at that point, they all had made their way out of the country.

The case was turned over to two new prosecutors, Alberto Nisman and Marcelo Martínez Burgos, who in 2007 brought the matter to Interpol. They had requested that “red notices,” or arrest warrants, be issued to nine suspects, including former Iranian president Ali Rafsanjani, former Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati and former Iranian ambassador to Argentina Hadi Soleimanpour. Interpol’s executive committee let those three officials off the hook, choosing instead to issue notices for the other six suspects.

Years passed, but Nisman, now working alone, pressed ahead. In 2015, he was ready to release evidence that a deal had been negotiated at the highest levels of the two governments, which would see Tehran deliver oil to Argentina in exchange for food, weapons and a pledge to convince Interpol to drop the red notices on the terrorist suspects.

On the eve of this information being shared in the Argentine Congress, Nisman was found dead, from what the authorities called a suicide. Doubt immediately surfaced, given the nature of the charges Nisman was about to bring. Subsequently, the mysterious circumstances of Nisman’s death have become clarified, and evidence points to him having been murdered.






Argentine Foreign Minister Reiterates Justice Call for Victims of 1994 AMIA Jewish Center Bombing



https://www.lanacion.com.ar/politica/investigaran-a-echegaray-por-las-filmaciones-de-alberto-nisman-dias-antes-de-su-muerte-nid2258198 (ESPANOL)

https://www.perfil.com/noticias/politica/investigan-ricardo-echegaray-videos-alberto-nisman-ezeiza.phtml (ESPANOL)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alberto_Nisman (FRANCAIS)