Daily Archives: 01/12/2020

Australia: Drop the Charges Against Former Military Lawyer David McBride


Military Lawyer David McBride

Former Australian Defence Force lawyer David McBride is still facing five national security-related charges – that carry up to life imprisonment – for exposing the SAS “warrior culture” in Afghanistan that was leading troops to perpetrate war crimes.

McBride blew the whistle three years prior to the release of the Brereton report: the irony being that this investigation uncovered the very same issues the lawyer revealed, as it focused on Australian special forces deployments in Afghanistan over 2005 to 2016.

And the Brereton inquiry was at the behest of the federal government, with the AFP now acting upon its findings.

Since the release of the report, attorney general Christian Porter has told parliament that it would be inappropriate for the government to intervene in the McBride case now, as the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) has already commenced proceedings.

Porter said it would be “utterly extraordinary” to apply laws which permit him to bring the prosecution to a halt, as these measures have never been used before.

But when it comes to exercising unutilised powers – as well as weighing in on CDPP matters – the nation’s chief lawmaker is a seasoned player.








The Philippines: With charges filed vs ‘John Does’, Palawan lawyer’s murder deemed ‘solved’



The Philippine National Police on Monday said the murder case of Palawan lawyer Eric Jay Magcamit who was killed on November 17 is now deemed solved.

In a virtual briefing, Police Brig. Gen. Pascual Muñoz Jr. — police regional director of Mimaropa — said they looked into a land dispute as the motive behind the killing of Magcamit in Narra town in Palawan.

“We filed six [cases] plus six ‘John Doe’s, including [shooter], driver of van, lookouts, possible [shooter] from the van, possible person inside the van,” Muñoz said partly in Filipino.

John Doe is a placeholder name for unidentified people.

He said that, in the course of their investigation, police have recovered video from Magcamit’s vehicle and CCTV footage from areas where his killers stayed before they shot Magcamit.

The STAR earlier reported that Marcelino Quioyo, believed to be the brains behind the killing, surrendered to authorities last week, citing fear for his life. He was placed in police custody.

Muñoz explained that Magcamit serves as the lawyer of the Hermogenes family, which Quioyo’s family is involved in a dispute with. He said they received complaints that the two groups of families have been involved in strafing and stoning houses in recent months.

The police also arrested one of its own, Police SSgt. Ariel Pareja, who was said to have been with Quioyo during hearings. Muñoz earlier said Pareja was “moonlighting as a bodyguard for Quioyo, who is involved in a court case over a land dispute where Magcamit is representing the other party.”




Cameroon: Lawyers desert courts nationwide in protest


Lawyers Boycott Courts in Cameroon

The doors of the Wouri Court of Appeal remain closed this Monday, November 30, 2020.
At Bonanjo, Bonaberi and Ndokotti courts of first instance , it’s a similar situation.

No lawyer is in court for any activity. They are respecting a five-day lawyers’ strike called by the Bar Association running from Monday, November 30 to Friday, December 4, 2020.

Just as in Douala, lawyers throughout the national territory are observing the strike.

Following a release signed by the interim Bar Council president, Barrister Claire Atangana Bikouna, they decry the non-respect of lawyers in Cameroon by the magistracy, military and the executive in Cameroon.

According to Barrister Amungwa Nicodemus, magistrates in Cameroon erroneously consider themselves superior to Lawyers.
“Given that they have the final decision in a court does not mean they should intimidate and abuse lawyers in the process of seeking justice. This has to stop for justice to be rendered to Cameroonians to improve the society,” he said.

“Magistrates, police and gendarmes in Cameroon have practically taken over the functions of lawyers. They call and intimidate clients and lawyers asking for money in exchange of justice. This is unacceptable,” Barrister Ebi Standley has stated.



https://www.lebledparle.com/fr/societe/1117191-cameroun-le-mot-d-ordre-de-greve-des-avocats-maintenu (FRANCAIS)



https://www.bbc.com/pidgin/tori-55130468 (PIDGIN)

Thailand: Thai protesters face charges of insulting monarchy

Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida greet royalist supporters who gathered outside the Grand Palace


Leaders of the Thailand’s pro-democracy movement have heard charges against them of insulting the monarchy. Protesters directly challenged the validity of the lese majeste law.

Thai protest leaders on Monday presented themselves to police to hear lese majeste charges over insults to the monarchy of King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

The protesters said they would not be deterred from their demonstrations. It is the first time in over two years that anyone has faced such charges, which are covered by Article 112 of the Thai criminal code.

Such charges can be punished with a jail sentence of up to 15 years in prison.

“[Article] 112 is an unjust law. I don’t give it any value,” rights lawyer and protest leader Arnon Nampa told reporters. “I am ready to fight in the justice system.”

Arnon said that he and other protesters had acknowledged and denied any wrongdoing. Seven protest leaders face royal insult charges. They also face separate charges alongside other protesters relating to demonstrations since July.

Another of the protesters to be charged, Parit Chiwarak, said the legal action would prove counter-productive for authorities.