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Guinea opened a landmark trial Wednesday 13 years after a stadium massacre by the military left at least 157 protesters dead and dozens of women raped, with the country’s former coup leader Moussa “Dadis” Camara among those charged.

The court proceeding began a day after Camara and five more defendants were detained in the capital, Conakry, pending the outcome of the trial. A dozen men in total have been charged with crimes including murder and rape in connection with the 2009 attacks.

“Thirteen years later, let’s do everything possible to ensure that the horror of massacres does not happen again in Guinea,” said Djibril Kouyate, the president of the Guinean National Bar Association, during a speech at the trial’s opening. “Those who died will not speak again, but their bloodshed demands justice.”

Karim Ahmad Saad Khan, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, told those gathered Wednesday that “13 years is a long time” and applauded the victims’ family members for keeping their patience.

“September 28 has become a day of sadness,” he said. “We have the opportunity, you have created the space for September 28 to be a day of promise and hope.”

Demonstrators had gathered at the stadium that day to protest then-coup leader Camara’s plans to run for president when security forces opened fire. The junta said that “uncontrolled” elements of the army carried out the rapes and killings. But a Human Rights Watch investigation found that Camara’s top aides were at the stadium and did nothing to stop the violence.


A federal appeals court asked a Washington D.C. appeals court Tuesday to help it decide whether the United States should be substituted for former President Donald Trump as the defendant in a defamation lawsuit brought by a woman who says he raped her over a quarter century ago.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan in a 2-to-1 decision reversed a lower court ruling that had concluded Trump must face the lawsuit brought in Manhattan federal court by columnist E. Jean Carroll.

But it stopped short of saying the U.S. can be substituted for Trump as the defendant in the lawsuit. Instead, it asked The D.C. Court of Appeals, the highest court in the District of Columbia, to decide whether Trump’s public statements denying Carroll’s rape claims occurred within the scope of his employment as president.

Carroll maintains Trump defamed her with public comments he made after she wrote in a 2019 book that Trump raped her during a chance encounter in the mid-1990s in a Manhattan department store. Trump denied the rape and questioned Carroll’s credibility and motivations.

The 2nd Circuit said Trump would be entitled to immunity by having the U.S. substituted as the defendant in the lawsuit if it was decided that his statements came within the scope of his employment.


An alleged senior leader of a predominantly Muslim rebel group that ousted the president of Central African Republic in 2013 pleaded not guilty Monday to seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court.

A court spokesman said the opening of the trial of Mahamat Said marked the end of a long wait for justice for victims in the mineral-rich but impoverished Central African Republic.

The country’s people “have been already waiting a long period of time. It is almost nine years now,” to see a member of the Seleka rebel group stand trial at the global court, spokesman Fadi El Abdallah told The Associated Press.

After a court officer read out charges including torture, unlawful imprisonment and persecution, Said told a three-judge panel: “I have listened to everything and I am pleading not guilty.”

Said, 52, is accused of running a detention center in the capital, Bangui, called the Central Office for the Repression of Banditry, from April to August 2013 where he and dozens of Seleka rebels allegedly held prisoners perceived as supporters of ex-President Francois Bozize in inhumane conditions and subjected them to torture and brutal interrogations including whipping and beating them with truncheons and rifle butts.

The court’s chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, told judges that his team would prove Said’s guilt at a trial that is expected to last months. Prosecutors are expected to call 43 witnesses.

“By the end of this trial, you will be convinced that in relation to all seven counts Mr. Said will be found guilty,” Khan said.

He said that Said was “not a passive spectator” but an active participant in crimes, hunting down civilians and bringing them to the detention center “knowing exactly what he had planned for them, what a nightmare awaited them under his control and custody.”

Defense lawyers are scheduled to make an opening statement after the prosecutors have finished.

Fighting in Bangui in 2013 between the Seleka rebels, who seized power from Bozize, and a mainly Christian militia called the anti-Balaka left thousands dead and displaced hundreds of thousands more.



A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit against Democratic Gov. John Carney over Delaware’s requirement for political balance on its courts.

Friday’s ruling is the latest in a long-running legal battle over a “major-party” provision in Delaware’s constitution under which judicial appointments to the state’s three highest courts are split between Republicans and Democrats.

The Supreme Court, Court of Chancery and Superior Court are subject to a separate “bare majority” provision that also applies to Family Court and the Court of Common Pleas. That provision says no more than a bare majority of judges on those courts can be affiliated with a single political party.

The result of the major-party provision is that any person not affiliated with either the Republican or Democratic Party is unable serve on the Supreme Court, Superior Court or Court of Chancery.

Wilmington lawyer James Adams, a former Democrat who is now an unaffiliated voter, claims that the provision violates his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights by barring him from being considered for a judgeship on the Superior Court, a position for which he has twice applied and been rejected.

Judge Maryellen Noreika ruled Friday that Adams had legal standing to challenge the major-party provision and denied the governor’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit.


A federal judge has decided not to block the state’s plan to move two dozen troubled juvenile offenders from a suburban New Orleans detention center to the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.

In a 64-page ruling issued late Friday, Chief U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick denied a motion to immediately halt the plan to move the teenagers to the adult maximum security facility despite calling it “untenable” and “disturbing,” The Advocate reported.

The state’s Office of Juvenile Justice proved in a three-day court hearing this month that it could provide the youth constitutionally required levels of care at the Angola facility, Dick wrote.

“The prospect of putting a teenager to bed at night in a locked cell behind razor wire surrounded by swamps at Angola is disturbing,” the judge said in the ruling. “Some of the children in OJJ’s care are so traumatized and emotionally and psychologically disturbed that OJJ is virtually unable to provide a secure care environment.”

“While locking children in cells at night at Angola is untenable, the threat of harm these youngsters present to themselves, and others, is intolerable,” she wrote. “The untenable must yield to the intolerable.”

The transfer was proposed in July and would serve as a last resort following increased escapes and fights at the Bridge City Center for Youth in Jefferson Parish. There have been at least four escapes this year, as well as a riot in which 20 juveniles took over parts of the complex.

But the plan has been sharply criticized by criminal justice advocates, former officials and the parents of children currently held at the center. An attorney for the plaintiffs did not immediately return a request for comment.

When exactly youth might be moved to Angola remains unclear. In a court filing earlier this month, attorneys for Gov. John Bel Edwards and the Office of Juvenile Justice wrote that there is no set date on which the agency plans to relocate them.

But Angola is only a short-term solution. Edwards said the juveniles will be transferred to the Jetson Center for Youth in Baker once renovations there are complete.


Attorneys for the state of Idaho say a federal judge misinterpreted the law when he blocked part of a strict new abortion ban, and they say another law blocking all abortions after about six weeks’ gestation should also remain in effect.

In court documents filed Wednesday, Deputy Attorney General Brian Church asked U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill to reconsider his decision blocking the state from enforcing a strict abortion ban in medical emergencies, saying the judge misinterpreted both state and federal law and then issued an overly broad ruling.

“This case is not about denying necessary medical care to save the lives of women,” Church wrote in his motion. “This case is about preserving for the State its sovereign power to regulate abortions within its boundaries.”

Idaho’s strict abortion ban makes performing an abortion in any “clinically diagnosable pregnancy” a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, but says that physicians can defend themselves in court by showing that the procedure was necessary to avert the pregnant person’s death.

The law prompted the U.S. Department of Justice to sue Idaho last month, contending that the ban violates the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA). The law requires Medicare-funded hospitals to providing stabilizing care to patients experiencing medical emergencies, and the Justice Department says that include abortions in cases where the health of the pregnant patient is in jeopardy or when continuing the pregnancy could seriously harm the pregnant patient’s organs or body parts.


The international court convened in Cambodia to judge the Khmer Rouge for its brutal 1970s rule ended its work Thursday after spending $337 million and 16 years to convict just three men of crimes after the regime caused the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million people.

In its final session, the U.N.-assisted tribunal rejected an appeal by Khieu Samphan, the last surviving leader of the Khmer Rouge government that ruled Cambodia from 1975-79. It reaffirmed the life sentence he received after being convicted in 2018 of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Busloads of ordinary Cambodians turned up to watch the final proceedings of a tribunal that had sought to bring justice, accountability and explanations for the crimes. Many of those attending Thursday’s session lived through the Khmer Rouge terror, including survivors Bou Meng and Chum Mey, who had given evidence at the tribunal over the years.

Khieu Samphan, sitting in a wheelchair and wearing a white windbreaker and a face mask, listened to the proceedings on headphones.

He was the group’s nominal head of state but, in his trial defense, denied having real decision-making powers when the Khmer Rouge carried out a reign of terror to establish a utopian agrarian society, causing Cambodians’ deaths from execution, starvation and inadequate medical care. It was ousted from power in 1979 by an invasion from neighboring communist state Vietnam.

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