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A Philippine court found former first lady Imelda Marcos guilty of graft and ordered her arrest Friday in a rare conviction among many corruption cases that she's likely to appeal to avoid jail and losing her seat in Congress.

The special anti-graft Sandiganbayan court sentenced Marcos, 89, to serve 6 to 11 years in prison for each of the seven counts of violating an anti-corruption law when she illegally funneled about $200 million to Swiss foundations in the 1970s.

Neither Marcos nor anyone representing her attended Friday's court hearing and no one issued any reaction on her behalf.
The court disqualified Marcos from holding public office, but she can remain a member of the powerful House of Representatives while appealing the decision.

Imelda Marcos's husband, former President Ferdinand Marcos, was ousted by an army-backed "people power" revolt in 1986. He died in 1989.


A Shiite cleric who was a central figure in Bahrain's 2011 Arab Spring protests was sentenced to life in prison Sunday on spying charges.

The ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeals came after Sheikh Ali Salman was acquitted of the charges by a lower court in June. Human rights groups and activists say the charges against him are politically-motivated and related to his work as a leading opposition figure.

The verdict was issued just weeks before parliamentary elections are set to take place without the Al-Wefaq political group Salman once led. Al-Wefaq, which was the tiny Gulf nation's largest Shiite opposition bloc, was ordered dissolved in 2016 as part of a crackdown on dissent in the kingdom, which has a Shiite majority but is ruled by a Sunni monarchy.

The state-run Bahrain News Agency reported the appellate court's decision Sunday without naming the defendants, saying three individuals were found guilty of the spying charges.

Human Rights First, an activist group, confirmed the ruling refers to Salman. His co-defendants in the case— Sheikh Hassan Ali Juma Sultan and Ali Mahdi Ali al-Aswad— are also former al-Wefaq officials.

The three faced charges of disclosing sensitive information to Qatar that could harm Bahrain's security in exchange for financial compensation. The state-run news agency said prosecutors presented recorded phone conversations as evidence.

Last year, Bahrain state television aired the recorded calls between Salman and Qatar's then-Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani during the 2011 protests.



India's top court on Wednesday ordered the government to provide pricing details of 36 Rafale fighter jets it is buying from France.

The court said the government must bring details of the decision-making process of the deal into the public domain, except those that are confidential and have strategic importance. The court said those can be provided in a "sealed cover" within 10 days.

The deal has become a major political issue with the leader of the main opposition Indian National Congress party, Rahul Gandhi, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government of buying the aircraft at nearly three times the price being negotiated when his party was in power before Modi became prime minister in 2014.

The government has refuted the claim, but says a secrecy clause governs the deal's pricing. It hasn't even informed Parliament about the cost of the 36 planes.

The court was hearing petitions by former ministers Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha and some others who demanded a court-monitored probe by a federal investigating agency in the deal.

Gandhi also accused Modi's government of favoring the company owned by industrialist Anil Ambani, Reliance Group, when choosing an Indian partner for Dassault.

India's government has denied any wrongdoing. Dassault Aviation recently said that it "has freely chosen to make a partnership with India's Reliance Group."

The French company said that it had committed to side deals in India worth 50 percent of the value of the jet purchases. In order to deliver those side deals, it had decided to create a joint venture with Reliance Group.

The controversy has intensified following comments last month by former French President Francois Hollande — who was in charge when the deal was signed in 2016 — suggesting France had no say in selecting the Indian company.


In a potentially far-reaching decision, South Korea's Supreme Court ruled that a major Japanese steelmaker should compensate four South Koreans for forced labor during Japan's colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula before the end of World War II.

The long-awaited ruling, delivered Tuesday after more than five years of deliberation at Seoul's top court, could have larger implications for similar lawsuits that are pending in South Korea and will likely trigger a diplomatic row between the Asian U.S. allies.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tokyo will respond "resolutely" to the ruling, which he described as "impossible in light of international law." He said the ruling violated a 1965 treaty between Seoul and Tokyo that was accompanied by Japanese payments to restore diplomatic ties. Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said Japan could potentially take the case to the International Court of Justice.

"Today's ruling by the South Korean Supreme Court has one-sidedly and fundamentally damaged the legal foundation of Japan-South Korea relations," Kono said.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in had no immediate reaction to the ruling. South Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman Noh Kyu-duk said Tokyo and Seoul "should gather wisdom" to prevent the ruling from negatively affecting their relations.

The court said Japan's Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. should provide compensation of 100 million won ($87,680) to each of the four plaintiffs, who were forced to work at Japanese steel mills from 1941 to 1943. Among them, only 94-year-old Lee Chun-sik has survived the legal battle, which extended nearly 14 years.



Several Supreme Court judges in Poland have returned from government-imposed retirements after the European Union's top court ordered their reinstatements.

Dozens of supporters greeted the six judges as they headed into the Supreme Court building on Monday, ready to resume work.

Some 20 of the court's judges were forced to retire in July after a new law took effect that lowered the retirement age for justices to 65 from 70.

The change is part of a judicial overhaul by Poland's conservative ruling party. EU leaders are challenging it in the European Court of Justice, which on Friday issued an injunction suspending the forced retirements.

Supreme Court First President Malgorzata Gersdorf was among the judges returning to work. She says the court's order was a "kind of win" for the judges.


A court in northern India sentenced a Hindu guru and 14 followers to life imprisonment on Tuesday in the deaths of four women and a child at his sprawling ashram.

The court ordered the penalty for Sant Rampal in Hisar city in Haryana state, where authorities deployed hundreds of riot police in anticipation of violence by the guru's thousands of disciples in response to his sentencing.

Rampal, 67, was arrested in 2014 following a days-long standoff between law enforcers and his supporters in which six people died and hundreds were injured. At the time, Rampal was wanted for questioning in a 2006 murder case and had repeatedly ignored orders to appear in court.

Rampal and the 14 followers were accused by police of holding the four women and child captive inside the ashram, resulting in their deaths from a lack of food and medicine as the fierce standoff continued. The court is expected to announce sentences in the death of a fifth woman on Wednesday.

Hindu gurus and holy men are immensely popular in India, with millions of followers. People often consult gurus before making important personal decisions. But the enormous power wielded by some has led to scandals in which they have been accused of exploiting devotees.




An American pastor flew out of Turkey on Friday after a Turkish court convicted him of terror links but freed him from house arrest, removing a major irritant in fraught ties between two NATO allies still strained by disagreements over Syria, Iran and a host of other issues.

The court near the western city of Izmir sentenced North Carolina native Andrew Brunson to just over three years in prison for allegedly helping terror groups, but let him go because the 50-year-old evangelical pastor had already spent nearly two years in detention. An earlier charge of espionage was dropped.

Hours later, Brunson was transported to Izmir’s airport and was flown out of Turkey, where he had lived for more than two decades. He was to be flown to the U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, then on to Washington, where he was to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday.

“I love Jesus. I love Turkey,” an emotional Brunson, who had maintained he was innocent of all charges, told the court during Friday’s hearing. He tearfully hugged his wife Norine Lyn as he awaited the court decision.

“PASTOR BRUNSON JUST RELEASED. WILL BE HOME SOON!” Trump tweeted after the American was driven out of a Turkish prison in a convoy. Later, after Brunson was airborne, Trump told reporters the pastor had “suffered greatly” but was in “very good shape,” and that he would meet with him at the Oval Office on Saturday.

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