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A German court has fined three bank customers for failing to help an elderly man who collapsed in a bank branch and later died.

The Essen district court handed the defendants, a woman and two men, fines ranging from 2,400 to 3,600 euros ($2,865 to $4,300).

Police said surveillance camera footage showed four people walking past or over him as he lay on the floor. The fourth person faces separate proceedings.

The 83-year-old man collapsed as he used a banking terminal on a public holiday last October.

Only after about 20 minutes did another customer call emergency services. The man was taken to a hospital but died a few days later.

News agency dpa reported that the defendants testified Monday they had thought he was a sleeping homeless man.


An Indian court on Thursday sentenced two men to death and two others to life in prison for a series of bombings that killed 257 people in Mumbai in 1993. A fifth man was given 10 years in prison.

The five men were convicted earlier of criminal conspiracy and murder in the planting of 12 powerful bombs in cars, scooters and suitcases around India's financial capital.

The sentencing ended a second trial related to the bombings. An initial trial ended in 2007 with more than 100 people convicted, of whom 11 were sentenced to death and the rest to various terms in prison.

Ujjwal Nikam, the main prosecutor, said he could not ask for a death sentence for Abu Salem, a prime suspect, because he was extradited from Portugal to India in 2005 after the Indian government pledged he would not be given the death penalty, a key requirement in extradition proceedings in Europe.

He fled India after the bombings and was later arrested by police in Portugal.

The Mumbai court sentenced Salem to life in prison after finding him guilty of transporting weapons from Gujarat state to Mumbai ahead of the blasts. These included AK-56 assault rifles, ammunition and hand grenades.

Prosecutors said the bombings were an act of revenge for the 1992 demolition of a 16th century mosque by Hindu nationalists in northern India. That triggered religious riots in parts of India, leaving more than 800 dead, both Hindus and Muslims.

The blasts targeted a number of prominent sites in Mumbai, including the stock exchange, Air India building, hotels, a cinema and shopping bazaars.

Prosecutors said the attack was masterminded by underworld kingpin Dawood Ibrahim. India accuses Pakistan of sheltering Ibrahim, a charge Islamabad denies. India says he has been living in Karachi, Pakistan's financial hub, after fleeing from Mumbai, and has asked Pakistan to hand him over to face trial in India.


A Palestinian court has extended the detention of a prominent activist who criticized the autonomy government of President Mahmoud Abbas.

Farid al-Atrash, the lawyer of Issa Amro, said Thursday that the court had extended his client's detention for four days.

He says Amro is being held under a recent edict that allows the government to crack down on social media critics. In a Facebook post, Amro criticized the detention of a local journalist who called for Abbas' detention.

"This is a black day in the history of the Palestinian judicial system and for Palestinian freedom of expression," al-Atrash said.

Amro was detained on Monday and has been on a hunger strike since then. Amro, 35, also faces charges in an Israeli military court. His trial is to resume in October.


A French court ruled Tuesday that photographers and gossip magazine executives violated the privacy of Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge by taking and publishing photographs of the former Kate Middleton sunbathing topless.

The court in a Paris suburb fined two executives of French gossip magazine Closer — owner Ernesto Mauri and executive editor Laurence Pieau — each the maximum of 45,000 euros ($53,500) for such an offense.

The Closer executives, along with two photographers for a celebrity photo agency, were collectively ordered to pay 50,000 euros ($59,500) in damages to Kate and the same amount to her husband, Prince William.

The damage award was substantially below the figure that the magazine’s lawyer said the royals had requested, but the timing of the court’s finding of privacy invasion had particular resonance in Britain.

Last week marked the 20th anniversary of the death of William’s mother, Princess Diana, who was killed in a Paris car accident that occurred while she was being pursued by paparazzi.


The royal couple did not attend the hearing where the verdict was announced. Their office at Kensington Palace said they were pleased the court ruled in their favor and now consider the matter closed.

Kate and William “wished to make the point strongly that this kind of unjustified intrusion should not happen,” the palace said in a statement.



A Moscow court ruled Monday to keep arguably Russia's most revered contemporary theater and film director under house arrest, in a criminal case that has fueled fears of a revival of Soviet era-like crackdown on the arts.

The Moscow City Court turned down Kirill Serebrennikov's appeal against a ruling last week to put him under house arrest, but agreed to allow him a two-hour walk outside the house each day.

Serebrennikov was arrested last month on charges of embezzlement in St. Petersburg, where he was shooting a movie, and taken to Moscow under armed escort.

For many in Russia, particularly in the arts scene, a photograph of the stunned-looking director, handcuffed and escorted to the court by three burly masked men, came as the ultimate proof that Soviet-style censorship has returned.

Investigators are accusing the 47-year old director of scheming to embezzle about $1.1 million in government funds allocated for one of his productions and the projects he championed between 2011 and 2014. Serebrennikov dismissed the accusations as "absurd and impossible."

The director was briefly detained and questioned in May but investigators stopped short of saying they suspected he was involved. An accountant and one senior manager who worked with Serebrennikov are in custody and another manager is under house arrest.

Marina Davydova, a theater critic and a friend of Serebrennikov's who saw him shortly before the arrest, said he had somewhat anticipated his arrest but did not consider fleeing Russia because of his work commitments. In the few months between the questioning in May and his arrest in August, one of Russia's most sought-after directors staged one opera in Moscow, nearly finished another and began filming a movie in St. Petersburg.

"Kirill is a creative powerhouse," Davydova told The Associated Press. "They took his passport during the search. He cannot run away from work, he is constrained by it much more than (the absence of a) passport. He is an idealist, he kept saying till the end: So, everything I built here - it's all for nothing?"

Serebrennikov's cutting-edge productions, which range from drama to opera and movies, have been running against a more conservative streak in Russia society. He's focused on the little discussed subjects such as official lies, corruption and sex. Though bringing him critical acclaim, his work has been condemned by the more hard-line elements within Russian society, who protested against the use of state funds to finance his endeavors.

In what was largely perceived as the first warning shot from his high-placed enemies, the Bolshoi Theater in July canceled a much-anticipated ballet about dancer Rudolf Nureyev just three days before the opening night. Despite the numerous reports suggesting otherwise, the Bolshoi denied that the Nureyev ballet, directed by Serebrennikov, had been scrapped because of its frank description of his gay relationships, a taboo under a strict Russian law banning gay propaganda.

Conservative activists have felt empowered since Vladimir Putin returned as Russia's president in 2012. Art shows have been ransacked while theater shows have been cancelled under pressure from church officials. Tensions peaked earlier this year when conservative activists led by a lawmaker lashed out at a yet-to-be-released movie about the last czar's affair with a ballerina. The film's director has received threats, and unidentified attackers threw Molotov's cocktails at his studios last week.

Davydova, the theater critic, is convinced that Serebrennikov's arrest is a personal vendetta by those who feel empowered enough to go after the likes of Serebrennikov, someone they consider to be an unpatriotic deviant.


Jerusalem residents woke to discover a surprising spectacle outside the country's Supreme Court — a golden statue of the court's president put up in protest by members of a religious nationalist group.

Police quickly removed the statue of Miram Naor, raised outside the court overnight, but after questioning some suspects, said no criminal activity had occurred.

Derech Chaim, which wants to impose Jewish religious law in Israel, said it had put up the statue to protest what one activist called the court's "dictatorship." Many Israeli hardliners consider the court to be excessively liberal and interventionist.

Ariel Gruner, a Derech Chaim activist, said the statue was erected in response to a court ruling this week over the country's treatment of African migrants. The ruling said that while Israel can transfer migrants to a third country, it cannot incarcerate them for more than 60 days to pressure them to leave.

The ruling is among a series of decisions that "eliminates the possibility of elected officials, of the government, to make decisions and rule," Gruner said.

He acknowledged that the statue had been inspired by a golden statue of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu erected by a left-wing artist in a main Tel Aviv square last year.


The suspect in the abduction of a University of Illinois scholar from China is scheduled to appear in court for a pretrial status hearing.

Lawyers for Brendt Christensen indicated before Monday's hearing that they'll ask the federal judge overseeing the case in Urbana to delay the trial date. It's currently scheduled to start Sept. 12. Requests by defense attorneys for more time to go through evidence are common.

Yingying Zhang disappeared June 9, weeks after arriving at the central Illinois campus. The 26-year-old was doing research in agricultural sciences and expected to begin work on her doctorate in the fall.

Investigators say they believe she's dead. Her body's hasn't been found.Christensen is suspected of abducting her in Urbana while she was going to sign an apartment lease.


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