A teenager accused of raping an 11-year-old girl in a park had attacked another schoolgirl a year before, a court has been told.
He is on trial accused of raping a girl after following her home from school on a bus and dragging her into a park in Enfield, north London, last November.
Mr Jaji, of Edmonton, denies rape.
He followed the girl, dragged her into Jubilee Park and subjected her to a three-hour ordeal, the Old Bailey heard.
Her glove had been stuffed in her mouth and she had been stripped and assaulted.
DNA in park
The girl ran home dishevelled and bleeding and later underwent surgery for her injuries, the court heard.
He claimed her DNA found on his bag, trainer shoe and the waistband of his boxer shorts was from when he went into the park later that evening, the jury heard.
But Rosina Cottage, QC, prosecuting, said it was “not a coincidence” that Mr Jaji had sexually assaulted and robbed a girl before.
Miss Cottage said a tie had been placed in that girl’s mouth by Mr Jaji.
She added: “He had an interest in pre-pubescent girls and sexual acts with pre-pubescent girls.”
Mr Jaji had been arrested a few days later after CCTV was viewed, and his bedroom searched.
A book about a little girl being sexually assaulted was found, along with adverts for child care vacancies and a picture of a little girl in Australia marked FC – a possible reference to Facebook, the court heard.
There was also an article about missing schoolgirl April Jones.
‘Dishevelled and panicky’
Miss Cottage said: “She got on the bus with her friend and they were giggling and chatting.
“Also on the bus was a young male, the defendant. He watched her get off the bus and followed her.
“He dragged her into a local park in the dark and raped her. She ran home bleeding and injured. Her blood and DNA were found on his clothes and bag.”
Miss Cottage said the girl had been expected home by 17:00 GMT and her parents rang police by 17:30 after she failed to turn up.
The girl appeared at 20:00 “dishevelled, dirty and panicky”.
“She had a crop-top bra in her hand and said she had been attacked,” Miss Cottage said.
The girl said her attacker “had kept making fists and cracking his knuckles”.
She said when they were in the park, he kept asking for her phone – which she did not have – her Oyster travel card and her keys.
At one point, he threatened to stab her if she moved and caught her when she tried to run away, the jury was told.
He had also threatened to film her and send copies to children at her school, she said.
The trial was adjourned until Thursday.
The controversial tradition at the heart of African culture has now reached the shores of Europe. Today, over 500 British girls are estimated to have undergone the procedure of female genital cutting.
Many young girls would get excited at the prospect of going on holiday but Jamelia knew that the plane she boarded was taking her to be ‘circumcised’. Jamelia was cut in an empty mansion by an old woman, strangers held her down and a clean razor was only used when more money exchanged hands. “I remember the blood everywhere”, Jamelia says, “one of the maids actually saw her pick up the bit of flesh they cut out.” Miriam‘s womb was accidentally sealed when she was cut and now she cannot have children. “It will stay with me until the day I die.” Now, the NHS confirms that cutters are flown over to the UK to cut girls in batches – a cheap alternative. The UK has more girls at risk of bring cut than any other European country and as yet no-one has been prosecuted for the crime.
Source: Reuters(Reporting by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Alistair Lyon)
DUBAI (Reuters) – Amnesty International has condemned a reported Saudi Arabian court ruling that a young man should be paralyzed as punishment for a crime he committed 10 years ago which resulted in the victim being confined to a wheelchair.
The London-based human rights group said Ali al-Khawaher, 24, was reported to have spent 10 years in jail waiting to be paralyzed surgically unless his family pays one million Saudi riyals ($270,000) to the victim.
The Saudi Gazette newspaper reported last week that Khawaher had stabbed a childhood friend in the spine during a dispute a decade ago, paralyzing him from the waist down.
Saudi Arabia applies Islamic sharia law, which allows eye-for-an-eye punishment for crimes but allows victims to pardon convicts in exchange for so-called blood money.
“Paralyzing someone as punishment for a crime would be torture,” Ann Harrison, Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director, said in a statement late on Tuesday.
“That such a punishment might be implemented is utterly shocking, even in a context where flogging is frequently imposed as a punishment for some offences, as happens in Saudi Arabia,” she added.
A government-approved Saudi human rights group did not respond to requests for comment.
The Arabic-language al-Hayat daily quoted Khawaher’s 60-year-old mother as saying her son was a juvenile aged 14 at the time of the offence. She said the victim had demanded 2 million riyals to pardon her son and later reduced this to 1 million. “But we don’t have even a tenth of this sum,” she said.
Al-Hayat said an unnamed philanthropist was trying to raise funds to pay the blood money, but it was not clear how much time remained before Khawaher’s sentence was to be carried out.
Amnesty said the case demonstrated the need for Saudi Arabia to review its laws to “start respecting their international obligations and remove these terrible punishments from the law”.
Saudi judges have in the past ordered sharia punishments that include tooth extraction, flogging, eye gouging and – in murder cases – death.
Source: torontosun.com(PATRICK MALONEY AND JENNIFER O’BRIEN, QMI AGENCY/With files from Reuters)
A CBC report Monday night cited unnamed sources in identifying two former South Secondary School students — Ali Medlej and Xristos Katsiroubas — as the Canadians whose bodies were found in the wreckage of the attack in Algeria in January.
QMI Agency attempts to speak with Katsiroubas’ relatives in London were unsuccessful late Monday, with one man refusing to answer the door and a woman shutting the door in a reporter’s face. “No thank you,” she said.
But the reported involvement of two London men sent shockwaves across the country, leaving the city at the centre of a stunning story of two Canadians implicated in the deaths of dozens.
About 70 people died when Algerian troops stormed the Tigantourine desert gas plant near the town of In Amenas to end the January hostage-taking. Algeria’s prime minister said at the time that a Canadian gunman had co-ordinated the operation.
The RCMP went to Algeria to investigate. An RCMP spokesperson last month told Reuters that two Canadians had been identified from the remains of the suspected attackers.
Monday, indications the attackers were from London had become a dramatic point of conversation across the city.
Former classmates were scouring their memories from South Secondary for any recollections of the pair — and there appeared to be few.
“He was totally forgettable,” one South alum, now 22, said of Katsiroubas, a Grade 10 and 11 classmate. “You know the cliche . . . a loner who kind of stayed to himself.”
The report cited another unnamed former classmate saying he recalls Katsiroubas moving toward Islam, and showing a growing interest in attending a mosque in London.
But a mosque spokesman said he had no recollection of the young men.
“I think the immediate reaction is ‘What? Here?’” London Muslim Mosque board member Wael Haddara said after contacting younger members of the community to ask if anyone had heard of the two men. “So far, nobody knows who these people are.
“I don’t know them and I think I know most of the younger people who come to the mosque by first-name basis,” he said.
Haddara said the mosque has not been contacted by police or CSIS about the situation, but said board members and staff would welcome any inquiries.
“It sounds funny, telling law-enforcement authorities through the newspaper that we are more than happy to talk to them, but we are,” he said.
Source : oxfordmail.co.uk
The first suspect to take the witness stand, married dad-of-three Kamar Jamil, finished his evidence yesterday.
But when it came to hear defence cases for the Dogar brothers, no evidence was put forward by their lawyers.
And Lee Karu said: “On behalf of Mr Anjum Dogar we call no evidence.”
Akhtar, 32, denies five rapes and Anjum denies three. The brothers, of Tawney Street, also each deny three charges of conspiracy to rape, two of arranging or facilitating child prostitution, and one of trafficking for sexual exploitation.
The crimes are said to have been committed between 2004 and 2008 against complainants known as Girl 1 and 3 aged between 13 and 15, and Girl 2 when she was 14.
Finishing his evidence, 27-year-old Jamil said he had found it “really hard” as he had trouble expressing himself during the trial.
Girl 1 claims the former car salesman gave her alcohol and drugs, raped her, and sold her for sex when she was aged between 13 and 15. Girl 2 claims he raped her twice when she was 14. Jamil denies the charges.
Wearing a white shirt with a black tie, he told the court: “I seriously do not know these girls.”
And he told the jury: “I had to push myself to say my side.
“I’m trying my best to let the jury know but I am not sure if I have done well.
“But I feel better that I have come out here.”
Prosecutor Noel Lucas said four witnesses had identified him as someone who was often with the Dogar brothers. He said: “In reality Mr Jamil, four different girls have all remembered you, named you, identified you, and linked you to the Dogars.
“Can you think of any reason why these four girls should, quite independently of each other, attribute sexual contact to you if you were not in anyway involved?”
Jamil said: “I have done nothing to these girls.”
The Tesco security guard said he had responded to police questions with “no comment” when arrested last March on the advice on his solicitors.
And he told the jury he could not remember some details about his life because it was so long ago, adding: “I am trying my best.”
All nine defendants deny all 66 charges against them.
The trial will continue on Wednesday.
Source : bbc.co.uk
Abu Qatada was returned to prison following an alleged bail breach on 9 March
She acted after the Special Immigration Appeals Commission said the radical cleric could not be returned to Jordan.
Judges say he could face an unfair trial involving evidence obtained by torturing others.
The Home Office said it would further appeal, adding: “This is not the end of the road. The government remains determined to deport Abu Qatada.”
A spokesman added: “In the meantime we continue to work with the Jordanians to address the outstanding legal issues preventing deportation.”
In their judgement, Lord Dyson, sitting with Lord Justice Richards and Lord Justice Elias, said the appeals commission was entitled to think there was a risk the “impugned statements” would be admitted in evidence at a retrial. This meant there was “a real risk of a flagrant denial of justice”.
The judges said the court accepted that Qatada “is regarded as a very dangerous person”, but that was not “a relevant consideration” under human rights laws.
Abu Qatada’s legal team has not yet lodged a bail application with the Special Immigration Appeals Commission.
Judges would not be able to hear any application before the Easter break which means he remains in prison for the time being.
Continue reading the main story
Home affairs correspondent
The legal battle over Abu Qatada has gone on so long, he’s seen off six home secretaries. It’s now very, very, difficult to see where Theresa May can go from here.
The Court of Appeal’s ruling makes clear that the chances of an appeal to the Supreme Court are very slim.
The immediate effect is that the preacher can’t be detained under immigration law because there’s no realistic chance he is going to be deported anytime soon.
So if the home secretary wants to get rid of the cleric, she’ll have to start all over again trying to convince judges that the facts on the ground in Jordan have changed.
Critics of this legal saga say it would never have been necessary if Abu Qatada had been charged with a crime and put on trial.
Read more from Dominic
This law can only be used to hold someone if there is a realistic prospect the person is going to be deported – a prospect this ruling undermines.
Abu Qatada was re-arrested and returned to Belmarsh prison earlier this month following an alleged breach of bail conditions, concerning the use of communications equipment at his home.
The Metropolitan Police said his breach was linked to an investigation into extremist internet material.
If the police arrested and charged him with an offence in relation to that investigation, or another accusation, they could ask a judge to remand him in prison before trial.
Abu Qatada has never been charged with an offence in the UK.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: “This is an extremely serious and disappointing judgment which rips apart Theresa May’s strategy for deporting Abu Qatada and contradicts her repeated assurances to Parliament that her approach would get him swiftly on to a plane.
“The home secretary needs to pursue all legal avenues, demonstrate further work with Jordan, take urgent action to keep the public safe, and get this deportation back on track.”
Siac ruled in November there was a “real risk” evidence gained by torture could be used against Abu Qatada at a retrial in Jordan, meaning that he would not get a fair hearing.
In April 1999, he was convicted in his absence on terror charges in Jordan and sentenced to life imprisonment, and it is on these charges that he faces a retrial.
At a Court of Appeal hearing earlier this month, lawyers for the UK government argued a block on his deportation should be lifted, saying a “fair” trial in Jordan was possible.
Home Office Minister James Brokenshire: ”This is certainly not the end of the road”
James Eadie QC, appearing for Mrs May, said Siac had taken an “erroneous” view of the situation in Jordan and the legal tests that had to be applied when it came to assessing the conditions Abu Qatada could face there.
He said Jordanian law bans the use of torture and reliance on statements extracted under duress.
Jordanians will do everything in their power to make sure Abu Qatada receives a trial that was “fair and seen to be so”, he added.
But lawyers for Abu Qatada told the court that the UK should not send someone back to a country with a “dubious human rights record”.
Edward Fitzgerald QC, appearing for the cleric, argued the Siac ruling was right and there was “concrete and compelling evidence” that his co-defendants were tortured into providing evidence.
He said government lawyers had “identified no error of law” and were “quarrelling with findings of fact”.
Abu Qatada was first arrested in October 2002 in south London and detained in Belmarsh high-security prison. He was re-arrested and released on bail number of times over the years that followed.
In November 2012, he was released on bail from prison in when the courts blocked the home secretary’s latest attempt to deport him to Jordan.
Source: telegraph.co.uk ( Andrew Gilligan)
Victims say that officers in the borough of Tower Hamlets have ignored or downplayed outbreaks of hate crime, and suppressed evidence implicating Muslims in them, because they fear being accused of racism.
The claims come as four Tower Hamlets Muslims were jailed for at least 19 years for attacking a local white teacher who gave religious studies lessons to Muslim girls.
The Sunday Telegraph has uncovered more than a dozen other cases in Tower Hamlets where both Muslims and non-Muslims have been threatened or beaten for behaviour deemed to breach fundamentalist “Islamic norms.”
One victim, Mohammed Monzur Rahman, said he was left partially blind and with a dislocated shoulder after being attacked by a mob in Cannon Street Road, Shadwell, for smoking during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan last year.
“Two guys stopped me in the street and asked me why I was smoking,” he said. “I just carried on, and before I knew another dozen guys came and jumped me. The next thing I knew, I was waking up in hospital.”
“He reported it to the police and they just said they couldn’t track anyone down and there were no witnesses,” said Ansar Ahmed Ullah, a local anti-extremism campaigner who has advised Mr Rahman. “But there is CCTV in that street and it is lined with shops and people.”
Teachers in several local schools have told The Sunday Telegraph that they feel “under pressure” from local Muslim extremists, who have mounted campaigns through both parents and pupils – and, in one case, through another teacher – to enforce the compulsory wearing of the veil for Muslim girls. “It was totally orchestrated,” said one teacher. “The atmosphere became extremely unpleasant for a while, with constant verbal aggression from both the children and some parents against the head over this issue.”
One teacher at the Bigland Green primary school, Nicholas Kafouris, last year took the council to an employment tribunal, saying he was forced out of his job for complaining that Muslim pupils were engaging in racist and anti-Semitic bullying and saying they supported terrorism. Mr Kafouris lost his case, though the school did admit that insufficient action had been taken against the behaviour of some pupils. The number of assaults on teachers in Tower Hamlets resulting in exclusions has more than doubled from 190 in 2007/8 to 383 in 2008/9, the latest available year, though not all are necessarily race-related.
Tower Hamlets’ gay community has become a particular target of extremists. Homophobic crimes in the borough have risen by 80 per cent since 2007/8, and by 21 per cent over the last year, a period when there was a slight drop in London as a whole.
Last year, a mob of 30 young Muslims stormed a local gay pub, the George and Dragon, beating and abusing patrons. Many customers of the pub told The Sunday Telegraph that they have been attacked and harassed by local Muslim youths. In 2008 a 20-year-old student, Oli Hemsley, was left permanently paralysed after an attack by a group of young Muslims outside the pub. Only one of his assailants has been caught and jailed.
Even during meetings of the local council, prominent supporters of Tower Hamlets’ controversial directly-elected mayor, Lutfur Rahman – dropped by the Labour Party for his links to Islamic fundamentalism – have persistently targeted gay councillors with homophobic abuse and intimidation from the public gallery.
The Labour leader, Josh Peck, was attacked with animal noises and cries of “Unnatural acts! Unnatural acts!” when he rose to speak. The Conservative leader, Peter Golds, was repeatedly heckled as “Mrs Golds” and a “poofter”.
Mr Golds said: “If that happened in a football stadium, arrests would have taken place. I have complained, twice, to the police, and have heard nothing. A Labour colleague waited three hours at the police station before being told that nothing would be done. The police are afraid of being accused of Islamophobia. Another Labour councillor said that the Met is now the reverse of what it must have been like in the 1970s, with a complete lack of interest when white people make complaints of harassment and hatred.”
In February this year, dozens of stickers appeared across Tower Hamlets quoting the Koran, declaring the borough a “gay-free zone” and stating that “verily Allah is severe in punishment.”
The Sunday Telegraph has learned that during a routine stop-and-search at the time police found a young Muslim man with a number of the stickers in his possession. He was released without charge on the advice of the Crown Prosecution Service. Police also had CCTV images of a second unidentified Muslim youth posting the stickers at a local railway station, but refused to release the pictures for several weeks.
Peter Tatchell, the gay human rights campaigner, said: “The police said no-one was allowed to talk publicly about this because they didn’t want to upset the Muslim community. We’ve made very clear the difference between the Muslim community as a whole and these particular fundamentalists, and the fact that the police wouldn’t publicly say what they knew was an absolute disgrace.”
When the CCTV footage was finally released, in early April, the culprit was quickly identified as 18-year-old Mohammed Hasnath, who last week pleaded guilty to a public order offence and was fined £100. Jack Gilbert, of the Rainbow Hamlets gay group, said a more serious charge should have been brought. “The vast majority of the community saw the material as threatening, but the police were not willing to accept it as threatening,” he said.
Hasnath’s “interests” on his Facebook page include Khalid Yasin, a hate preacher who describes Jews as “filth” and teaches that homosexuals must be killed. Yasin has spoken at least four times since 2007 at the East London Mosque, Tower Hamlets’ most prominent Muslim institution. Although the mosque claims to be against extremism, discrimination, and violence, it has hosted dozens of hate, extremist or terrorist preachers and also hosted a “Spot The Fag” contest.
In the same week that it issued a press release condemning the anti-gay stickers, the mosque was also due to host a “gala dinner” with Uthman Lateef, a homophobic hate preacher.
The mosque is controlled by a fundamentalist group, the Islamic Forum of Europe, which says that it is dedicated to changing the “very infrastructure of society, its institutions, its culture, its political order and its creed … from ignorance to Islam.”
The IFE’s community affairs co-ordinator, Azad Ali, is chairman of the Muslim Safety Forum, an organisation officially recognised by the Met as its “principal [liaison] body in relation to Muslim community safety.” Mr Golds said: “This relationship may explain the police’s feebleness.” The IFE also has close links to the Tower Hamlets mayor, Mr Rahman.
There is no suggestion that any mosque official has been personally involved in any act of violence or intimidation. However, in an email obtained by The Sunday Telegraph, one IFE activist, Abu Talha, used the name of the group to threaten a local Muslim woman who ran a dating agency.
“I am asking you kindly to stop these activities as it goes against the teachings of Islam,” he wrote. “Let me remind you that I have a huge network of brothers and sisters who would be willing to help me take this further…If by tomorrow you haven’t changed your mind … then the campaign will begin.” The dating agency has now closed and the woman has left the area.
Mr Ahmed Ullah said: “There has been a gradual increase in these kinds of attacks, that’s for sure.” A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: “When any allegation of crime is made to us, we investigate appropriately. We will always take action against hate crime in accordance with, and within the confines of, the law.”