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A Queensland Australia couple have each been given life in prison for the sadistic torture and murder of mother-of-four Tia Landers.

Drug supplier John Edward Harris and his partner Linda Eileen Appleton were sentenced in Brisbane’s Supreme Court on Friday after pleading guilty to murdering Ms Landers in a brutal and bloody encounter at their Brighton home in June 2014.

Tia Lander-murder-victim-qld-australia image www.crimefiles.net

Tia Landers’ body was discovered, wrapped in a blanket, in a shallow grave at Beerburrum State Forest with 30 wounds. Photo: Facebook

Harris will have to spend at least 27 years behind bars before being eligible for parole, while Appleton must serve at least 23 years.

Justice Jean Dalton ordered their parole eligibility to be set beyond the statutory 20-year minimum for the “sadistic” killing, where Ms Landers was cut with a machete, bashed, kicked, stomped, and then twice shot in the head.

“The offending involved a protracted, sadistic and brutal torturing of Ms Landers over a period of hours,” Justice Dalton said.

The motivation for the killing, she said, stemmed from Appleton’s suspicion Ms Landers was having an affair with Harris, and stealing her clothes and jewellery.

Justice Dalton said Appleton was so obsessed with the idea of revenge that she began plotting it from inside jail seven days before Ms Landers’ killing.

A letter of apology from the 43-year-old was given to the Landers family on Friday, but Justice Dalton said she had great difficulty reconciling it with the evidence.

Appleton and 44-year-old Harris, who at one point held hands in the dock during sentencing, initially pleaded not guilty to the murder but reversed their pleas after five days of evidence in their trial.

It followed guilty pleas to interfering with her corpse and depriving the liberty of two men, Jake McKenzie and Ryan Morgan.

During the trial, Mr McKenzie told the court a fight had escalated at the couple’s home after Appleton slashed open Ms Landers’ leg with a machete.

Harris eventually retrieved a gun and shot her in the head, but she was “still alive enough to say no” before being fired on a second time.

During sentencing, the court heard Harris had previously been jailed for manslaughter in a case with striking similarities to Ms Landers’ murder.

In that case, the victim’s body was also wrapped up and dumped in the Beerburrum forest.

In a powerful victim impact statement read out in court, Ms Landers’ mother Mary said it was difficult to convey how the brutal crime had affected her life.

“There are no words adequate to describe the pain, anger and despair that I have felt from her murder,” she wrote.

“I have lost my faith and trust in people. I have trouble finding joy in the simple pleasures of life.”

Outside court, Haley Matthews said no sentence for her cousin’s brutal killing would be enough for her family.

“While Harris and Appleton were handed life sentences … this in our opinion is not justice,” she said.

“The only people who have received life sentences today are those who loved Tia, especially her children.”

AAP

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The Australia state’s highest court has dismissed former stripper Robyn Lindholm’s attempt to reduce her prison term, with judges saying her 25-year sentence was “merciful” given what she had done.

Lindholm pleaded guilty to murder after enlisting her lover Torsten Trabert and another man, John Ryan, to kill Hawthorn gym owner Wayne Amey on December 10, 2013.

Femme fatale stripper Robyn Lindholm image www.crimefiles.net

Femme fatale stripper Robyn Lindholm’s application for a reduced sentence was dismissed by the Court of Appeal. Photo: Supplied

This was one day before Lindholm and Mr Amey were due in court to address a dispute they had over a farm they owned in Bittern.

The trio last week appealed their prison terms, arguing they were “manifestly excessive”.

Torsten Trabert killer image www.crimefiles.net

Torsten Trabert Photo: Justin McManus

Lindholm is serving 25 years, Trabert 28 years and Ryan 31 years in prison for Mr Amey’s murder.

Court of Appeal Justices Mark Weinberg, Simon Whelan and Phillip Priest unanimously dismissed Lindholm’s right to challenge her sentence and refused Ryan and Torbert’s appeals.

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The judges said in a joint decision that Lindholm’s sentence was comparable with other similar cases where people were motivated to kill because someone had taken legal action against them.

“It is difficult to overstate Lindholm’s moral culpability for this crime. She pleaded guilty but the [sentencing] judge found that she was not remorseful…” they said.

John Ryan killer image www.crimefiles.net

John Ryan  Photo: Justin McManus

“In our view, the sentence imposed upon her was a merciful one in the circumstances.”

The judges said: “This was a truly terrible crime. Lindholm had tried to have Mr Amey killed for two years, including trying to persuade others to kill him for her.

“Trabert and Ryan callously, ruthlessly and violently carried out her wishes.”

Lindholm had continued to arrange for Mr Amey to be murdered even after she was given a community corrections order for breaking into his apartment.

The judges said the sentencing judge had given her prior criminal history “markedly favourable” treatment.

Lindholm’s lawyer, Scott Johns, had argued that her sentence was “unmistakably outside the range” available, and that the sentencing judge had not given enough weight to her guilty plea.

The judges dismissed Trabert and Ryan’s respective appeals, saying that while Lindholm “might well be seen as having greater moral culpability than them”, she had pleaded guilty, while they had maintained their innocence.

The two men were also “the ones who actually carried out the killing”.

They said there was not enough of a difference between their prison terms and Lindholm’s to warrant intervention.

Trabert and Ryan both argued that their sentences should be lowered because they had less responsibility for the murder than Lindholm.

Trabert’s lawyer had claimed his client’s motivation to kill was sex.

Ryan’s lawyer said he had entered into the arrangement at a later stage, thinking they were going to beat Mr Amey for mistreating Lindholm.

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Two ex police officers get life sentences after court finds them guilty of executing Jamie Gao.

Roger Rogerson, left, and Glen McNamara during the trial.image www.crimefiles.net

As grey-haired killers Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara waited to learn their fate for murder, each of them took turns in shutting their eyes for several minutes at a time.

But the former policemen, 75 and 57 respectively, were wide-eyed and standing when they were given a life sentence for the “heinous” and “audacious” murder of university student and drug dealer Jamie Gao, 20.

>>>>SEE OUR EARLIER CRIMES FILES STORY ABOUT THIS MURDER HERE

Rogerson, McNamara trial: What happened in unit 803?

The trial of Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara over the murder of Jamie Gao heard three accounts of the university student’s death in a Sydney storage unit.

On Friday Justice Geoffrey Bellew found the pair had been “overwhelmed by greed” when they killed Mr Gao to steal 2.78 kilograms of ice.

He also said the pair had “a complete disregard for the life of another human being” when they murdered Mr Gao inside a southern Sydney storage unit in May 2014.

“The joint criminal enterprise to which each offender was a party was extensive in its planning, brutal in its execution, and callous in its aftermath,” Justice Bellew said during his sentencing remarks before the NSW Supreme Court on Friday.

The pair were also given a minimum nine-year sentence for the supply of a prohibited narcotic drug

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Upon hearing the life sentence handed down, Mr Gao’s family released a statement, saying the life sentence was everything they had hoped for.

“To have these two men, who took Jamie from us, sentenced to essentially die in jail, is absolutely fitting,” they said.

“The courts can’t lessen the term of Jamie’s death or the impact that his death, the investigation and ensuing trial has had on our family. Unfortunately, there is no opportunity for a lesser sentence for Jamie or for those of us left behind.”

During his sentencing remarks Justice Bellew noted Mr Gao had been killed by two former police officers.

Jamie Gao. Photo Facebook image www.crimefiles.net

Jamie Gao.  Photo: Facebook

“Aspects of their commission of these crimes reflect the fact the offenders put to use, for all the wrong reasons, knowledge and experience that they gained as a consequence of their investigation of criminal offences when they were members of the police force,” he said.

Upon learning his fate, an apparently emotionless Rogerson hobbled down the stairs in his prison greens with corrective service officers to the cells below the historic Darlinghurst court complex.

The joint criminal enterprise … was extensive in its planning, brutal in its execution and callous in its aftermath.

Justice Geoffrey Bellew

McNamara said to his teary family “be strong”: his daughter Jessica responded by blowing kisses.

During an 18-week trial, a jury heard how Rogerson and McNamara had spent months planning the murder of Mr Gao to steal 2.78 kilograms of the drug ice from him.

Mr Gao was shot dead and stuffed into a silver surfboard bag then dumped at sea. His body was found floating off the shore of Cronulla several days later.

“The disposal of the deceased’s body at sea was both cruel and insensitive. It was done solely for the purpose of the offenders endeavouring to ensure that the deceased would never be found, rendering it all the more difficult for any responsibility to ever be attributed to either of them,” Justice Bellew said.

During the sentencing hearing the court heard how on the day of the murder, Mr Gao was captured on CCTV footage going into unit 803 at Padstow Rent-a-Space, with McNamara.

A little more than three minutes later, Rogerson walked into the shed.

At some point, Mr Gao was shot dead although Rogerson and McNamara blamed one another.

Rogerson told the court that McNamara told him there had been a struggle, and that Mr Gao had shot himself twice in the chest.

But McNamara said he was by himself with Mr Gao inside the shed when Rogerson opened the door and demanded the victim hand over the “gear”.

Mr Gao pulled out a combat-style knife and, simultaneously, Rogerson produced a gun and fired two shots.

McNamara said Rogerson then aimed the gun at his head and threatened to kill him and his daughters if he did not help dispose of the body.

Justice Bellew rejected both of their accounts but said he could not find beyond reasonable doubt who had pulled the trigger.

“The deceased was executed in cold blood, just as the offenders had planned. Clearly, one of them shot the deceased. There is an obvious suspicion, arising from the evidence of the presence of gunshot residue on his clothing, that it was Rogerson who did so,” he said.

“Whilst I am satisfied that the deceased was shot by one of the offenders whilst in storage unit 803, I am unable to determine which offender was responsible.”

The jury accepted the pair were part of a joint criminal enterprise, finding them both guilty of murder and commercial supply of a prohibited drug in June.

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Congolese ex-rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba has been jailed for 18 years following a landmark conviction at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes and sexual violence.

Bemba, a former vice-president of DR Congo, was convicted in March of crimes committed in the neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR) in 2002-2003.

He was accused of failing to stop his rebels from killing and raping people.

Bemba’s lawyers have already said they will appeal against his conviction.

Judges announced sentences of between 16 and 18 years for five counts of rape, murder and pillaging, with the jail terms running concurrently. The eight years Bemba has already spent in custody will be deducted from his term.

His conviction was the first time the ICC had focused on rape as a weapon of war, and the first time a suspect had been convicted for crimes committed by others under his command.

Passing sentence at the ICC in The Hague, Judge Sylvia Steiner said Bemba had failed to exercise control over his private militia sent into CAR, where they carried out “sadistic” rapes, murders and pillaging of “particular cruelty”.

The BBC’s Anna Holligan, who is in The Hague, says two key issues remain – where Bemba will serve his sentence and the amount of compensation to be awarded to his victims.


Who is Jean-Pierre Bemba?

Jean-Pierre Bemba image www.crimefiles.net

  • A well-connected businessman and the son of prominent Congolese businessman Bemba Saolona
  • 1998: Helped by Uganda to form MLC rebel group in Democratic Republic of Congo
  • 2003: Becomes vice-president under peace deal
  • 2006: Loses run-off election to President Joseph Kabila but gets most votes in western DR Congo, including Kinshasa
  • 2007: Flees to Belgium after clashes in Kinshasa
  • 2008: Arrested in Brussels and handed over to ICC
  • 2010: Trial begins
  • 2016: Found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity

Profile: Jean-Pierre Bemba

More about DR Congo


Bemba was “extremely disappointed” with the sentence, his lawyer, Kate Gibson, told AFP news agency.

“Today’s sentence is by no means the end of the road for Mr Bemba, it merely signals that we are now moving to the next phase of the process which is the appeal,” she said.

In 2002 Bemba had sent more than 1,000 fighters to the CAR to help then president Ange Felix Patasse put down an attempted coup.

The court heard that his troops committed acts of extreme violence against civilians – crimes which the judge said Bemba was made aware of but did nothing to stop.

He had led the MLC (Movement for the Liberation of Congo) rebel group during DR Congo’s brutal civil war and after a 2003 peace deal he laid down his arms and joined an interim government.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the sentence offered “a measure of justice” for the victims.

“Other commanders should take notice that they, too, can be held accountable for rapes and other serious abuses committed by troops under their control,” said Geraldine Mattioli-Zeltner, HRW’s international justice advocacy director.

The MLC is now a major opposition party in DR Congo and Secretary General Eve Bazaiba criticised the ICC ruling and sentence.

“We will never cease denouncing the selective justice of the ICC,” she told supporters in the capital Kinshasa.

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Ashraf Kamal Makary.serial-rapist image www.crimefiles.net

A serial predator who hunted and raped young Korean women travelling and working in Australia has been sentenced to 18 years and six months in jail.

Ashraf Kamal Makary, 42, was on Friday sentenced in the Brisbane District Court after a jury found him guilty of two rapes, one attempted rape and three counts of administering a stupefying drug on Wednesday.

Justice Leanne Clare was scathing in her assessment of the Egypt-born offender, describing him as a “true serial predator” from whom the community needed protection.

Justice Clare said Makary deliberately hunted the young Korean women through a language exchange website, with the intention of raping them.

“You devised a wicked plan, you set a trap and you lured the prey,” she said.

The court heard Makary emailed and texted the women – who were aged 19, 20 and 24 – in the weeks leading up to April 2011, to encourage them to meet with him.

Justice Clare said he brought his own “rape kit” to the meetings, which included wine and sleeping tablets, with the intention of turning each woman into a “rag doll”.

Defence barrister Joshua Fenton had argued his client’s offending was less serious because there was no gratuitous violence involved.

However Justice Clare said Makary’s drugging of victims was the “most serious aspect” of his offending.

“The women were are your mercy,” she said.

“They were here in Australia for opportunity and adventure.

“Instead you stole the freedom and innocence of their youth.”

The court heard Makary had no prior criminal history, however he has since been convicted of another rape that occurred while he was on bail in April 2012.

He will be sentenced for that matter next week.

Justice Clare said although he had spent four years in pre-sentence custody, she would still impose a sentence of 18 years and six months.

“You took the opportunity while on bail to rape yet another woman,” she said.

“You only stopped because you were locked up.”

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Published on Jun 2, 2016

Serial killer Michael Madison’s death sentence an antidote for victims’ families
VIDEO: Victim’s father attacks serial killer Michael Madison during sentencing


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Jury sentences Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death by a U.S. jury on Friday for helping carry out the 2013 attack that killed three people and wounded 264 others in the crowds at the race’s finish line.

After deliberating for 15 hours, the federal jury chose death by lethal injection for Tsarnaev, 21, over its only other option: life in prison without possibility of release.

The same jury found Tsarnaev guilty last month of placing a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs on April 15, 2013, as well as fatally shooting a policeman. The bombing was one of the highest-profile attacks on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001.

Tsarnaev, dressed in a dark sport coat and light-colored shirt, stood quietly as the sentence was read, remaining expressionless as he had throughout most of the trial.

During 10 weeks of testimony, jurors heard from about 150 witnesses, including people whose legs were torn off by the shrapnel-filled bombs. William Richard, the father of bombing victim Martin Richard, described the decision to leave his 8-year-old son to die of his wounds so that he could save the life of his daughter, Jane, who lost a leg but survived.

Prosecutors described Tsarnaev, who is an ethnic Chechen, as an adherent of al Qaeda’s militant Islamist views who carried out the attack as an act of retribution for U.S. military campaigns in Muslim-majority countries.

The jury’s decision does not mean Tsarnaev will face imminent death. Defense attorneys are likely to appeal the sentence, a process that can stretch out for many years.

“I know that there is still a long road ahead,” said survivor Karen Brassard, whose left leg was badly injured in the attack. “There are going to be many, many dates ahead. But today we can take a breath, and actually breathe again,” she told reporters.

An appeal could focus on a number of issues, including the court’s denial of a defense plea to move the trial out of Boston or refusal to challenge the graphic photos and videos that the jury saw of the bombs’ detonation and the severe wounds they inflicted.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is pictured in this handout photo presented as evidence by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston

“Prosecutors do have a burden of proof to show that people died, but the appeal argument would be that there is a balance to be struck and they went over that line,” said David Weinstein, an attorney in private practice who in prior jobs as a state and federal prosecutor brought death-penalty cases.

DEATH PENALTY CONTROVERSIAL IN MASSACHUSETTS

The death penalty remains highly controversial in Massachusetts, which has not put anyone to death in almost 70 years and which abolished capital punishment for state crimes in 1984. Tsarnaev was tried under federal law, which allows for lethal injection as a punishment.

Polls had shown that a majority of Boston-area residents opposed executing Tsarnaev.

Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev face image www.crimefiles.net

Opponents included Martin Richard’s parents, who said in an open letter to the Justice Department last month that they wanted Tsarnaev to face life in prison rather getting a death sentence that would likely lead to years of appeals, keep the defendant in the spotlight and prevent them from trying to rebuild their lives.

Just three of the 74 people sentenced to death in the United States for federal crimes since 1988 have been executed. The first was Timothy McVeigh, put to death in June 2001 for killing 168 people in his 1995 attack on the federal government office building in Oklahoma City.

Other people convicted of attacks labeled as terrorist by the U.S. government, including 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and shoe-bomber Richard Reid, drew life prison sentences.

Prosecutors focused heavily on Tsarnaev’s turn to radical Islamist views, showing the jury copies of the al Qaeda magazine article that demonstrated how to build a pressure-cooker bomb.

“The defendant claimed to be acting on behalf of all Muslims. This was not a religious crime,” said Carmen Ortiz, the top federal prosecutor in Boston. “It was a political crime designed to intimidate and coerce the United States.”

Tsarnaev’s attorneys admitted his involvement in the attack from the start of the trial, but argued that he was a junior partner in a scheme hatched and run by his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan. Tamerlan died after a gunfight with police four days after the bombing, which ended when Dzhokhar ran him over with a stolen car.

A Roman Catholic nun who is a prominent opponent of the death penalty, Sister Helen Prejean, testified for the defense she had met with Tsarnaev and he told her “no one deserves to suffer” as his victims had. Prejean, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, said she believed he was “genuinely sorry” for his actions.

But the jury found Tsarnaev deserved execution for six of the 17 capital charges of which he was found guilty. Those counts were the ones tied to the bomb that he personally placed at the marathon finish line, which killed Richard and 23-year-old Chinese exchange student Lingzi Lu.

They did not find him deserving of death for the crimes tied to the bomb placed by his brother, which killed 29-year-old restaurant manager Krystle Campbell, or for the fatal shooting of Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier, 26.

Tsarnaev’s attorney’s left the courthouse without commenting to reporters.

Tsarnaev himself was impassive throughout the trial, and did not testify in his own defense. He showed emotion only once, when his 64-year-old aunt, Patimat Suleimanova, who had traveled from Russia to testify, broke down in tears on the witness stand upon seeing her nephew. She was unable to compose herself and was excused.

Judy Clarke, defense attorney for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, walks out of the federal courthouse in Boston

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his defense attorney Judy Clarke (2nd R) are shown in a courtroom sketch after he is sentenced at the federal courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts May 15, 2015.
Reuters/Jane Flavell Collins
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Accused: Lian Bin "Robert" Xie.

Accused: Lian Bin “Robert” Xie. Photo: Danielle Smith

Shortly before Robert Xie allegedly murdered five people, a young woman told her friend he had inappropriately touched her, a court has heard.

The subject came “completely out of the blue” while the two women were lying down and talking in a tent during a camping trip in the Illawara region, the NSW Supreme Court heard on Monday.

The friend gave evidence that about two years earlier she had told the woman that she had been sexually abused.

And the woman then revealed that “something similar” had happened to her.
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The friend told the court: “We were just lying there. I suppose we were just talking and she asked me: ‘How come I can remain so normal.’ ”

The court heard that the woman then went on to say: “You know what happened … something similar I suppose you would say happened to me.

“I don’t want to talk about it but it was similar.”

The alleged conversation happened in April, May or June of 2009, the court heard.

Mr Xie is on trial for murdering his brother-in-law Min “Norman” Lin, Min’s wife Yun, “Lilly”, her sister Yun Bin “Irene” Lin and Lilly’s two sons Terry and Henry in their North Epping home on July 18, 2009.

The woman, who cannot be identified, has previously given evidence that Mr Xie touched her sexually before the killings and sexually abused her afterwards.

The friend gave evidence that after the conversation in the tent, the woman tried to avoid the subject and would “walk off” or “brush it off”.

“I did ask her once in a while,” the friend said.

“She would say I’m busy or she would run off, she would avoid that in general or anything to do with that topic.

“I told her I would always be here if she ever wanted to ask me questions or if she wanted to talk about it, she could talk to me.”

When the friend was questioned by police at her home after the killings, she mentioned the conversation the two had shared at the camp.

Mr Xie has pleaded not guilty to murder in relation to the killings.

The Crown has argued that his sexual interest in the young woman was one of his motives for the killings.

The hearing continues.

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A Pakistani rape victim says she has been forced to seek justice after the rapists filmed and released the video of the act online

When a young Pakistani woman was gang raped in a remote village, she kept silent. But then a video of the rape began circulating online and via mobile phone. As BBC Urdu’s Amber Shamsi reports, little appears to have been done to stop web users from sharing the video.

Sadia (not her real name) had thought that if she kept quiet, it might protect her from the humiliation of being known as a rape victim.

But in the days or weeks after, two versions of her ordeal began to circulate online – one lasted five minutes, the other 40 minutes.

The video showed her being raped by four men, one by one, while she pleaded for mercy. It spread rapidly through the towns and villages of Punjab.

“It was my elder brother who first told me about the video. He saw it and recognised Sadia, then came to me,” Sadia’s father says.

“She felt too ashamed to tell me because I’m her father. If her mother had been alive, I’m sure my daughter would have told her.”

They then reported the rape, and it was easy to find the alleged culprits in that small community.

‘Sharing’ the rape

It was shared largely through Bluetooth and clips have reportedly made it on to social media websites such as Facebook.

It can still be shared. Pakistan does not have the laws to stop this from happening.

Sadia lives in a typical Pakistani village, with mud homes surrounded by fields of sugarcane and small vegetable gardens.

She is 23 but she looks much younger. Since her mother died, she has been a surrogate mother to her younger siblings.

Sadia

Sadia says the public nature of her ordeal has left her unwilling to leave her home

Sadia is nervous as she speaks, clasping and unclasping her hands, breaking down and re-composing herself.

She says she was on her way to the market to buy her sister’s school uniform when she was bundled into a car and threatened with a gun. She claims the four men in the car took her to a house and raped her while filming the act on a mobile phone.

“After I begged and pleaded with them, they beat me even more,” she says. “They said to me that if I don’t listen to them and do what they want, they’ll show everyone the video, put it up on the internet, that they would hurt my brothers and sister.

“I didn’t care about myself but I didn’t want my siblings’ future to be in jeopardy because of me. That’s why I didn’t tell anyone.”

She is acutely aware the video is now being watched widely.

“A lot of people are watching this video for fun, they see it as something interesting.”

Cyber crime laws

When I came face to face with the four accused men in the police station where they were being held on remand, they hung their heads to avoid our gaze. They are currently in jail and the trial is under way.

Four suspects in custody

The four suspects are in custody, and their trial has begun

As well as being prosecuted for gang-rape and kidnap, they have also been charged with distributing pornography for which the penalty is three months in jail.

The video is still online although police say they have been trying to get it removed. As far as the gang-rape is concerned, police say that with the video, the case is strong

But this is also a story that underscores how Pakistan’s legal system has been unable to keep pace with rapid changes in society and technology.

Lawyers specialising in cyber crime say there is no specific law to force websites to take down the video, and a lack of political will and manpower means this could still be some way off.

A comprehensive cyber-crime ordinance was allowed to lapse four years ago before it could become law.

So local police and federal agents adopt a piecemeal approach when confronted with a crime like the filming and sharing of a video containing sexual violence and invoke laws pertaining to sexual harassment, defamation or criminal intimidation or basic clauses on violation of privacy gleaned from an old law called the Electronic Transactions Ordinance (ETO).

Under a new cyber-crime law (yet to be enacted by parliament), the punishment for distributing sexually explicit material will be three years – whether or not it involves violence which is dealt with under separate laws – and violation of privacy is also three years

A deputy director-general with the central Federal Investigation Agency which covers cyber crime, Shehzad Haider, says he gets about 12 to 15 cases of private videos of a sexual nature being uploaded a month – by jilted lovers and blackmailing gangs – and the numbers appear to be increasing.

“The law which was allowed to lapse was very effective because it was detailed and made the job of prosecution much easier,” says Mr Haider. “We make do with the ETO because we have no choice.”

Sadia has no choice either. She is now house-bound because of the shame of the public nature of her ordeal. She used to be a primary-school teacher and had been in further study.

“Some of my college professors visited me and encouraged me to complete my studies,” she says.

“They say I should put it behind me, but I can’t. Not until the men are punished.”

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How the crime came to light: Tahir Imran Mian, Social Media editor, BBC Urdu

“I have something to share with you and I hope the BBC can help the victim.” That was the message attached to a video from a reader of the BBC Urdu Facebook page.

It is one the biggest and most followed pages in Pakistan and a huge number of people reach out to us for help. We are often sent graphic material, but I felt numb after seeing the shocking video so decided to investigate.

After a few phone calls and conversations, it dawned on me that people were watching and sharing this. I then found that many men in the area where the attack took place thought it was “fun” to share and watch the video.

There are several closed groups on Facebook where men can share images. Those who have access to tools and technology can take it further and blackmail victims. A mobile phone with a camera is cheap and so are the opportunities it provides to many who knowingly or unknowingly record their videos and then share them.

The victim often ends up being the one stigmatised.

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Henry Sapiecha

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Henry Sapiecha

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