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Rogerson, McNamara trial: What happened in Unit 803?

The trial of Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara over the murder of Jamie Gao heard three stories of how the university student died in a Sydney storage unit.

Eleven years ago, Roger “Don’t call me The Dodger” Rogerson was sitting in the dock, clutching a John Grisham thriller as he waited to find out how long he would be spending in the Big House this time around.

“Few in the community would not have heard of Roger Rogerson,” said Judge Peter Berman in 2005, noting that Rogerson had once quipped the media had changed his name by deed poll to “Disgraced Former Detective”.

Roger Rogerson leaves Sydney's King Street Supreme Court in April 2016 image www.crimefiles.net

Roger Rogerson leaves Sydney’s King Street Supreme Court in April 2016 after facing the court on murder charges. Photo: Christopher Pearce

On hearing his client had received a two-year jail term for lying to the Police Integrity Commission, his lawyer, Paul Kenny, said outside court: “Roger used to be a tough guy. These days he’s just a broken-down old man … completely broken by the system.”
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Fast forward more than a decade and the “broken-down old man” is now 75, has dodgy hips, and is heading back to his home away from home – jail. He was on Wednesday found guilty of murdering university student Jamie Gao, with fellow ex-detective Glen McNamara. This will be Rogerson’s fourth stint behind bars.

Born in January 1941, Roger Caleb Rogerson was possibly the most corrupt police officer the country has ever known, although he has claimed the only corruption he was ever involved in was driving a police car while under the influence.

Rogerson after being released from Kirkconnell Correctional facility in 2006 image www.crimefiles.net

Rogerson after being released from Kirkconnell Correctional facility in 2006. Photo: Adam Hollingworth

As a police officer, Rogerson was present on two occasions when police shot and killed people, and on another two occasions he shot and killed people himself. The most famous of these was the heroin dealer Warren Lanfranchi, whom Rogerson shot and killed in a laneway in Chippendale in June 1981.

Lanfranchi, who, according to his girlfriend, Sallie-Anne Huckstepp​, was unarmed and carrying $10,000 and was delivered to the meeting by major crime figure Neddy Smith, who is currently serving a life sentence for an unrelated murder. The money was never found.

At the inquest, Rogerson was found to have fatally shot Lanfranchi while trying to effect an arrest. Interestingly, the jury failed to find that it was in self-defence. Witnesses told the inquest that they had heard two shots which were 10 seconds apart.

Rogerson speaking to the media in 1985 image www.crimefiles.net

Rogerson speaking to the media in 1985. Photo: Russell McPhedran

Years later, when the ABC screened Blue Murder, an explosive mini-series based on Rogerson’s infamy, he was less than impressed.

Of the scriptwriter, he said: “Ian David is a boof-headed, bald-headed, big-headed c—. I should have sued the c— and those f—wits at the ABC but of course I’ve got no credit left.”

And on the famous scene in Blue Murder which revisited Rogerson shooting Lanfranchi, Rogerson said: “I mean, he made it out to be this f—ing conspiracy between the 18 coppers who were there that day, when really it was just a Saturday afternoon’s work as far as we were concerned.”

Warren Lanfranchi, who was shot dead in Sydney's Chippendale in 1981. Rogerson was charged with his killing image www.crimefiles.net

Warren Lanfranchi, who was shot dead in Sydney’s Chippendale in 1981.

Rogerson was charged with his killing.

In 1984, only three years after the Lanfranchi shooting, undercover detective Michael Drury was standing in his kitchen at his Chatswood home when he was shot. He gave what was taken to be a dying deposition that he was due to testify in a major drugs trial and that Rogerson had offered him a bribe to protect a Melbourne drug dealer. However, he survived.

In 1985, Rogerson faced trial and was acquitted of the bribery of Drury. In 1989, he was acquitted of conspiring, with Christopher Dale Flannery and the confessed drug dealer Alan Williams, to murder Drury.

As his famous barrister in the bribery case, Chester Porter, QC, was to recount some years later, it was Rogerson’s word against Drury’s. Not only did Rogerson prove to be most compelling in the witness box, but during the hearing Porter had lulled Drury into a false sense of security by getting him to extol his virtues as an undercover cop, one of which was the ability to lie.

Sallie-Anne Huckstepp found floating face down in a pond in Centennial Park.image www.crimefiles.net

Sallie-Anne Huckstepp: found floating face down in a pond in Centennial Park.

“Very foolishly,” Porter later wrote in his autobiography, “he looked around at the magistrate’s court and said words to the effect that he could tell lies in the court, and nobody could pick him.”

Porter devastated Drury with this, pointing out that, as he was such a proficient liar, how was the jury to know when to believe him.

Apart from his trial, other matters were spiralling out of control for Rogerson in 1985.

Tony Martin (playing Neddy Smith) and Richard Roxburgh (playing Roger Rogerson) in the television show Blue Murder.image www.crimefiles.net

Tony Martin (playing Neddy Smith) and Richard Roxburgh (playing Roger Rogerson) in the television show Blue Murder.

Huckstepp was found floating face down in a pond in Centennial Park. Neddy Smith was charged – and later acquitted – of her murder.

Then there was the problem of gangland murders threatening to bring everyone down. Hitman Chris Flannery, also known as Mr Rent-a-Kill, was not only a central figure in the underworld wars, he was out of control.

Flannery, who was last seen in May 1985, was believed to be the shooter at the attempted murder of Drury the previous year.

The real Neddy Smith with Roger Rogerson.image www.crimefiles.net

The real Neddy Smith with Roger Rogerson.

At an inquest into Flannery’s suspected murder, Neddy Smith maintained that the one person Flannery trusted was Rogerson and that, after Flannery disappeared, Rogerson said to him: “Chris had to go, mate. He was becoming a danger to us all.”

Coroner Greg Glass announced that he suspected that Rogerson killed Chris Flannery. And if Rogerson didn’t kill Flannery, then he knew who did, the coroner said.

Rogerson later told Channel Nine’s Sunday program: “Flannery was a complete pest. The guys up here in Sydney tried to settle him down. They tried to look after him as best they could, but he was, I believe, out of control. Maybe it was the Melbourne instinct coming out of him. He didn’t want to do as he was told, he was out of control, and having overstepped that line, well, I suppose they said he had to go but I can assure you I had nothing to do with it.”

Former police officer Michael Drury. Roger Rogerson was charged with his attempted murder but found not guilty.image www.crimefiles.net

Former police officer Michael Drury. Roger Rogerson was charged with his attempted murder but found not guilty. Photo: James Brickwood

Smith’s testimony at Flannery’s inquest revealed the bitter falling out with Rogerson. Asked by a journalist if he felt sorry that his most infamous informant was serving a life sentence as well as suffering from Parkinson’s disease, Rogerson replied: “Very sorry. I feel so sorry for Ned I hope he dies as quickly as possible.”

Why?

Rogerson: “Because he’s a c—! Ha ha ha ha! Because he’s a big strong bloke, a brilliant street-fighter in his day, a guy who, for a while there, was making $30,000 a f—ing minute and who had more cash than the Reserve f—ing Bank, and now he’s lost his marbles and that’s sad. I hate seeing blokes go to jail. I’m like Rex Hunt I catch ’em and I throw ’em back. For mine, jail doesn’t work. To me, the challenge was always catching ’em. And listen, I’ve never, ever denied having a good time doing it. I enjoyed being a cop. I met some fantastic people, worked some great cases and travelled to some wonderful places. It was good bloody fun.”

Christopher Flannery photographed in 1981 image www.crimefiles.net

Christopher Flannery photographed in 1981.

Among the good times Rogerson enjoyed was an alleged romp with singer Shirley Bassey. Rogerson claims that he was walking to his favourite hamburger shop in the city when he spied someone hotfooting it across Goulburn Street “with a nice sequined handbag tucked under his arm”.

Rogerson told Ralph magazine: “So I chased after him, tackled him to the ground and elicited a confession out of him. Turns out he’d swiped Shirley Bassey’s handbag from backstage as she rehearsed for a gig at Chequers that night … Anyway, after I whipped this bloke up to Central and charged him, I walked back to Chequers with the handbag. I knew the owner pretty well and he introduced me to Shirley … and, well, let’s just say she showed her appreciation in a very special way.”

Interviewer: “Are you saying you banged Shirley Bassey, the same Shirley Bassey who sang Goldfinger, backstage at Chequers?”

Shirley Bassey, who Rogerson claims he 'got to know very well'image www.crimefiles.net

Shirley Bassey, who Rogerson claims he ‘got to know very well’. Photo: Sandy Scheltema

Rogerson: “No, I’m not. I’m saying we got to know each other very well, and that’s all I want to say as a gentleman. The rest is private and secret … up until now.”

The “bloody good fun” Rogerson enjoyed as a rogue cop came to a crashing halt in 1986 when he was finally dismissed from the service after the Police Tribunal sustained seven of nine misconduct charges against him.

But, in a strange twist, it was the plans Rogerson made on the expectation he would be jailed for the Drury matter that ultimately brought him undone. While the jury was deliberating on his fate, Rogerson was overheard telling his then wife Joy about his secret bank accounts.

Rogerson on the speaking circuit with Mark Jacko Jackson and Warwick Capper.image www.crimefiles.net

Rogerson on the speaking circuit with Mark “Jacko” Jackson and Warwick Capper. Photo: Rick Stevens

During his next trial, there was no sign of Chester Porter. Years later this silk explained.

“He told me quite a deal and when the facts came out about his secret banking accounts, it wasn’t completely consistent with what he told me. There could have been embarrassment,” Porter said.

In 1990, Rogerson was found guilty and jailed for conspiring to pervert the course of justice with two other men, including drug smuggler Nick Paltos, for organising bank accounts totalling $110,000 in false names. The accounts had been set up during the Drury trial

Anne Melocco leaving court after her husband was sentenced to two and a half years jail in 2005 image www.crimefiles.net

Anne Melocco leaving court after her husband was sentenced to two and a half years jail in 2005. Photo: Wade Laube

He spent nine months in jail before being acquitted on appeal. But, in 1992, the appeal was quashed and Rogerson returned to Berrima jail until his release in 1995.

Rogerson turned to scaffolding on his release from jail with a sideline in regaling pub audiences with his tales of his police activities. This included auctioning signed photos of himself standing near Lanfranchi’s body as it lay in the gutter in Dangar Place, Chippendale.

But within a decade Rogerson was back in jail after being convicted of lying about bribing a Liverpool Council official to obtain work.

Former detective Roger Rogerson is one of the most notorious officers ever to have served in the NSW Police image www.crimefiles.net

Rogerson had already committed perjury at the Police Integrity Commission before being told his house had been bugged for a long time and there were tapes that showed he was lying.

“It’s an absolute invasion of privacy!” he hissed from the witness box, demanding to know if he’d been taped having sex with his second wife Anne Melocco. “I want to know how good I am,” he said crossly.

Informed by counsel assisting David Frearson that there were no sex tapes because the commission was only interested in illegal activities, Rogerson retorted: “So there is no tapes there of me having sex, because that would be legal?”

He later muttered, “The sooner I leave this state the better.”

“Perhaps for other people as well,” Frearson deadpanned.

View to a kill: the death of Jamie Gao

Surveillance camera footage creates a detailed timeline of the 2014 killing of Jamie Gao.

Jamie Gao and Glen McNamara cctv stillEarly January, 2014 Jamie Gao and Glen McNamara meet at least 27 times in the lead-up to Gao’s death, often at the Meridian Hotel in Hurstville.

Rent a Space unit 803Early March, 2014  Roger Rogerson obtains keys to storage unit 803 at Rent a Space, Padstow, from a friend named Michael McGuire. Rogerson says he wanted to look at office furniture. Gao is eventually killed inside the shed.

April 27, 2014  A white Ford Falcon station wagon with number plates BV67PX is purchased ­at Outback Used Cars in Lethbridge Park. The car is later used to transport Gao’s body. Rogerson and McNamara deny involvement in the car’s acquisition, but Rogerson’s fingerprints are found on the receipt.

McNamara removes his 4.5 metre boat cctv stillMay 19, 2014  McNamara removes his 4.5 metre Quintrex boat from Hunter Self Storage at Taren Point without notifying staff. This is later used to dump Gao’s body at sea.

Rogerson and office chairs cctv stillMay 19, 3.15pm CCTV footage from Rent a Space captures Rogerson removing office chairs from storage unit 803 and placing them in the back of his silver Ford station wagon.

A white Nissan Silvia, consistant with Gao's car cctv stillMay 19, afternoon A white Nissan Silvia, consistent with Gao’s car, does a U-turn outside Rent a Space.

Jamie Gao and Glen McNamara Meridian Hotel, Hurstville cctv stillMay 19, 7.50pm  The night before Gao is killed, McNamara and Gao meet at the Meridian Hotel, Hurstville. The meeting lasts about 30 minutes.

McNamara walks to Cronulla Mall cctv stillMay 20, 11.37am McNamara uses a payphone in Cronulla Mall to call Gao. CCTV from Cold Rock Ice Creamery captures him walking towards the phone.

McNamara opening and shutting the door cctv stillMay 20, 1.17pm Rogerson and McNamara drive in separate cars to Rent a Space. McNamara is seen opening and closing the door four times in nine minutes.

Gao walking down Arab Road cctv stillMay 20, 1.35pm Gao is seen walking down Arab Road, Padstow, dressed in dark-coloured clothes, towards a white Ford station wagon that McNamara is in.

McNamara at front gate cctv stillMay 20, 1,42pm McNamara drives to the front gate of Rent a Space and enters the gate code – his hood is up and sunglasses are on.

Gao getting out of a white Ford station wagon cctv stillMay 20, 1.46pm Gao is seen getting out of the back of a white Ford station wagon and shielded by McNamara as he slips into storage unit 803. It is the last time he is seen alive.

Rogerson opens the door cctv stillMay 20, 1.49pm Rogerson opens the door to storage unit 803 exactly three minutes and 16 seconds after Gao and McNamara entered.

McNamara comes out of unit cctv stillMay 20, 2.03pm McNamara comes out of the storage unit, retrieves a silver Ocean & Earth surfboard bag from the white Ford station wagon, and returns to the storage unit.

McNamara and Rogerson are both seen dragging surfboard cover cctv stillMay 20, 2.18pm McNamara and Rogerson are seen dragging a surfboard cover containing Gao’s body, and load it into the boot of the white Ford station wagon.

Rogerson and McNamara are seen buying a two tonne chain block cctv stillMay 20, about 4pm Rogerson and McNamara are seen at Kennards Hire in Taren Point, buying a two-tonne chain block that was later used to lift Gao’s body into McNamara’s boat.

Rogerson and McNamara share a six pack of James Boag's cctv stillMay 20, about 5.15pm A few hours after the killing, Rogerson and McNamara share a six-pack of beer at McNamara’s unit in McDonald St, Cronulla. (McNamara claims he only helped to dispose of Gao’s body because his life was threatened by Rogerson.) 

Quintrex Boat being towed cctv stillMay 21, 7.28am A Quintrex boat carrying the body of Gao and a blue tarpaulin leaves McNamara’s Cronulla unit block.

McNamara and Rogerson are seen in the lift cctv stillMay 21, 7.32am McNamara and Rogerson are seen carrying fishing rods in the lift of McNamara’s unit block.

Quintrex boat being towed cctv stillMay 21, 11.05am After disposing of Gao’s body, McNamara brings his Quintrex boat back to Hunter Self Storage at Taren Point.

McNamara at Kmart cctv stillMay 22 McNamara says he was so worried when he found 3kg of ice in his car that he went to Kmart and bought two pillowslips, a measuring jug and a spoon. He claims this was to “seal” the drugs to stop them from exploding.

detectives arrest McNamaraMay 25, 6.30pm Robbery and Serious Crime Squad detectives arrest McNamara at a vehicle stop at Kyeemagh. He is refused bail and appears at Kogarah Local Court the following day.

Jamie Gao afloat inside a surfboard bag 2.5 kilomtres off the shoreMay 26 Fishermen spot the body of Jamie Gao inside a surfboard bag wrapped in blue tarpaulin about 2.5 kilometres offshore of Shelley Beach, Cronulla.

Rogerson arrested at Padstow Heights homeMay 27, 11am Police swoop on Rogerson’s Padstow Heights home. He is escorted out in handcuffs and taken to Bankstown police station, where he is refused bail.

www.policesearch.net

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Orlando shooting: Ex-wife of gunman Omar Mateen says he was violent and abusive

Omar Mateen's ex-wife has spoken publicly image www.crimefiles.net

Omar Mateen’s ex-wife has spoken publicly. Photo: Myspace

The ex-wife of the 29-year-old man suspected of killing 50 people in a Orlando nightclub on Sunday said that he was violent and mentally unstable and beat her repeatedly while they were married.

The ex-wife said she met Omar Mateen online about eight years ago and decided to move to Florida and marry him.

Orlando shooter Omar Mateen image www.crimefiles.net

At first, the marriage was normal, she said, but then he became abusive.

“He was not a stable person,” said the ex-wife, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because she feared for her safety in the wake of the mass shooting.

“He beat me. He would just come home and start beating me up because the laundry wasn’t finished or something like that.”

Ray Rivera, a DJ at Pulse Orlando nightclub, is consoled by a friend, after the shooting.image www.crimefiles.net

Ray Rivera, a DJ at Pulse Orlando nightclub, is consoled by a friend, after the shooting. Photo: Joe Burbank via AP

While the FBI has not identified Mateen publicly, US law enforcement officials said his identification was found on the body of the killer, who was armed with a handgun and an assault rifle.

Authorities think he used those weapons to kill 50 people and injure dozens more in the attack on the gay nightclub that began just after 2am on Sunday morning. Mateen was killed in a shootout with police three hours later after a SWAT team assaulted a section of the club where Mateen was holed up with hostages.

Mateen’s ex-wife said his family was from Afghanistan, but her ex-husband was born in New York. His family later moved to Florida.

In a series of Myspace photos, Mateen is seen taking selfies and wearing New York Police Department shirts in a couple of the shots. His ex-wife identified him as the man in the Myspace photos.

Mateen’s ex-wife said she was having a difficult time when she first met him and decided to move to Florida to be with him. The two married in March 2009 and moved into a 2-bedroom condominium in Fort Pierce, Florida, that Mateen’s family owned.

“He seemed like a normal human being,” she said, adding that he wasn’t very religious and worked out at the gym often.

She said in the few months they were married he gave no signs of having fallen under the sway of radical Islam. She said he owned a small-caliber handgun and worked as a guard at a nearby facility for juvenile delinquents.

“He was a very private person,” she said.

The ex-wife said her parents intervened when they learned Mateen had assaulted her. Her father confirmed the account and said that the marriage lasted only a few months.

Her parents flew down to Fort Pierce and pulled her out of the house, leaving all her belongings behind. The ex-wife said she never had contact with Mateen again despite attempts by him to reach her.

“They literally saved my life,” she said of her parents.

According to Florida court records, the two formally divorced in 2011.

After learning about what happened in Orlando, she said: “I am still processing. I am definitely lucky.”

The Washington Post

Published on Jun 12, 2016

The violence reportedly erupted before 2 a.m. June is Gay Pride Month.

Police have confirmed that they responded to a shooting at the nightclub, and numerous emergency vehicles were responding. Officers on the scene were armed with assault rifles.

However, no details of the incident have been confirmed, and information remains sketchy.

An Orlando newspaper reporter apparently has indicated that the gunman also may have been armed with a bomb.

One person who said online that he had been at the club when the shooting began reported that he managed to escape because he was close to an exit. Other people who were dancing or at the bar tried to take cover by dropping to the floor.

Video of emergency crews helping victims was beginning to be posted on social media.

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guzman drug baron arrested image www.crimefiles.net

Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman escaped through a lengthy tunnel under his prison cell’s shower, authorities have said, marking his second jail break and an embarrassing blow to the government.

A massive manhunt was launched after Guzman vanished late on Saturday from the Altiplano maximum-security prison, some 90km west of Mexico City.

The Sinaloa cartel kingpin, whose empire stretches around the globe, had been in prison for 17 months after spending 13-years on the lam.

After security cameras lost sight of Guzman, guards went into the cell and found a hole 10m deep with a ladder, National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido said.

The gap led to the 1.5km tunnel with a ventilation and light system, Rubido said, adding that its exit was in a building that was under construction in central Mexico State.

A motorcycle on a rail system was found in the tunnel and is believed to have been used to transport tools and remove earth from the space, which was 1.7m high and around 80cm wide.

Rubido said 18 prison guards will be interrogated by prosecutors in Mexico City.

Until Guzman escaped, Rubido said, “the day had gone on normally and at around 8:00 pm he was given his daily dose of medicine.”

Some 250 police and troops guarded the outskirts of the vast prison, surrounded by corn fields, while a helicopter hovered overheads.

Soldiers manned checkpoints on the nearby highway, using flashlights to look at the faces of car passengers and searching car trunks and the backs of trucks.

Flights were suspended at the nearby Toluca airport.

The Altiplano prison in central Mexico State houses the country’s most notorious drug lords, murderers and kidnappers.

Guzman’s first break from prison was in 2001, when he slipped past authorities by hiding in a laundry cart. He had been arrested in Guatemala in 1993.

Marines had recaptured him in February 2014 in a pre-dawn raid in a condo in Mazatlan, a Pacific resort in Sinaloa state, with the help of the US Drug Enforcement Administration.

Authorities had already investigated a strange prison visit to Guzman in March, when a woman managed to see him by using a fake ID to get in.

His second escape is sure to embarrass the administration of President Enrique Pena Nieto, who was flying to France for a state visit when Guzman fled.

Pena Nieto’s government had won praise for capturing the powerful kingpin, a diminutive but feared man whose nickname means “Shorty.”

After his last capture, the government had paraded Guzman in front of television cameras, showing the mustachioed mafia boss being frogmarched by two marines before taking him to prison on a helicopter.

The US government had hailed his capture as “landmark achievement” while some US prosecutors wanted to ask for his extradition, but Mexican officials insisted on trying him first.

Guzman’s Sinaloa cartel empire stretches along Mexico’s Pacific coast and deals drugs to the United States and as far as Europe and Asia.

His legend grew in the years that followed his first escape.

The United States had offered a US$5 million reward for information leading to his arrest, while the city of Chicago — a popular destination for Sinaloa narcotics — declared him “Public Enemy Number One,” joining American gangster Al Capone as the only criminal to ever get the moniker.

Folk ballads known as “narcocorridos,” tributes to drug capos, sang his praises.

He used to be on Forbes magazine’s list of billionaires until the US publication said in 2013 that it could not verify his wealth and that it believed he was increasingly spending his fortune on protection.

He married an 18-year-old beauty queen, Emma Coronel, in 2007 and is believed to have 10 children with various women.

Coronel was with him when he was arrested last year. His capture sparked small protests by supporters in Culiacan, Sinaloa’s capital, where Guzman nurtured a Robin Hood image.

In Culiacan, authorities found a home with a bathtub that rose up electronically to open a secret tunnel that he used to escape the authorities before being caught in Mazatlan.

His cartel became entangled in brutal turf wars against the paramilitary-like Zetas cartel and other gangs for years.

More than 80,000 people have been killed in drug violence in Mexico since 2006.

The drug war began to escalate after former president Felipe Calderon sent the army and navy to rein in the cartels in 2006, a deployment that analysts say exacerbated the violence.

More than 10,000 were killed in Ciudad Juarez alone in violence attributed to battles between Sinaloa and Juarez cartel members for supremacy in the key drug corridor at the border with the US state of Texas.

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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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Beijing:  Chinese authorities have executed a former billionaire mining tycoon connected to the eldest son of retired domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang, the man who became the focus of a high-profile corruption investigation, state media reported.

China's former public security minister, Zhou Yongkang.

Retired domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang

Last year China announced a probe into Zhou Yongkang, one of its most influential politicians of the last decade, in a case that has its roots in a power struggle in the ruling Communist Party. Liu was once a business associate of Zhou’s eldest son, Zhou Bin. State media have not explicitly linked Liu’s case to Zhou Yongkang, but reported that his rise coincided with Zhou’s time as Sichuan province’s party boss.

The party has already probed several of Zhou’s proteges, including Jiang Jiemin, who was the top regulator of state-owned enterprises.

China has embarked on legal reforms, including reducing the use of the death penalty, as public discontent mounts over wrongful punishment. Though wrongful executions have often stirred outrage, capital punishment itself has wide support from the public. Anti-death penalty campaigners say China uses the death penalty far more than other countries. The government does not release the number of executions it carries out, deeming it a state secret.

OOO

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Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi pictured in a propaganda video image www.crimefiles.net

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi pictured in a propaganda video earlier this year. Photo: AP

The US-led coalition unleashed airstrikes near the Iraqi city of Mosul targeting top jihadist militants but the fate of the Islamic State group’s enigmatic leader remained unclear.

Claims swirled that hardline IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed in the attacks late Friday, but US officials could not confirm if he had even been present.

The news came after US President Barack Obama unveiled plans to send up to 1500 more US troops to Iraq to help battle the militants who have seized a large swathe of territory.

In fresh violence, some 33 people were killed in a wave of car bombings against Shiite areas in the capital Baghdad, highlighting again the security challenge facing Iraqis even within government-controlled zones.

US Central Command confirmed that coalition aircraft conducted a “series of airstrikes” against “a gathering of ISIL leaders near Mosul”.

A convoy of 10 armoured vehicles from the group also known as ISIL was destroyed.

“We cannot confirm if ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was among those present,” CENTCOM spokesman Patrick Ryder said in his statement.

A strike against Baghdadi, who has proclaimed himself the “caliph” of a state straddling Iraq and Syria, would be a major coup for the US-led coalition.

Washington has offered a $US10 million ($10.82 million) reward for his capture, and some analysts say he is increasingly seen as more powerful than al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri.

In a video posted online in July, purportedly the first known footage of Baghdadi, he ordered all Muslims to obey him during a Ramadan sermon in Mosul.

Al-Arabiya TV reported Baghdadi had been wounded, while a local Iraqi channel said one of his aides was killed.

Iraqi leaders said the new US military trainers who will aid its fight against jihadists are welcome, but come “late”.

Ryder added the US-led strikes were a further sign of “the pressure we continue to place on the ISIL terrorist network”.

The aim was to squeeze the group and ensure it had “increasingly limited freedom to manoeuvre, communicate and command”.

The new troops will roughly double the number of American soldiers already in the country and marks a deepening US commitment in the open-ended war.

“This step is a little late, but we welcome it,” a statement from Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s office said.

The government had requested that members of the international coalition help train and arm its forces, the statement said.

Multiple Iraqi army divisions collapsed in the early days of the jihadist northern offensive, leaving major units that need to be reconstituted.

AFP

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Bobby Boye allegedly scammed $3.51 million from East Timor image www.crimefiles.net

Rip-off: Bobby Boye allegedly scammed $3.51 million from East Timor. 

As Bobby Boye surveyed his extensive property portfolio, the 2011 Rolls-Royce Ghost and other luxury vehicles in the garage, he may well have reflected with some satisfaction on a job well done.

The Nigerian national with a penchant for signing off his emails “Bobby W. Boye esq.” and wearing suits with waistcoats in the hot tropical weather made his fortune in East Timor, where he was lauded as a hero in the local media.

Boye had been working for the East Timorese government since 2010 in a role pivotal to the fledgling nation’s prosperity.

An East Timorese child collects shells to make necklaces on a beach as an Australian navy ship patrols along the shore in Dili image www.crimefiles.net

 East Timorese child collects shells to make necklaces on a beach as an Australian navy ship patrols along the shore in Dili.

East Timor, still stumbling into nationhood, had just conducted the first tax audit of the oil companies that provide more than 90 per cent of its revenue. Until then, the oil companies essentially self-assessed, and East Timor was worried it was being ripped off.

Boye’s job was to issue the formal tax assessments to claw back unpaid revenue. He succeeded brilliantly, forcing the oil companies to cough up more than $350 million.

But as he was raking in the revenue, Boye was robbing East Timor.

The shocking truth was he was a convicted felon, a charlatan and embezzler who has allegedly scammed $3.51 million from East Timor’s threadbare treasury.

Boye was arrested in June this year after the East Timorese tipped off the FBI in April 2013.

Yet East Timor’s government was not the first to know, not by a long shot.

Emails obtained by Fairfax Media, along with interviews with people involved in the saga, attest that at least a dozen people working for the oil and gas industry knew about Boye’s chequered past.

In many cases, that knowledge stretched as far back as two years before East Timor’s government says it independently realised Boye’s malfeasance.

Senior staff at oil and gas giant ConocoPhillips, among others, kept secret their concerns about Boye’s credentials even though he was a man they detested, an imposing and arrogant interloper who had cost them a significant amount of money.

For Pierre-Richard Prosper, a partner at international law firm Arent Fox, who is acting for East Timor, the refusal to share the information was “shocking and appalling”.

“Clearly, they held this to be used as some kind of leverage; the question is against whom and for what intended gain?”

Oil industry sources and emails obtained by Fairfax Media reveal the oil companies became suspicious about Boye as early as December 2010, when an influential local website, La’o Hamutuk, ran a story about oil companies “robbing” East Timor of taxation.

The figures about the adverse tax assessments were uncannily accurate – prompting concerns that Boye had leaked the information.

Several industry sources said they tried to formally protest to the head of East Timor’s customs and revenue service, Cancio de Jesus Oliveira, but he allegedly fobbed them off.

Emails show ConocoPhillips decided not to pursue the matter with East Timorese authorities any further.

But the oil industry made further inquiries, using investigators and lawyers to do due diligence on Boye. What they found out about him was far more disturbing than the unauthorised leaking of information

Emails sent in June 2011, one bearing the subject heading “A Nigerian con artist in our midst?”, outlined how Boye’s claims to have studied at Cambridge University and worked at energy giant Chevron and the international law firm Clifford Chance were fake.

As the email noted: “I imagine the Timor government would be most embarrassed.”

The email was circulated to a number of ConocoPhillips Australia executives.

Research was not that difficult; the irregularities could be easily detected by perusing documents on the public record.

The investigations uncovered further evidence of Boye’s unsavoury past. Boye had served three years in prison in California for embezzlement in 2007 and had been banned for life by the New York Stock Exchange after defrauding clients of their stocks in 2004.

By mid-2012, oil company staff were also aware of serious problems with Opus & Best, a company that was awarded a lucrative contract to provide tax advice to the East Timorese government.

According to emails obtained by Fairfax Media, ConocoPhillips deduced that the company was registered four days after it was awarded the contract.

Moreover, the Opus & Best contracts were unusually buried on the transparency portal of the Ministry of Finance. The company’s website looked like a cut and paste job.

Inquiries to Opus & Best’s office in New York for a contact elicited Bobby Boye’s personal email address.

Opus & Best was secretly owned by Boye, who used the sham company – it later emerged – to siphon off $3.5 million from East Timor’s threadbare treasury into bank accounts established in New York.

Boye wrote Opus & Best’s bid document and was on the committee that awarded the contract. The FBI states that Boye used his stature to dictate the winner.

According to the FBI, Boye used the proceeds of his fraud to purchase the Rolls-Royce, a Bentley Continental and a Range Rover, along with $US20,000 in watches and a portfolio of four homes in New Jersey.

If ConocoPhillips had informed the East Timorese government, it would have saved the impoverished nation at least $2 million. By mid-2012, only $1.5 million had been wired to Boye’s fraudulent account.

One industry source said the companies went as far as to track the payments made to the company, and realised the accounts were linked to Boye.

“Everyone knew. Nobody did anything,” said one oil industry source, who was among those aware of Boye’s past.

“They kept it in their back pocket.”

Apparently unaware the FBI was investigating the case or that East Timor had independently come across Boye’s mischief, it was not until November last year that Conoco told East Timor about its concerns about Boye, and then only in a two-minute “heads up” at the end of a teleconference between lawyers.

It took until January 2014 for the company to disclose everything it had come across – including the fraud involving Opus & Best, says Mr Prosper, East Timor’s lawyer in the tax dispute with Conoco, now before arbitration in Singapore.

“You would expect a partner in a major development with Timor Leste and an honest taxpayer to tell you, ‘Look, we have a problem here,’ ” said Mr Prosper, referring to East Timor by its official name.

According to multiple sources, Conoco’s planned appeals against the adverse tax assessments from Boye explains why it refused to pass on what it knew about Boye promptly.

It would make for a devastating case if Conoco could reveal that the author of the tax rulings was a convicted felon and con artist.

It is understood that Boye’s character was the key to Conoco’s case. The fact that it was able to present detailed allegations about Boye before the FBI investigation became public is proof that it had done its own detailed research.

Fairfax Media attempted to contact the ConocoPhillips executives directly but was referred to ConocoPhillip’s media department.

Detailed questions were sent on Friday asking the company when its staff started having doubts about Bobby Boye’s bona fides, if it was aware of investigations into Boye by oil companies and their proxies, if it had conducted an investigation itself, and if it contacted the East Timorese government about its concerns.

The oil giant declined to answer these specific questions and others, releasing a short statement instead.

“ConocoPhillips is aware that Bobby Boye was a consultant to the Timor-Leste Revenue service and that he was arrested on 19 June 2014,” it said.

“Because of his role within the government, we were obligated to engage with Mr Boye over revenue matters. ConocoPhillips is not involved in the case before the US court.”

Conoco’s joint venture partners in its Timor Gap oil field include Santos, ENI Australia and Japan’s Tokyo Timor Sea Resources.

A Santos spokeswoman said the company and its staff did not know about Boye’s convict past and alleged criminality in East Timor until his arrest.

Other joint venture partners ENI Australia and Tokyo Gas either failed to return calls or said they could not find anyone to comment.

East Timor is the world’s most oil dependent nation. Its oil revenue comes from just two fields in the Timor Sea. Bayu-Undan, where ConocoPhillips is its major shareholder and operator, is by far the larger and has been operational for longer.

Few, if any, nation states have had to rely on one company so much to underwrite their prosperity.

While East Timor has an annual budget of $US1.5 billion ($1.6 billion), ConocoPhillips had revenues of $US57 billion last year. Its market capitalisation is $US100 billion.

It describes itself as the world’s largest independent gas production and exploration company. It is among the top 25 oil producers in the world.

The $3.5 million that Boye siphoned off East Timor is the equivalent to almost one month of the tiny nation’s health budget.

But that amount is dwarfed in comparison with the $350 million-plus at stake in the tax litigation. ConocoPhillips alone is disputing more than $200 million in back taxes and penalties Boye forced it to pay.

The ease of Bobby Boye’s fraud reflects badly on East Timor, but it was the Norwegian government that hired Boye and sent him to East Timor under its aid program. Its ineptitude in checking his credentials was staggering.

According to Norwegian news reports, Boye listed 3D Systems as a previous employer. This was true. But it was while at 3D Systems that Boye was found guilty of embezzling $250,000, money laundering and theft, and sentenced to two years in prison.

All of this, again, was on the public record.

One of the world’s most fragile states was badly let down by Norway, the country that ranks number one on the UN’s human development index.

Conoco’s conduct was even more reprehensible, Mr Prosper says. He called for Conoco’s head office in Houston to undertake a “full and complete investigation as to why it withheld vital information regarding fraud from both Timor and law enforcement”.

Others in East Timor’s government are talking about possible prosecutions of Conoco staff.

East Timor’s struggle for independence after 24 years of Indonesian occupation was epic. Its efforts to transform into a middle income state are just as challenging.

Frauds like Bobby Boye sadly prey on post-conflict states. Interlopers of his ilk are not uncommon throughout the developing world.

Emerging states building the infrastructure of government need all the support they can get to protect them. Its concerns about Boye were triggered by unexplained absences and dubious claims to have a life-threatening illness.

It was fortunate it acted. Boye, according to the FBI, was hatching another scheme to defraud East TImor when he was arrested.

BOBBY BOYE
Investment banker, tax lawyer, fraudster

1963 Born in Nigeria. Later becomes US citizen. Other aliases Bobby Ajiboye, Bobby Aji-Boye.

1998 Employed by Morgan Stanley. Fleeces clients of shares, which he sells for cash. Permanently suspended by New York Stock Exchange.

2002-2005 Works at 3D Systems, a 3D printing pioneer, as head of tax department.

2006 Arrested in California.

2007 Found guilty of defrauding 3D Systems of more than $250,000. Serves prison term for grand theft, money laundering and perjury.

2010 Gets limited licence to practise international law in New York, citing a Nigerian legal training.

July 2010 Starts as a petroleum tax legal adviser to East Timor’s government, hired and funded by Norway. Salary and benefits worth $350,000 a year. Falsified CV to claim he studied at Cambridge University, worked at Chevron and law firm Clifford Chance.

Mar-Dec 2012 Boye on committee to award contract for external tax advice for East Timor. Contract awarded to a company that he secretly owns, Opus & Best. $3.51 million is wired from East Timor to an account he set up.

April 2013 Flees East Timor.

May 2013 East Timor refers Boye to FBI for investigation.

June 19, 2014 Arrested at Newark International Airport by the FBI. Released on $1.5 million bail.

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The former rapper left his family home in an affluent west London suburb last year to fight in the civil war in Syria.

In early August he tweeted a photo of himself wearing military camouflage and a black hood, while holding a severed head in his left hand.

British SAS forces are hunting Foley’s killer, using a range of high-tech equipment to track him down and potentially free other hostages.

Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary who raps under the name Lyricist Jinn image www.crimefiles.net

MURDER SUSPECT Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary who raps under the name Lyricist Jinn.

Bary is the son of an Egyptian-born militant who is awaiting trial on terrorism charges in Manhattan, due to his alleged involvement in the bombing of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

Before leaving the family home to fight in Syria, Bary was an aspiring rapper known as L Jinny whose music was played on one of Britain’s most popular radio stations, BBC Radio 1.

The Mail on Sunday is reporting that a “significant force” of SAS personnel has been deployed to northern Iraq over the past two days, joining local units fighting the Islamic State. They have fanned out into four-man teams, accompanying Iraqi and Kurdish troops in an effort to find British jihadists.

The Sunday Times reports that Bary is the key focus of the manhunt. He is one of the British jihadists referred to by former hostages as the Beatles because of their British accents. The two others were called “George” and “Ringo”.

The two other Britons suspected of involvement in the crime are Aine Davis, a former drug dealer who converted to Islam, and Razul Islam, who is believed to have joined the terrorist group that murdered Foley.

Recordings of his songs will prove vital to the investigating team, with experts using voice recognition technology to match his voice with that of the man who brutally decapitated Mr Foley.

Bary made a number of music videos for his songs, with titles such as Flying High, Dreamer and Overdose.

It is believed he was indoctrinated by an Islamic preacher named Anjem Choudary who persuaded him to join the fight in Syria.

Murdered: American journalist James Foley.

MURDERED AMERICAN JOURNALIST JAMES FOLEY

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BIG TIME MAFIA LIKE CRIME BOSS IN CHINA GETS THE DEATH PENALTY

Liu Han former-chinese-mining-mogul-sentenced-to-death www.crimefiles.net

A former Chinese mining mogul was sentenced to death on Friday after being found guilty of leading a mafia-style operation in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan, state-news agency Xinhua reports.

Liu Han — the former chairman of unlisted Sichuan Hanlong Group and once among the richest people in China— and his brother, Liu Wei were accused of ordering nine murders. They also faced charges of assault, extortion, illegal detention and running a local gambling ring with 34 other gang members, one of the largest criminal gangs to be tried in China in recent years.

“Liu Han and Liu Wei were deeply evil,” the court said in its sentence, according to The New York Times. “Their means were extremely cruel, their impact on society was extremely bad.”

Prosecutors say their criminal activities, dating to 1993, helped them amass $6.4bn in assets with businesses in finance, energy, property and mining.

In March, Chinese authorities reportedly seized $14.5 billion dollars worth of assets from the Han’s family members and associates. In addition, more than 300 of his relatives and former colleagues were also reportedly questioned.

Han’s company, a diversified firm with interests ranging from tourism to minerals and assets of more than $3.2 billion, pursued a number of international mining deals.

A few of them have already fizzled, including the $5 billion Mbalam iron ore project straddling Cameroon and Congo-Brazzaville in Central Africa with Australia’s Sundance Resources (ASX:SDL), a deal to develop an iron ore and copper-molybdenum mine with Moly Mines (ASX:MOL) in the Pilbara and another molybdenum project with US-based General Moly (NYSE:GMO), of which it owned 25%.

“Framed”

Liu Han, 48, was found guilty of 13 serious charges, including murder, running casinos and illegally selling firearms.

His younger brother, Liu Wei, will also face death row.

Upon hearing the sentence Han yelled to the court he had been “framed” and “wronged,” before being taken away by guards

Upon hearing the sentence Han yelled to the court he had been “framed” and “wronged,” before being taken away by guards, the South China Morning Post reports.

former-chinese-mining-mogul-liu-han-sentenced-to-death www.crimefiles.net

According to earlier reports, police seized hand grenades, half-dozen submachine guns, 20 pistols and other firearms.

The penalties on Friday come amid an anti-corruption crackdown launched by the president, Xi Jinping, that has reached senior politicians and influential businessmen.

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THE SHAME OF HUMANITY THAT IS THE NORTH KOREAN LEADERSHIP

Kim Jong-un-criminal killer imsge www.crimefiles.net

KOREAN KILLER KIM SLAUGHTERS THE INNOCENTS WITH NO REMORSE

Eighty people have been executed by firing squad in North Korea for watching foreign films, according to a newspaper report.

South Korea’s JoongAng Ilbo newspaper reported that the co-ordinated public executions took place in seven separate cities earlier this month. In one case, the local authorities rounded up 10,000 people, including children, and forced them to watch, it reported.

Those put to death were found guilty by the state of minor misdemeanours, including watching videos of South Korean television programs or possessing a Bible.

Sources told the paper that witnesses saw eight people tied to stakes in the Shinpoong Stadium, in Kangwon Province, before having sacks placed over their heads and being executed by soldiers firing machine guns. ”I heard from the residents that they watched in terror as the corpses were so riddled by machine-gun fire that they were hard to identify afterwards,” a source said.

AAA

Relatives and friends of the victims were reportedly sent to prison camps, a tactic that North Korea frequently uses to dissuade anyone from breaking the law.

”Reports on public executions across the country would be certain to have a chilling effect on the rest of the people,” Daniel Pinkston, a North Korea analyst with the International Crisis Group in Seoul, said.

”All these people want to do is to survive and for their families to survive. The incentives for not breaking the law are very clear now.”

The mass executions could signal a broader crackdown on any hints of discontent among the population – and even rival groups in Pyongyang – against the rule of Kim Jong-un, who came to power after the death of his father in December 2011.

In a new report, the Rand Corporation think-tank claims that Mr Kim survived an assassination attempt and that his personal security has since been stepped up dramatically. The report concurs with South Korean intelligence sources that stated in March that a faction within the North Korean army had been involved in an attempt on Mr Kim’s life in November last year.

Telegraph, London

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