[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Tue Jun 21 11:01:25 CDT 2005
Family of killer cultist requests days off death row for hospital visit
The family of Aum Shinrikyo founder Shoko Asahara on Tuesday asked a court
to allow the former cult leader, accused of murder and other crimes
committed by his followers, to leave detention and undergo hospital
The Tokyo District Court sentenced Asahara to death in February 2004 for
his involvement in a number of crimes carried out by the cult, now known
as Aleph, such as the deadly sarin gas attack and brutal murder of a
lawyer and his family.
Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, has appealed the death
Through lawyers Asahara's family asked the Tokyo District Court to allow
the 50-year-old man to leave detention and undergo hospital treatment.
Sources said that the court would discuss how to handle the family's
Asahara's family asked for his hospital treatment based on the Habeas
Corpus Law, which stipulates detainees should be treated properly in a way
a court admits.
(source: Mainichi Shimbun)
Chinese asylum seeker given interim Australia visa
A former Chinese diplomat seeking asylum in Australia has been granted
temporary residence while his claim for a protection visa is assessed by
the immigration department.
But Chen Yonglin, 37, said the temporary visa offered no security and he
still feared being returned home and jailed or executed for walking out of
Beijing's Sydney consulate and claiming China had up to 1,000 spies
operating in Australia.
Chen is in hiding with his wife and young daughter.
"They won't tolerate any official who would take actions against the
Communist Party. For my case, some lawyers said that I may be sentenced to
15 years prison or even the death penalty," Chen told Australian
television late on Monday.
Chen made an initial claim for political asylum from Foreign Minister
Alexander Downer, but that was rejected and he was advised to apply for a
protection visa, which is granted to asylum seekers under the United
Nations Refugees Convention.
The protection visa would give him permanent residence, allow him to work,
and give him access to government assistance and healthcare.
Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone, who has made Chen's visa application
a priority, said on Tuesday that Chen was due to be interviewed for the
visa this week.
The immigration department would not comment on specific cases but said
that in almost all cases asylum seekers were given a temporary bridging
visa to allow them to stay in Australia while their applications for
protection visas were processed.
Chen has said his role at the consulate was to spy on and persecute Falun
Falun Gong is an amalgam of religions, meditation and exercises that the
Chinese government branded as a dangerous cult after 10,000 members
surrounded the leadership's Beijing compound in a dawn protest in 1999.
Another asylum seeker, Hao Fengjun, who says he is a former state security
officer, has backed Chen's claims of a Chinese spy network in Australia.
Chen said on Tuesday he had been contacted by the Australian Security
Intelligence Organization about his claims.
China, which is Australia's 3rd-largest trading partner with annual trade
worth A$28.9 billion ($22.7 billion), is in talks with Canberra on a
free-trade deal and a separate pact to import Australian uranium.
Australia and China have said the diplomat's asylum bid would not harm
Turkish court jails Islamic cleric for life
A Turkish court on Monday sentenced an Islamist cleric to life
imprisonment on charges he plotted to kill members of the country's ruling
elite by crashing an explosives-laden plane into a national monument.
Metin Kaplan, dubbed the "Caliph of Cologne," was accused of seeking the
violent overthrow of Turkey's secular constitution with a 1998 plan to fly
the aircraft into the mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk, founder of the modern
Turkish republic, during a national day celebration by the military and
Kaplan was extradited from Germany last year after serving a four-year
prison sentence for ordering the murder of a rival religious leader. He
headed a Cologne-based group known as the Kalifatstaat, or Caliphate
State, outlawed under anti-terrorism laws in 2001.
His lawyer Husnu Tuna said Kaplan would appeal the ruling.
"This ruling is not just. We believe such a decision was reached
beforehand. We will take this to the appellate court," Tuna told reporters
outside of the Istanbul court.
Kaplan, who denied charges of treason and terrorism, was also accused of
planning an attack on a prominent Istanbul mosque to "fight to the death"
with security forces.
Muslim Turkey strictly separates state and religion, and Ataturk's
mausoleum in the capital Ankara is revered by Turks as a symbol of those
The German government only agreed to Kaplan's extradition after years of
legal wrangling because Turkey abolished the death penalty as part of
reforms to meet European Union membership criteria.
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