[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Sep 19 20:40:26 CDT 2007
Al-Majid (aka "Chemical Ali") Cannot Be Executed
Giovanni Di Stefano [lawyer for Ali Hassan Al Majid, dubbed "Chemical
Ali", Studio Legale Internazionale, Rome]: "On the 4th of September, 2007
the Iraqi High Tribunal Appeal Section refused the appeal of Al Majid et
al, effectively condemning the indictees to death. On the 9th of
September, 2007 I duly filed applications with President Talabani to
commute the sentences of Ali Hassan al-Majid, Sultan Hashim Ahmed Hussein
and Rashid al-Tikriti.
In order to ensure that President Talabani was properly served and on a
timely basis I requested the Italian Government to deliver the application
to the Iraqi Ambassador in Rome. Service was thus deemed effective on the
10th of September 2007.
Under Iraqi Law no executions can take place during the period of Ramadan.
Under Iraqi Law, notwithstanding the contestations on the per se
interpretation of Iraqi Jurisprudence, executions 'must' take place
'within 30 days of the Appeal Court decision if rejected.'
It is inconceivable that executions take place during Ramadan. Ramadan
commenced on Friday, September 13th, 2007 and will end on the 12th of
October, 2007. The period of 30 days upon which Ali Hassan al-Majid,
Sultan Hashim Ahmed and Hussein Rashid al-Tikriti lawfully expected
execution concludes on the 3rd October 2007. Ramadan ending on the 12th of
October, 2007, the statutory period upon which Ali Hassan al-Majid, Sultan
Hashim Ahmed and Hussein Rashid al-Tikriti could be executed is caught
during Ramadan where Iraqi Law precludes if not mandates a stay on
executions. Since the time period has by passage of time expired and no
executions can lawfully occur it follows that de facto if not de jure the
death sentences imposed upon Ali Hassan al-Majid, Sultan Hashim Ahmed and
Hussein Rashid al-Tikriti are automatically converted to life imprisonment
without any intervention from President Talabani."
(source: The Jurist)
Govt to help Aust man in death penalty appeal
Foreign Affairs Minister says the Commonwealth will support any appeal by
an Australian man facing the death penalty in Vietnam to convert his
sentence to life in prison.
Forty-year-old Tony Manh has been found guilty by a Vietnamese Court of
heroin trafficking after he was arrested in March with a kilogram of
heroin hidden in his underwear.
Alexander Downer told Southern Cross Radio the Australian Government has
been successful in having the death penalty overturned in 4 previous
"The arguments that we put haven't been arguments based on the merits or
otherwise of the case, but on the grounds of humanity," he said.
"We oppose the death sentence and it's important in terms of the
relationship between Australia and Vietnam that the execution doesn't take
(source: ABC News)
5 Cubans get long jail sentences, but spared death penalty in hijacking
4 soldiers and a civilian got lengthy prison terms but were spared the
death penalty for killing an army officer and trying to hijack a plane off
the island, a leading rights activist said Wednesday.
It was the 2nd recent case involving killings by soldiers that didn't end
in capital punishment.
Elizardo Sanchez of the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National
Reconciliation said a secret military tribunal's decision not to apply the
death penalty was "something positive."
"We hope the government will take other positive steps," Sanchez said,
such as commuting the sentences of 50 other inmates believed to be on
Cuba's death row.
The commission said Sgts. Yoan Torres and Leandro Cerezo received life
sentences and a third, Karel de Miranda Rubio, got 30 years behind bars.
Capt. Alain Frobes received a 25-year prison term and a civilian, Ridel
Leseaylle Veloz, was sentenced to 15 years.
The soldiers killed at least 1 soldier while escaping from their base
April 29, an incident that prompted a countrywide manhunt. They
commandeered a city bus 4 days later, headed to Havana's International
Airport and attempted to hijack a plane, sparking a pre-dawn shootout in
which an army lieutenant colonel was killed.
Cuba's government blamed Washington for the attempted hijacking, saying
American policy allowing most Cubans to stay if they reach U.S. soil
encourages violent attempts to leave the island.
Sanchez said 3 separate sources confirmed the men were sentenced last week
after 3-day trial behind closed doors in August, and the commission
obtained a copy of the 32-page sentencing decree.
The soldiers were between the ages of 19 and 21, and the civilian was 31.
Sanchez said that under Cuban military law, only 21-year-old Torres was
old enough to face the death penalty.
(source: Canadian Press)
DEATH PENALTY: PRODI, ITALY HAS MOVED IN A STRONG WAY
Prime minister Romano Prodi has said: "Italy is in the lead and has moved
in a very strong way to achieve the universal moratorium of the death
penalty in full agreement with the EU Portuguese presidency". Prodi will
be in New York next week to take party in the UN General Assembly.
Prodi has said: "Italy wishes this is the right time. We have worked
hard". Prodi was asked about the voting on this measure he said: "In the
coming weeks, knowing the date today is not possible, we think on November
or at least on December".
Court upholds death sentence for 2 bank employees
A court in North China's Hebei Province on Wednesday upheld the death
sentence given to 2 bank employees responsible for the country's largest
ever bank theft involving 50.95 million yuan by a lower court in August.
The sentence was handed down by the Hebei Provincial Higher People's Court
at the second-instance hearing in Handan, a city in southern Hebei.
Ren Xiaofeng, 34, and Ma Xiangjing, 37, who worked as vault managers at
the Handan branch of the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), were convicted
of theft and were given death penalties at the Handan Municipal
Intermediate People's Court after the 1st-instance hearing on August 9.
Zhao Xuenan and Zhang Qiang, who joined Ren in embezzling 200,000 yuan in
October last year, were sentenced to 5 years and 2 years in prison with a
Song Changhai was jailed for 3 years for harboring Ma when he was on the
Ren, Ma and Zhao lodged appeals after the sentence.
Court hearings found that in October last year Ren conspired with Zhao
Xuenan and Zhang Qiang, who were both employed to guard the vault, to
embezzle 200,000 yuan.
The money was spent on lottery tickets, but Ren later replaced the missing
fund after he won a lottery prize.
>From March 16 to April 14 this year, Ren collaborated with Ma, who
replaced Zhang Qiang as a bank employee, and stole 50.95 million yuan in
cash. On April 14, the two men walked out with 18 million yuan.
The theft was reported to police on April 16 by branch managers after they
found millions of yuan had gone missing and the Public Security Ministry
placed Ren and Ma on its most wanted list.
Police arrested Ma in Beijing on April 18 and Ren in a rented house in
Lianyungang, a coastal city in Jiangsu Province a day later. Police said
they retrieved about 5.50 million yuan and found that about 45.35 million
yuan had been squandered on the lottery.
5 bank officials, including Deng Zhenguo, vice president of ABC's Hebei
branch, and 4 officials in ABC's branch in Handan city, have been sacked.
"Ren and Ma's actions caused huge losses to the country and exerted a very
negative impact on the society. Their crimes are extremely serious and the
previous verdict is not inappropriate," Wednesday's verdict said.
The court also rejected Zhao's appeal on Wednesday.
The death sentence for Ren and Ma will be reported to the Supreme People's
Court for approval, a spokesman of the Hebei court said.
(source: China Daily)
More information about the DeathPenalty