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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘probe’

Argentine Judge Wants to Probe Former President on 1994 Jewish Center Bombing

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Judge Claudio Bonadio wants to restart the investigation of former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner over a cover-up that followed the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association, media outlets reported Tuesday. In January 2015, special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was Jewish, was found dead with a bullet in his head in his apartment on the day he was scheduled to present his charges against Fernandez to a Congressional committee.

Magistrate Daniel Rafecas, who a few days earlier had refused to reopen the case against Fernandez, which he closed in 2015, on Tuesday accepted a request for the investigation’s files from Judge Bonadio, but told Spanish news agency EFE that “the case has been closed for the lack of a crime, so that technically there is no case. What Dr. Bonadio could do is open a new investigation — but exclusively based on new evidence.”

Rafecas added that he is “obligated to send [the files] to him so that he has it on hand to evaluate or study all the findings of my inquiry.”

Nisman was appointed Special Prosecutor in charge of the AMIA bombing investigation on September 13, 2004. The probe into the 1994 terrorist attack against the AMIA had been marked by judicial misconduct, and was at an impasse. On October 25, 2006, Nisman formally accused the government of Iran of directing the AMIA bombing, and the Hezbollah militia of carrying it out. The theory was that Argentina had been targeted by Iran as punishment for its decision to suspend a nuclear technology sale to Tehran. In November 2007, Interpol published the names of six individuals officially accused for their role in the terrorist attack: Imad Fayez Moughnieh, Ali Fallahijan, Mohsen Rabbani, Ahmad Reza Asghari, Ahmad Vahidi and Mohsen Rezaee.

In 2008 Nisman asked to arrest former president Carlos Menem, along with Judge Juan José Galeano, who first presided over the AMIA case until his removal in 2004. WikiLeaks revealed that US diplomats considered that Nisman may have done it as a gesture to new President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, since he was seeking the post of Argentina’s General Prosecutor.

In January 2015, Nisman accused President Kirchner, Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman and other politicians of covering up the roles of Iranian suspects in the case, in exchange for Iranian business. The charge was based on wire tap reports of meetings of Kirchner’s people with Mohsen Rabbani, a former cultural attaché at Iran’s embassy in Buenos Aires.

Nisman’s body was discovered on the day he was supposed to appear before a parliamentary committee to present his case against the president (who has since lost her post).

JNi.Media

Unwitting Israelis May Still Be Eating Tainted Telma Cornflakes

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

Members of the Knesset State Control Committee are being called back from their vacations to a special session on Tuesday for an investigation into the failure to to prevent salmonella-tainted Telma cornflakes from reaching consumers in Israel.

An inquiry team will arrive at the Unilever Israel Telma factory in Arad as well to conduct a “comprehensive inspection,” lawmakers said, and may consider legal action against the firm.

The Health Ministry has also set up a separate commission of inquiry, headed by Prof. Itamar Gruto, chief of public health services at the ministry.

“We are considering removing the license on the production line,” said Health Minister Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) on Friday. “Unilever has failed in its conduct and lied to the public and to the Ministry of Health. We view that with severity.”

Inspectors at the manufacturer’s Unilever umbrella company discovered early Friday that 240 boxes of the popular cereal were nowhere to be found, according to a report by Channel 10 News.

All were part of the same shipment recalled by Telma last week due to the discovery of salmonella bacteria in one of the packages.

But it is feared the missing boxes have already reached consumers who shopped at the Shufersal supermarket chain. A customer called the Unilever hotline to report she had purchased a box of the cereal that matched the recalled product number.

Unilever contacted Shufersal to track down where the sale had taken place, eventually pinning it down to the store in Kibbutz Be’erot Yitzchak, in central Israel. Unilever Israel CEO Anat Gabriel also issued a public apology on Thursday night. “I apologize from the bottom of my heart for the recent events,” she said. “We apologize that we mistakenly announced that no product from the tainted line had reached the market.”

The incident sparked heightened concerns from the Health Ministry, which issued a statement Saturday night, warning that consumers who become ill to call a doctor right away. “We see in this announcement [that tainted boxes were sold] a result of negligence on the part of the company, both towards the public and toward the Health Ministry,” the ministry said.

“The species of salmonella [in question] is not rare or aggressive. It may cause diarrhea or fever. If these symptoms appear, please turn to your doctor.”

The missing packages, which were tracked, are not to be found in any of the storerooms nor on any supermarket shelves stocked by the distributors.

Unilever Israel also released a contamination notice to consumers that read: “Consumers who have in their possession a product on the above list are asked to not consume it and to contact Unilever’s consumer service desk, telephone 1-800-780-780, to obtain a replacement product and have the product in your possession collected.”

The “above list” referred to 240 750-gram packets of Telma brand cornflakes with kosher certification from the ultra-Orthodox Edah Haharedit organization and a production date of June 27, 2016.

The notice asked consumers to take a precautionary measure by avoiding several brands in particular such as Cornflakes of Champions cereal (Alufim) purchased on June 26 and 27; Eda HaHaredit kosher-certified Cornflakes purchased on June 23, June 27, 28 and 29; and Cocoman Tzedafim (Shells) cereal purchased on June 29 and 30.

Tazpit Press Service (TPS) contributed to this report.

Hana Levi Julian

Former PM Chief of Staff Detained for Questioning About Netanyahu

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Former Prime Ministerial Chief of Staff Ari Harrow was detained Thursday morning at Ben Gurion International Airport upon his arrival from abroad. Harrow served as chief of staff to PM Benjamin Netanyahu in 2014.

A spokesperson for Israel Police said the National Fraud Investigation unit asked Harrow to provide testimony about Netanyahu’s alleged financial misappropriations. Earlier this week, Israeli Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit ordered an initial probe into the prime minister’s actions as part of the wider investigation of financial activity by government officials.

Although the Los Angeles-born former chief of staff was taken into custody, it was made clear that he was not under investigation himself, nor was he being arrested.

Other government officials who have been under investigation include Opposition Leader and Zionist Union chairman MK Isaac Herzog, former Deputy Interior Minister Faina Kirschenbaum and former Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov of Yisrael Beitenu, and former Defense Minister Binyamin ‘Fuad’ Ben-Eliezer among others.

Hana Levi Julian

FBI Backs Down, Hillary Clinton Not Charged on Personal Server Use at State Dept.

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

FBI Director James B. Comey told reporters on Tuesday (July 5) he would not advise the Justice Department to file criminal charges against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over her use of personal servers for all emails during her tenure at the U.S. State Dept.

“No reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,” he said, explaining that in order to file criminal charges, the agency needed to prove deliberate intent to send and receive classified and/or secret information on a personal server.

However, he said, “There was evidence that [she and others with whom she communicated] were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive and classified information,” Comey told reporters at a news conference in Washington DC.

Clinton clearly put national security at risk, he acknowledged. Any regular government official could have faced administration penalties for the same actions, he said.

Over the past year, the agency scrutinized 30,000 emails, checked numerous servers and spoke with dozens of aides and other staff members. Of the emails that were examined over the past year, 110 emails in 52 chains contained classified information; 36 chains were determined to contain “Secret” information. Nine chains contained “Top Secret” information and eight chains contained “Classified information. Thousands of emails were not turned over to the authorities.

But that’s not all: At least 34,000 emails were destroyed by Clinton and her attorneys, who reportedly made the decision on which ones who permanently destroy by sorting them using keywords and scanning with subject lines, Fox News reported.

The former Secretary of State was questioned three days ago by the FBI, just after her husband and former President Bill Clinton hopped aboard a plane on the tarmac before Justice Department Attorney General Loretta Lynch could disembark. The two chatted for about 30 minutes “allegedly “only” about their grandchildren, and former colleagues,” Lynch said later when asked by reporters.

But the whiff of other issues was unmistakable, and Hillary Clinton’s session with the FBI followed soon after, after a year of resistance and very involved, dragged out scrutiny into how and where her long-lost emails had gone missing. Lynch subsequently said she would most likely stand by the FBI’s recommendations regarding any indictment following the investigation into Clinton’s use of her personal server.

Some of those emails were destroyed by Clinton’s own attorneys, who reportedly made the decision on which ones to ditch by sorting with keywords and scanning the subject lines, according to a report broadcast on Fox News.

When considering the standard regulations, at the very least the State Department should revoke Hillary Clinton’s Top Secret security clearance at this point, given the concrete evidence uncovered thus far. But “should” does not seem to apply in this campaign, let alone in the legal sphere when it comes to Hillary Clinton, according to former U.S. District Attorney and New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

The investigation was focused on whether or not Clinton violated 18 U.S.C. Section 793 of the Espionage Act — which Comey contends that she did not, due to lack of “intent.”

But Giuliani disagreed in an interview on Fox News Tuesday afternoon, pointing out that provision (f) in the code is very specific, defining “extreme carelessness” as “gross negligence.” That, he said, is a felony under the law — which means that Hillary Clinton broke the law. Repeatedly:

Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document. . .relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer, Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

Hana Levi Julian

NYPD Caught in Crossfire While FBI Probes Mayor De Blasio’s Business Contacts

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

The New York Police Department’s top brass — as well as those in the lower echelons — are being questioned by the FBI in a probe that extends all the way to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The investigation developed as the result of two-year-old corruption probe that began with the 20-year head of a union representing NYC corrections officers, and a second individual who retired in 2014 as the police department’s top uniformed official.

The federal agency is now also focusing on two members of the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn who apparently have ties to the mayor, according to local sources. The specific allegations against the two are unclear.

Both allegedly raised a large amount of money for de Blasio’s mayoral election campaign and served on his inaugural committee in 2013. Neither has been charged with a particular crime, according to The New York Times.

In order to put the pieces together, FBI agents have questioned police officials from the very top of the food chain all the way down to a detective in Brooklyn’s 66th precinct, The New York Post reported Tuesday. That precinct is located in the heart of the deeply Jewish neighborhood of Borough Park.

The list of those questioned included police department chiefs, inspectors, captains and other police officials. A union head for top brass said members have been and still are cooperating with the probe. All have been told they are not the targets of this investigation; but if wrongdoing is uncovered, they could face administrative charges or dismissal. In such cases, “wrongdoing” can include acceptance of gifts, free meals or vacations and similar favors.

The investigation is being conducted with prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan.

At least police detective has declined so far to answer questions before a federal grand jury that began hearing evidence in the case.

Police Commissioner William J. Bratton told reporters at an unrelated news briefing Tuesday that the unnamed officer has been stripped of his badge and weapon, and placed on modified assignment until the investigation wraps up.

Hana Levi Julian

IDF, Independent UN Commission to Probe Events at UNRWA Schools

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

The IDF and the United Nations are both investigating the events that took place in Gaza this summer during Israel’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge, particularly at United Nations-run facilities.

The Chief Military Prosecutor of the Israel Defense Forces, Maj.-Gen. Dani Efroni has opened two criminal investigations: one into the July 16 air strike on a Gaza beach that left four Arab boys dead, and another into an attack at a United Nations school on July 24 in which 14 Gaza residents were killed.

Six teams of military experts who underwent specialized legal training and who are reserve officers have been assigned the task of investigating the incidents. A senior IDF officer was quoted by The Jerusalem Post as saying the teams would be able to render detailed decisions in a reasonable amount of time, inasmuch as they are not part of the chain of command due to their reserve status.

All told, the IDF MAG (Military Advocate General) Corps has opened reviews into 44 events that took place during this summer’s 50-day counter terror Operation Protective Edge. In addition, another 55 cases are to be investigated in the coming weeks, military sources told journalists on Wednesday. Two cases have already been referred for criminal investigation. Seven were closed, three are pending but may go to criminal investigations, and 12 others are being scrutinized.

One of the three pending cases involves a claim by a 17-year-old Gaza youth who said he was detained and held for five days by IDF soldiers. The youth said the soldiers beat him while moving him from place to place. The second incident involves alleged looting by an IDF soldier in Gaza City. The third investigation revolves around the death of a Gaza woman who coordinated an exit from her home, but ended up shot and killed.

Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is also setting up a separate, independent commission of inquiry to look into the events that took place at UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency) facilities in Gaza during the war. The separate commission, said Ban, will investigate attacks on UNWRA schools, and destruction of UNRWA facilities, the injuries and deaths of UNRWA employees in Gaza, as well as the use of UNRWA facilities as weapons storage areas by Hamas and allied terrorist organizations, “no matter what.”

The IDF has amassed a myriad of satellite photos and other concrete evidence documenting the exploitation of UNRWA facilities by Hamas and other terrorists.

Ban told the Arabic-language Al Hayat newspaper on Wednesday the special commission would operate independently from that established by the UN Human Rights Council, headed by anti-Israel Canadian law professor William Schabas. The UNHRC investigating committee was set up solely to investigate alleged human rights violations and suspected war crimes committed by the IDF during the operation.

The IDF still has a list of incidents to be checked out, military sources said. A few were closed after it was ascertained no criminal wrongdoing had occurred — for example, a strike on a journalist in Gaza who was later discovered to have actually been a terrorist. He was suspected of transporting a missile in his car.

In another incident, on July 8, eight members of the Kaware family were killed in an IDF air strike on a home in Gaza. Israeli fighter pilots had first fired a small ‘knock on roof’ dud missile to warn the family of an impending attack and the family members did indeed leave the home. But then, inexplicably, they ran back into the house after a second, armed missile had already been fired at the target. All were killed.

Hana Levi Julian

Former NY Supreme Court Judge to Join UN Panel Probing Israel

Monday, August 25th, 2014

A member of the commission who carried out the follow-up to the United Nations Human Rights Commission’s Goldstone Report has been tapped to serve as the third member of the newest probe committee.

Former New York Supreme Court Judge Mary McGowan Davis is to take the place of British Lebanese attorney Amal Alamuddin, who declined the invitation to serve on the panel led by Canadian law professor William Schabas. The two will be joined by Doudou Diene.

The commission is intended to investigate whether the Israel Defense Forces were guilty of committing war crimes in countering terrorist activity this summer in Gaza, Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem; however, the panel is beginning its work without even acknowledging the basic definition of Hamas as a terrorist organization.

At present, Israel has decided not to cooperate with the panel in its investigation, based on past experience with probes that led to skewed conclusions based on false Gaza testimony and Israeli evidence omitted from reports.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/goldstone-follow-up-investigator-to-probe-gaza-ops/2014/08/25/

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