Judge lifts house arrest order against Colombian former president Uribe

A judge on Saturday lifted a house arrest order against former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, who is under investigation for alleged witness tampering.



a man wearing a suit and tie


© Luisa González, Reuters


Uribe has been held under the order since August.

The decision is the latest twist in a long-running legal battle and is likely to disappoint Uribe’s detractors, who had hailed the house arrest as a triumph of judicial independence.

“The decision adopted by this official is to agree to the request submitted by the defense, supported by the Attorney General’s Office and the representation of the public prosecutor and as such Dr. Alvaro Uribe Velez will be granted his immediate freedom,” said Judge Clara Ximena Salcedo.

“Thank God,” Uribe said in a message on Twitter following the decision.

Following his house arrest order Uribe resigned his senate seat, leading the court to transfer the case to the attorney general’s office, which critics say will be less rigorous.

Detractors will blame the outcome on the attorney general’s Office and the way it has handled the case, said political analyst Sergio Guzman of Colombia Risk Analysis.

“The lion’s share of the blame will go to the attorney general’s office and it’s handling of the case,” Guzman told Reuters.

Uribe and several allies are being investigated over allegations of witness tampering carried out in an attempt to discredit accusations he had ties to right-wing paramilitaries.

Polarizing Uribe, a mentor to current President Ivan Duque, has insisted he is innocent.

In 2012, Uribe accused leftist Senator Ivan Cepeda of orchestrating a plot to tie him to right-wing paramilitary groups.

But in 2018, the Supreme Court said Cepeda had collected information from former fighters as part of his work and had not paid or pressured former paramilitaries. Instead the court said it was Uribe and his allies who pressured witnesses.

(REUTERS)

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Judge lifts house arrest order against former Colombian President Uribe

BOGOTA (Reuters) – A judge on Saturday lifted a house arrest order against former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, who is under investigation for alleged witness tampering.

Uribe has been held under the order since August.

The decision is the latest twist in a long-running legal battle and is likely to disappoint Uribe’s detractors, who had hailed the house arrest as a triumph of judicial independence.

“The decision adopted by this official is to agree to the request submitted by the defense, supported by the Attorney General’s Office and the representation of the public prosecutor and as such Dr. Alvaro Uribe Velez will be granted his immediate freedom,” said Judge Clara Ximena Salcedo.

“Thank God,” Uribe said in a message on Twitter following the decision.

Following his house arrest order Uribe resigned his senate seat, leading the court to transfer the case to the attorney general’s office, which critics say will be less rigorous.

Detractors will blame for the outcome on the attorney general’s Office and the way it has handled the case, said political analyst Sergio Guzman of Colombia Risk Analysis.

“The lion’s share of the blame will go to the attorney general’s office and it’s handling of the case,” Guzman told Reuters.

Uribe and several allies are being investigated over allegations of witness tampering carried out in an attempt to discredit accusations he had ties to right-wing paramilitaries.

Polarizing Uribe, a mentor to current President Ivan Duque, has insisted he is innocent.

In 2012, Uribe accused leftist Senator Ivan Cepeda of orchestrating a plot to tie him to right-wing paramilitary groups.

But in 2018, the Supreme Court said Cepeda had collected information from former fighters as part of his work and had not paid or pressured former paramilitaries. Instead the court said it was Uribe and his allies who pressured witnesses.

(Reporting by Oliver Griffin and Nelson Bocanegra; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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Arrest in Boston hit-and-run pedestrian accident at Public Garden

A 58-year-old Boston man is being arraigned today on charges he stole a pick-up truck and crashed it next to the Public Garden seriously injuring a woman who was walking near the scene Thursday afternoon, police announced.

Police said they arrested Keith Andrade once they spotted him Thursday night hours after the afternoon crash in the area of Washington Street and School Street. The victim remains in critical condition with life-threatening injuries, police said today.

Andrade is facing charges of larceny of a motor vehicle, operating a motor vehicle without a license, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, reckless operation of a motor vehicle and leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident resulting in personal injury.

Andrade also had two active warrants out of Boston District Court for larceny from a person.

As the Herald reported Thursday, a woman walking around the Public Garden suffered life-threatening injuries in a car crash where the driver who took off running from the stolen pickup truck that hit her.

Police said the call came in at 4:22 p.m. for reports of a person struck at the corner of Boylston and Charles streets. The woman who was hit suffered life-threatening injuries, police said, and authorities were making “full notifications,” which is done when someone either has died or might die.

Witness Antonio Avanti was waiting for the light on Boylston when he heard the crash and then saw smoke. He told the Herald he jumped out of his car and saw what appeared to be a young woman lying on the ground with people tending to her.

“She had an angel — there was somebody with blue scrubs who was helping her,” Avanti said.

This is a developing story …

  • BOSTON, MA: October 1, 2020: First Responders at the scene of a serious pedestrian accident on Charles and Boylston Streets in Boston, Massachusetts.(Staff photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • BOSTON, MA: October 1, 2020: First Responders at the scene of a serious pedestrian accident on Charles and Boylston Streets in Boston, Massachusetts.(Staff photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • BOSTON, MA: October 1, 2020: First Responders at the scene of a serious pedestrian accident on Charles and Boylston Streets in Boston, Massachusetts.(Staff photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • BOSTON, MA: October 1, 2020: First Responders at the scene of a serious pedestrian accident on Charles and Boylston Streets in Boston, Massachusetts.(Staff photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • BOSTON, MA: October 1, 2020: First Responders at the scene of a serious pedestrian accident on Charles and Boylston Streets in Boston, Massachusetts.(Staff photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • BOSTON, MA: October 1, 2020: First Responders at the scene of a serious pedestrian accident on Charles and Boylston Streets in Boston, Massachusetts.(Staff photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • BOSTON, MA: October 1, 2020: First Responders at the scene of a serious pedestrian accident on Charles and Boylston Streets in Boston, Massachusetts.(Staff photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • BOSTON, MA: October 1, 2020: First Responders

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Boston Police arrest man accused of attempted rape in Public Garden

A man accused of trying to rape a woman in the Public Garden early Monday morning has been arrested, Boston Police announced on Tuesday.



a pole that has a sign on the side of a road: BOSTON, MA - MAY 23-SATURDAY: A sign urging social distancing is posted on the Arlington Street entrance to the Public Gardens May 23, 2020, in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Paul Connors/Media News Group/Boston Herald)


© Provided by Boston Herald
BOSTON, MA – MAY 23-SATURDAY: A sign urging social distancing is posted on the Arlington Street entrance to the Public Gardens May 23, 2020, in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Paul Connors/Media News Group/Boston Herald)

Luan Maxwell, 30, of Boston, has been arrested and charged with assault with intent to rape.

Boston Police had reached out to the public for help in identifying a suspect who allegedly tried to rape a woman in the Public Garden at around 6 a.m. Monday.

Officers from the department’s Sexual Assault Unit responded at that time to a call for an assault with intent to rape.

The victim told detectives that she was walking in the park when a man approached her and placed his hand over her mouth. The man made sexually explicit threats and tried to remove a piece of the woman’s clothing, she told police.

She was able to free herself from the man and get to safety.

Then on Tuesday at around 9:45 a.m., officers and detectives assigned to the Sexual Assault Unit arrested the suspect, Maxwell.

While on patrol, officers received information regarding his location and saw him walking on Boylston Street toward Washington Street. Upon seeing officers, Maxwell tried to flee but was apprehended by the captain of District A-1 on Harrison Avenue.

Maxwell is expected to be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court.

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South Carolina father helps police arrest man accused of looking at teen in bathroom, reports say

A group of fathers helped police arrest a registered sex offender accused of looking at a 15-year-old girl in the restroom of a Cracker Barrel in South Carolina, reports say.

Douglas Lane, 53, is facing charges of voyeurism, simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia stemming from a reported incident in Duncan on Sunday morning, according to Fox5 Atlanta.

Duncan police Chief Carl Long told WSPA that a 15-year-old girl at the restaurant reported seeing a man peering at her from underneath the bathroom stall.

Douglas Lane was tackled by a group of fathers in the restaurant's parking lot, police reportedly say. (Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office)

Douglas Lane was tackled by a group of fathers in the restaurant’s parking lot, police reportedly say. (Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office)

KANSAS CITY POLICE IDENTIFY 1-YEAR-OLD KILLED IN TRIPLE SHOOTING 

The girl told her father what happened and an employee coaxed Lane out of the bathroom, the station adds.

Long told WSPA that the girl’s father confronted Lane and a witness said he went “running, sprinting out the front door” of the restaurant “with a very bloody nose.”

Long said Lane tried to flee, but was tackled and restrained by a group until police arrived, WSPA reports.

Lane’s phone reportedly was seized by police after it was found on the bathroom floor. One witness told WSPA that the 15-year-old wasn’t the only woman in the restroom at time.

“I’ll never forget the way they looked after,” that witness said. “They were traumatized.”

Government records show that Lane, of Charlotte, N.C., has been a registered sex offender in that state since 2004 because he was convicted of secretly looking into a room with 8- and 9-year-olds inside, according to Fox5 Atlanta.

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He also was charged with crimes connected to peeping at least eight  other times, according to WSPA. Lane is reportedly being held on a $2,000 bond.

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Arrest in case of ricin letters sent to White House, Texas

WASHINGTON (AP) — A woman suspected of sending an envelope containing the poison ricin, which was addressed to the White House, has been arrested at the New York-Canada border and is also suspected of sending similar poisoned envelopes to law enforcement agencies in Texas, officials said Monday.

The letter had been intercepted earlier this week before it reached the White House. The woman was taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Peace Bridge border crossing near Buffalo and is expected to face federal charges, three law enforcement officials told The Associated Press.

Her name was not immediately released, but the woman was expected to appear in federal court on Monday.

The letter addressed to the White House appeared to have originated in Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have said. It was intercepted at a government facility that screens mail addressed to the White House and President Donald Trump and a preliminary investigation indicated it tested positive for ricin, according to the officials.

Envelopes containing ricin were also mailed to law enforcement agencies in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas, according to another law enforcement official. The official did not say which agencies were sent the envelopes but said they are believed to have been mailed by the same person who sent one to the White House.

The officials were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

There have been several prior instances in which U.S. officials have been targeted with ricin sent through the mail.

A Navy veteran was arrested in 2018 and confessed to sending envelopes to Trump and members of his administration that contained the substance from which ricin is derived. The letters were intercepted, and no one was hurt.

In 2014, a Mississippi man was sentenced to 25 years in prison after sending letters dusted with ricin to President Barack Obama and other officials.

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Associated Press writer Jake Bleiberg in Dallas contributed to this report.

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Arrest Over Ricin Envelope Addressed To White House

US authorities confirmed an arrest Sunday over an envelope addressed to President Donald Trump that contained a substance identified as the poison ricin.

The suspect was a woman who was carrying a gun when she was arrested by authorities, according to US media reports.

“I can confirm that an arrest was made at the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, New York,” Customs and Border Protection supervisory officer Aaron Bowker told AFP, referring to the bridge that connects Canada and the US state of New York.

US media reported Saturday that authorities had intercepted an envelope laced with ricin addressed to Trump.

The letter was discovered earlier last week and did not reach the White House, according to The New York Times and CNN.

Mail addressed to the White House is first inspected and sorted in depots just outside Washington Mail addressed to the White House is first inspected and sorted in depots just outside Washington Photo: AFP / Brendan Smialowski

The Times said it was believed that the letter was mailed from Canada.

Mail addressed to the White House is first inspected and sorted in depots just outside Washington.

CNN said the contents of the envelope were tested repeatedly at one depot and confirmed to contain ricin.

Ricin, which is produced by processing castor beans, is lethal even in minute doses if swallowed, inhaled or injected, causing organ failure.

A government official who was not authorized to speak on the matter told AFP that a court appearance was scheduled for Monday.

Copyright AFP. All rights reserved.

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Twins abduct, beat man for ransom while on house arrest for murder, authorities say

Twin brothers under house arrest on murder charges duct-taped a man and cut his face and toes demanding a ransom payment, authorities said.

On Friday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida announced 23-year-old twin brothers Devon Cooke and Donavan Cooke, of Miami Gardens, were charged with carjacking and kidnapping after they allegedly abducted and assaulted a man in an attempt to collect ransom money.

The brothers were under house house arrest on murder and attempted murder charges when the incident happened.

Authorities say on Tuesday the victim, who was not identified, drove to the twins’ home in Miami Gardens to collect money. When he arrived, the brothers assaulted him, snatched his car key and dragged him out of the car and into their house.

The brothers then bound him to a chair using duct tape and began beating him, authorities said. They used a knife to cut his face and toes and wrapped a dog leash around his neck, chocking him unconscious.

A witness told authorities they heard the man pleading for his life. The brothers threatened to kill him if he didn’t come up with the ransom money, the press release read.

With a gun to the man’s head, he was forced to make a call to an unknown person and told them to put cash, a Rolex and other jewelry into a bag and drive to a spot the twins designated.

An accomplice to the brothers then arrived at the home and stuffed the man into a car and took him to the exchange spot. Once there, the man ran away and the accomplice drove off with the ransom.

Authorities say investigation led by police officers led to the Cooke twins. FBI agents found some of the items used in the abduction and beating.

The twins are in federal custody and made their first appearance in Miami federal court Friday. Each brother faces up to 15 years in federal prison on the carjacking charge and life in prison on the kidnapping charge.

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©2020 Miami Herald

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Oregon Republican Lawmakers React to Arrest of Dem House Speaker’s Aide in Portland Riots

Republicans in the Oregon legislature are accusing Democrats of sanctioning “lawlessness” after the arrest of a top aide to the Democratic Oregon House speaker this month during protests that devolved into riots in downtown Portland.



A photojournalist reacts as riot police fire tear gas in Portland, Ore., September 5, 2020.


© Carlos Barria/Reuters
A photojournalist reacts as riot police fire tear gas in Portland, Ore., September 5, 2020.

Kristina Narayan, who serves as legislative director for Oregon House Speaker Representative Tina Kotek, was arrested late at night on Saturday, September 5 and charged with interfering with a police officer after Portland Police declared a riot.

“Kristina Narayan was arrested for Interfering with a Police Officer after the event became a riot and the crowd was given multiple orders to disperse, which she did not do,” a Portland police department spokesperson said.

Narayan, 29, has worked for Kotek since September, 2016 and has served as the House speaker’s legislative director since May, 2018, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Republican state lawmakers in Oregon criticized their colleagues across the aisle for declining to denounce the ongoing nightly violence wracking Portland, and accused Democratic lawmakers of protecting their staffers and supporters who participate in the riots.

“The Democrat supermajority in Oregon have had instances where their publicly-employed staff have been involved in the violent riots and looting in downtown Portland,” said GOP state Senator Dennis Linthicum, who represents the southeast city of Klamath Falls.

“Knowing this, it becomes obvious why Democrats in Oregon and across the nation have not stood up for law enforcement and condemned the lawlessness in the streets because within these Democrat-controlled cities — they would be alienating their own staff members who are participating in the riots,” Linthicum said.

Republican Oregon Senator Alan Olsen agreed, adding that Democratic lawmakers in the state “despise” the very police protecting them.

“Oregon Democrats are the party of lawlessness because instead of denouncing the violence, they largely have remained silent. The top Democrat leaders are protected by the police but despise and have absolute animosity towards them,” said Olsen, who represents Canby, a city just south of Portland.

“It’s obvious that Oregon Democrats are protecting their own extremist staffers and supporters over innocent Oregonians who are the collateral damage of over 100 days of violence,” Olsen added.

Narayan’s arrest came a week after pro-Trump demonstrator Aaron Danielson was fatally shot in the chest during clashes between Black Lives Matter protesters and a caravan of pro-Trump demonstrators who drove through the streets of downtown Portland. Two days later, Portland Police declared a riot after about 200 demonstrators marched to Mayor Ted Wheeler’s residence to demand that he resign as violent demonstrations continue to rock the city.

Kotek’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

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Medina Police arrest Santa House arson suspect

MEDINA, Ohio — Following up on several tips, Medina Police detectives have arrested 23-year-old Tristan Rosen, of Akron, in connection with a June 6 fire at the building housing city’s “Santa House” Christmas display.

Medina Police and Medina Fire Department personnel responded to the fire call at 410 E. Smith Road at approximately 11:20 p.m. June 6. The fire was brought under control, but not before the building and all of its contents was destroyed. The complete loss was valued at more $100,000.

The city-owned storage barn contained the Santa’s House, a decorative box trailer used during the annual Medina Candlelight Walk festivities.

Suspicious fire

The fire was almost immediately classified as “suspicious” by the fire department. Tips led police to name Rosen as a suspect and, according to a Sept. 8 Medina Police Department release, “throughout the investigation, detectives discovered additional evidence to support Rosen’s responsibility in setting the fire.”

The release went on to state that Rosen admitted to setting the fire in subsequent interviews with detectives. Rosen was arrested Sept. 3 and charged with aggravated arson, a felony of the first degree, and arson, a felony of the fourth degree.

Rosen remains incarcerated at the Medina County Jail pending trial.

Read more news from the Medina Sun.

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©2020 The Plain Dealer, Cleveland

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