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How Megan Green won St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS — Ward-level results from the aldermanic president race are in, and they tell a clear tale of how Alderman Megan Green won last night. 

Green crushed Alderman Jack Coatar in north St. Louis, and ran up the score on her home turf around Tower Grove Park. 

She won 10 of the 14 newly drawn wards, and 62% of the vote in those wards entirely or mostly north of Delmar Boulevard. She took 65% of the vote in 6th and 7th wards, which include her home neighborhoods of Tower Grove South, Shaw and Compton Heights.

She also took 62% of the vote in the new 3rd Ward, which covers Dutchtown. 

Coatar, a more moderate Democrat from Soulard, managed to win big in the new 2nd Ward, which is anchored by St. Louis Hills, and put up an 8-point win in far south St. Louis. But his other victories were narrow: He only won his home ward by 2 percentage points.

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Guatemalan court approves sending detained renowned journalist to trial

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GUATEMALA CITY, Dec 8 (Reuters) – A Guatemalan court decided on Thursday to take to trial a case against a well-known Guatemalan journalist who was arrested four months ago on charges of money laundering, influence peddling and blackmail.

Jose Ruben Zamora Marroquin, an outspoken government critic, was detained in late July after a police raid on his home and will now remain in prison until the trial begins.

Prosecutors have repeatedly denied the journalist’s claims that his detention is a “political persecution.”

Zamora, 65, is the founder of the elPeriodico newspaper, an outlet famous for investigations into government corruption. The paper has laid off 80 percent of its staff and moved to online-only publication since his arrest.

“My best-case scenario is to get out of prison on January 14, 2024, when (President) Giammattei hands over the presidency,” Zamora told reporters during the hearing.

“I have patience and the truth with me,” said Zamora, seen handcuffed and visibly distressed.

His arrest came amid a crackdown on prosecutors, judges, human rights activists, journalists and opposition officials.

Members of the Inter-American Press Association, a regional organization dedicated to press freedom has demanded the journalist’s release and attended the hearing, overseen by Judge Freddy Orellana. (Reporting by Sofia Menchu; Writing by Isabel Woodford; Editing by Bradley Perrett)


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DPP appeals dismissal of perjury case against cop

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Sergeant Marley Sebastien

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has filed an appeal following the dismissal of the criminal matter against police officer Marley Sebastien.

Sebastien, who has been a police officer for more than 18 years and was part of former Premier Andrew Fahie’s security detail, was previously charged with perjury and perverting the course of justice

The matter was dismissed in the Magistrate’s Court by Magistrate Khadeen Palmer earlier this week for want of prosecution after repeated requests were made of the prosecution to produce a transcript of Sebastien’s testimony given in a High Court trial earlier this year. 

The Court was reportedly informed that the prosecution had only recently acquired the transcript, therefore Sebastien’s attorney, Valston Graham, moved that the matter be dismissed after he argued that the charges were filed without any foundation.

According to the appeal which was filed on Tuesday, the DPP is contending that the decision by the learned magistrate to dismiss the matter is unreasonable.

The DPP further sought leave to amend the grounds of the appeal as and when the record of appeal becomes available. 

Background

The charges were first brought against Sebastien after he allegedly gave contradictory evidence to his sworn testimony when he testified in the second of two trials against two former accused police officers.

Sebastien was a witness in the matter of the Queen vs Pamphill Prevost and Simon Power; both of whom were interdicted police officers at the time, charged with theft and conspiracy to steal. 

Prevost and Power were first on trial in 2019. However, that trial resulted in a mistrial as the jury could not agree on the verdict. The retrial commenced on February 1, 2022 and ended a month later with the acquittal of the officers after a no-case submission by the defence.

Copyright 2022 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.


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Former Shropshire police officer found guilty of perverting the course of justice

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A former West Mercia police officer, who was previously based in Shropshire, has today been found guilty of perverting the course of justice.

Rhett Wilson appeared at Worcester Crown Court this week. He had previously pleaded guilty to three police corruption offences and resigned from West Mercia Police in July 2020.

The charges related to an internal investigation by the West Mercia Police Professional Standards Department, following information that Wilson was abusing his position for sexual gain.  The offences took place from December 2019 – March 2020.

Deputy Chief Constable Alex Murray said: “This is corruption plain and simple. Rhett Wilson abused his position to start relationships; something police officers should never do.  There is no place for this behaviour in West Mercia Police or any other force. It will not be tolerated and we will take immediate action against any officer who abuses their power.”

The incident was referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). Internal misconduct proceedings will now take place.

Wilson is due to be sentenced on Friday 20 January 2023.




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