Archive for the ‘corruption’ Tag

Warning for firms that set up trade union blacklist

Warning for firms that set up trade union blacklist

Major companies which set up and funded a secret blacklist to deny work to thousands of trade unionists will escape prosecution, it emerged today.

A judge fined a private investigator who operated the covert blacklist but said he was not the only person responsible but was financed by big “high street” companies. Major firms in the construction industry will be officially warned that they will be prosecuted if they set up a new blacklist.

Affected trade unionists said they were disappointed that companies which had wrecked workers’ lives had appeared to get away with it. They angrily confronted the private investigator, Ian Kerr, who hid his face as he was driven away.

Kerr, 66, was fined £5,000 at Knutsford crown court, Cheshire after admitting keeping a clandestine database of 3,000 workers for the past 15 years.

The court heard that more than 40 construction companies had given £600,000 in the past five years to Kerr’s agency to record personal and employment details of allegedly troublesome workers.

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Yorkshire detective arrested in fraud probe

Yorkshire detective arrested in fraud probe

A SENIOR detective from South Yorkshire Police was among 10 people detained by West Yorkshire officers probing fraud and money laundering offences.
Det Insp Shakeel Ahmed from Sandal, Wakefield, was questioned at Wakefield’s Wood Street Police Station following the swoops by police on homes and business premises in the Agbrigg and Sandal areas earlier in the week.

South Yorkshire Police have so far failed to comment on the arrest of DI Ahmed.

All those arrested were later released on bail pending further inquiries.

West Yorkshire Police have declined to give details of those arrested other than to say that nine were detained in Agbrigg and one in Sandal.

Pathologist in Ian Tomlinson G20 case suspended

Pathologist in Ian Tomlinson G20 case suspended

The Home Office pathologist who ruled that Ian Tomlinson died of natural causes at the G20 protests has been suspended pending investigations into his professional conduct.

Freddy Patel, who conducted the first post-mortem examination on the newspaper vendor from east London and concluded he died of a heart attack, has been removed from the government
register of accredited forensic pathologists
amid concern as to whether he has breached regulations.

A second post-mortem by another pathologist found Mr Tomlinson died from internal bleeding in the stomach.

Video showed he had been struck with a baton and knocked to the ground by a policeman on 1 April.

Dr Patel found injuries on Mr Tomlinson’s body but concluded he died of natural causes. The controversy over Dr Patel’s involvement in the case prompted a review of his work by the Pathology Delivery Board, which monitors the Home Office register for the National Police Improvement Agency.

French prosecutor seeks dissolution of Scientology

French prosecutor seeks dissolution of Scientology

PARIS (Reuters) – A French prosecutor on Monday recommended a Paris court should dissolve the Church of Scientology’s French branch when it rules on charges of fraud against the organization.

Registered as a religion in the United States, with celebrity members such as actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta, Scientology enjoys no such legal protection in France, where it has faced repeated accusations of being a money-making cult.

The Church’s Paris headquarters and bookshop are defendants in a fraud trial that began on May 25. Summing up her views on the case, state prosecutor Maud Coujard urged the court to return a guilty verdict and dissolve the organization in France.

The Church of Scientology denies the fraud charges and says the case against it violates freedom of religion.

A ruling is expected within months.

London’s Metropolitan Police accused of waterboarding suspects

London’s Metropolitan Police accused of waterboarding suspects

Metropolitan Police officers subjected suspects to waterboarding, according to allegations at the centre of a major anti-corruption inquiry, The Times has learnt.

The torture claims are part of a wide-ranging investigation which also includes accusations that officers fabricated evidence and stole suspects’ property. It has already led to the abandonment of a drug trial and the suspension of several police officers.

However, senior policing officials are most alarmed by the claim that officers in Enfield, North London, used the controversial CIA interrogation technique to simulate drowning. Scotland Yard is appointing a new borough commander in Enfield in a move that is being seen as an attempt by Sir Paul Stephenson, the Met Commissioner, to enforce a regime of “intrusive supervision”.

The waterboarding claims will fuel the debate about police conduct that has raged in the wake of hundreds of public complaints of brutality at the anti-G20 protests in April.

The part of the inquiry focusing on alleged police brutality has been taken over by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. It is examining the conduct of six officers connected to drug raids in November in which four men and a woman were arrested at addresses in Enfield and Tottenham. Police said they found a large amount of cannabis and the suspects were charged with importation of a Class C drug. The case was abandoned four months later when the Crown Prosecution Service said it would not have been in the public interest to proceed. It is understood that the trial, by revealing the torture claims, would have compromised the criminal investigation into the six officers.

Church of Scientology in Belgium to be prosecuted?

Church of Scientology in Belgium to be prosecuted?

A Belgian court will decide on Tuesday whether the Church of Scientology will be prosecuted.

Two years ago Belgian public prosecutors stated that the Church is a criminal organisation.

The prosecution, if it happens, will be a world first.

In September 2007 detectives completed an investigation into the Church of Scientology. The activities of the organisation during the past twelve years came under scrutiny.

Their verdict was not a flattering one.

The public prosecutor’s office claimed that the organisation was involved in fraud, blackmail of members and illegal medical practices.

This is all rather out-ethics, to say the least. For shame, Xenuphobes, for shame.

Obama exempts CIA ‘torture’ staff

Obama exempts CIA ‘torture’ staff

CIA agents who used harsh interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects during the Bush era will not be prosecuted, US President Barack Obama has said.

The assurance came as memos were released detailing the range of techniques the CIA was allowed to use during the Bush administration.

Mr Obama banned the use of methods such as sleep deprivation and simulated drowning in his first week in office.

But rights groups have criticised the decision not to seek prosecutions.

Amnesty International said the Department of Justice appeared to be offering a “get-out-of-jail-free card” to individuals who were involved in acts of torture.

The Centre for Constitutional Rights, which has championed the legal rights of the “war on terror” detainees, also expressed its disappointment.

Verdict on Slough election fraud trial

Verdict on Slough election fraud trial

A former deputy mayor accused of vote rigging walked free from court yesterday after a jury failed to reach a verdict after nearly eight hours.
Tory Mohammad Aziz was cleared of conspiracy to defraud after the prosecution said it was not in the public interest to proceed to a retrial. Judge Gordon Risius formally entered a not guilty verdict on the 49-year-old at the end of a three-week trial.

Mr Aziz’s nephew, Yasar Mumtaz, 19, was cleared of charges.

Three co-defendants were convicted of creating an electoral scam to oust long-serving Labour councillor Lydia Simmons and replace her with Tory candidate Eshaq Khan at Slough Borough Council elections in 2007.

Altaf Khan, 30, of Knolton Way, Slough, and Arshad Raja, 52, of Broadmark Road, Slough, were both found guilty of personation.
Mahboob Khan, 46, of Quinbrookes, Slough, was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud; conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and perjury.

Fail.

How the Scientologists used River County officials to stifle protest

The following videos describe the situation in Palm Springs and the reaction of the Church of Scientology and law enforcement to the presence of anti-Scientology protests, abd the connections between the cult and local officials.

For more information visit Why We Protest.

‘Do not touch’ – the covert database that kept union activists out of work

‘Do not touch’ – the covert database that kept union activists out of work

For years, 66-year-old Ian Kerr has run his business quietly in a first-floor office in the Worcestershire town of Droitwich. There was no nameplate for his premises, which was protected by a green door, and workers in the neighbouring shops either failed to notice him or thought he was a little mysterious.

“Oh yes, Ian,” said one. “He has been there for years. We never really knew what he does – probably works for MI5 or something.”

Kerr did not work for the security services, but the world he operated in was certainly a private one, and it can be exposed today because of an investigation by the office of the information commissioner, Richard Thomas.

Thomas, whose watchdog is entrusted with maintaining the public’s privacy, believes Kerr has spent 15 years compiling and maintaining a huge database on 3,200 workers from around the country.

[…]

Details of workers’ trade union activities and past employment conduct were recorded on cards.

One individual was said to be a “poor timekeeper, will cause trouble, strong TU [trade union]”. Another card referred to a member of the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians as “Ucatt … very bad news”.

A member of the Transport and General Workers Union was described as “a sleeper and should be watched”. One entry on a worker simply said: “Do not touch !”