Tag Archives: pleads

Saudi woman held at Bangkok airport pleads for asylum

Saudi woman held at Bangkok airport pleads for asylumA Saudi woman being held at Bangkok airport on Monday appealed for asylum and for other passengers to help protest her looming deportation, in desperate tweets from the hotel room where she barricaded herself. The incident comes against the backdrop of intense scrutiny of Saudi Arabia over its investigation and handling of the shocking murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year, which has renewed criticism of the kingdom’s rights record. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun told AFP she ran away from her family while travelling in Kuwait because they subjected her to physical and psychological abuse.



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Accused Russian agent Maria Butina pleads guilty to attempting to sway US policy

Accused Russian agent Maria Butina pleads guilty to attempting to sway US policyA Russian woman has admitted to acting as an agent for the Kremlin to get close to the Republican party in an effort to influence US policies.  Maria Butina, 30, pleaded guilty to a single charge of conspiracy in a court in Washington on Thursday, admitting to working under the direction of a top Russian official to infiltrate the National Rifle Association (NRA), a powerful gun rights group closely aligned with senior Republican politicians. She is the first Russian citizen to be convicted of working to shape US policy in the run up and through the 2016 election campaign, agreeing to co-operate with prosecutors for less prison time. Appearing before Judge Tanya Chutkan, she admitted to conspiring to work with Alexander Torshin, a former deputy governor of Russia's central bank, and two US citizens as a Russian agent from 2015 until her 2018 arrest.  Butina, a former graduate student at American University in Washington who publicly advocated for gun rights, was arrested in July and has been held in jail without bail ever since.  Maria Butina was said to be directed by Alexander Torshin, previously described as Vladimir Putin's "emissary" Credit: AP She initially pleaded not guilty to the charges against her but in the last week it was revealed she had reversed course and agreed to co-operate with prosecutors.   Her aim was to make contacts with officials at the NRA, conservative figures and 2016 presidential candidates in order to set up unofficial back channels with high-ranking American politicians. Butina is known to have met with the president's son, Donald Trump Jnr, during one of the NRA's conventions as well as reportedly hosting a party in Washington attended by Trump campaign aides in November 2016. Prosecutors told the court that Butina drafted a March 2015 "Diplomacy Project" that called for establishing unofficial channels of communication between high-ranking American politicians in order to help advance Russia's interests. In this courtroom sketch, Maria Butina, left, is shown next to her attorney Robert Driscoll Credit: AP To carry out the plan, Butina requested $ 125,000 (£98,000) from a Russian billionaire to attend conferences and set up "separate meetings with interested parties" such as other Russian businessmen or people with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they added. The prosecutors said Butina invited "powerful members" of the NRA for a visit to Moscow where they met with high-level Russian officials. Apparent photos of the NRA Moscow trip are posted on her social media accounts. After the visit, according to court records, she sent a Russian official a message apparently referencing the NRA saying, "We should let them express their gratitude now, we will put pressure on them quietly later." The alleged Russian agent was arrested in July Credit: Reuters Butina also hosted "friendship dinners" in the hope of establishing ties with people who "would have the ear of the next US presidential administration," prosecutors said. After the 2016 election, she proposed creating a dialogue with President Donald Trump's advisors, but the Russian official told her he did not think the foreign affairs ministry would "go for it," prosecutors said. The actions occurred during the same time period that US intelligence agencies have concluded Russia engaged in a campaign of propaganda and hacking to sow discord during the 2016 presidential race and boost Mr Trump's chances against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. Butina was a gun rights activist Butina's lawyers previously identified the Russian official as Alexander Torshin, who was a deputy governor of Russia's central bank and was targeted with US Treasury Department sanctions in April.  One of the two Americans referenced in the prosecution's case was Paul Erickson, an conservative political activist who was romantically linked to Butina. His lawyer William Hurd said: "Paul Erickson is a good American. He has done nothing to harm our country and never would." Russian officials hit back at the case, calling it a "modern political inquisition" in comments quoted by the RIA state news agency. She faces a maximum of five years in prison and deportation. As part of her agreement prosecutors dropped a second charge of violating a law that requires foreigners working for their government to register with the US Justice Department. Her lawyer, Robert Driscoll, estimated that under sentencing guidelines for similar crimes Butina could face up to six months in prison.  Because of Butina's ongoing co-operation, the judge did not set a sentencing date but scheduled a hearing for February 12.  



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Suspect in model's strangulation death pleads not guilty

Suspect in model's strangulation death pleads not guiltyPHILADELPHIA (AP) — A man accused of strangling a model in an affluent Philadelphia suburb pleaded not guilty Friday to murder charges, days after a suspect in the burglary of her apartment was taken into custody.



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Lebanese businessman pleads guilty to violating US sanctions

Lebanese businessman pleads guilty to violating US sanctionsWASHINGTON (AP) — A Lebanese businessman accused of providing millions of dollars to the Hezbollah militant group pleaded guilty Thursday and admitted his role in a money laundering conspiracy in an effort to evade U.S. sanctions, the Justice Department said.



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Man accused of killing brother's family in New Jersey pleads not guilty

Man accused of killing brother's family in New Jersey pleads not guiltyPaul Caneiro will remain behind bars until his next court date in January.



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Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty In Mueller Investigation

Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty In Mueller InvestigationPresident Donald Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty



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Indonesian woman who lost fiance in Lion Air crash pleads for safe planes

Indonesian woman who lost fiance in Lion Air crash pleads for safe planesAn Indonesian woman whose fiance was among 189 people killed when a Lion Air flight crashed into the sea near Jakarta last month implored authorities on Friday to improve the safety and regulation of the country’s airlines. Intan Indah Syari had been due to marry her high-school sweetheart, Rio Nanda Pratama, who was a doctor, on November 11. Photographs of Syari wearing her white wedding dress, alone, on the day of their planned ceremony went viral on social media with thousands of likes and an outpouring of sympathetic comments from around the world.



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Christopher Watts pleads guilty to murder of pregnant wife, 2 young daughters

Christopher Watts pleads guilty to murder of pregnant wife, 2 young daughtersChristopher Watts, the Colorado father who was accused of murdering his



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Christopher Watts Pleads Guilty To Killing Pregnant Wife, Young Daughters

Christopher Watts Pleads Guilty To Killing Pregnant Wife, Young DaughtersA Colorado man accused of killing his pregnant wife and two daughters pleaded



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New Jersey 'Pooperintendent' Pleads Guilty To Public Defecation

New Jersey 'Pooperintendent' Pleads Guilty To Public DefecationA former high school superintendent in New Jersey has pleaded guilty to public



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