BUENOS AIRES: Argentina’s former vice president, Amado Boudou, was sentenced to nearly six years in prison on Tuesday after being found guilty of corruption while serving under former president Cristina Kirchner.
The charges related to Boudou’s attempt to buy a company that printed currency through a front business while serving as Kirchner’s economy minister.
A court found the 55-year-old guilty of “passive bribery” and conduct “incompatible” with his duties as a public servant, sentencing him to five years and 10 months in prison.
Boudou, who served in Kirchner’s cabinet from 2009 to 2015, has been banned for life from holding public office.
His lawyers are expected to appeal the conviction. Argentina has recently been rocked by another major corruption scandal involving top political and business figures and compared to neighboring Brazil’s sprawling Operation Car Wash probe.
Kirchner, who served as president from 2007 to 2015, has been summoned for questioning next week amidst allegations that tens of millions of dollars in bribes were funneled to the presidential residence, executive mansion, and offices.
Ever since she left office, her administration has been beset by various corruption allegations and convictions.
Boudou told the court that he never negotiated a 70 percent stake in Ciccone Calcografica eight years ago, saying the “alleged bribe has no basis or link to the evidence because it didn’t exist.”
Five other entrepreneurs were convicted alongside Boudou, including the company’s former owner Nicolas Ciccone, who was given a four-and-a-half-year jail term.
At the beginning of the year, Ciccone was granted a release from detention into house arrest as his partner, former Mexican politician Monica Garcia de la Fuente, was expecting twins.
Laura Alonso, head of the anti-corruption office, said this case showed the country had confronted official corruption in an “open and public trial” and that there is “justice in Argentina.”
The court found Boudou guilty of trying to lift a bankruptcy declaration against Ciccone in return for a 70 percent share in the business.
Amongst those also convicted were Argentina’s former representative to the World Bank, Guido Forcieri, who was given a two-and-a-half-year suspended sentence.
The more recent corruption case revolves around allegations that the planning ministry applied pressure to businessmen to contribute to the election campaigns of both Kirchner and her husband Nestor, whom she succeeded as president.
A businessman who has admitted paying such contributions, Juan Carlos de Goycoechea, surrendered to police on Friday and asked for protection under an “accused collaborator” program.
Prosecutors believe a total of $160 million could have been paid in bribes.
Since this case came to light last week, 16 ex-government officials and businessmen have been arrested in dozens of raids. They face charges of conspiracy in a bribery and kickback scheme.
Terrorism: Military courts finalize cases of 546 accused
RAWALPINDI: Since the establishment of military courts cases of 717 accused terrorists were sent to them by the federal government and out of these 546 cases have been finalized.
According to the details issued here by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Sunday out of the 546 finalized cases, 310 terrorists were awarded death penalty while 234 were awarded rigorous imprisonment of varied duration, ranging from life imprisonment to a minimum duration of five years.
Two accused were also acquitted. Out of 310 sentenced to death, 56 terrorists have been executed after completion of legal process beyond military courts decisions, which included their appeal in superior civil courts and rejection of their mercy petition both by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and the President of Pakistan.
Execution of death sentence of the remaining 254 terrorists is pending, completion of the legal process in the higher courts.
Those who have been awarded death penalty included masterminds, executors and abettors/facilitators of, inter alia, following major terrorist incidents:
1. Army Public School (APS) Peshawar attack of 16 December 2014
(five terrorists executed).
2. Marriot Islamabad terrorist attack, September 2008.
3. Parade Lane terrorist attack, December 2009.
4. Attack on Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) office Multan,
5. The terrorist attack on four Special Services Group (SSG) soldiers,
including two officers, April 2009 (one terrorist executed).
6. Attack on ISI office Sukker, November 2010.
7. Bannu Jail Break, April 2012 (one terrorist executed).
8. Mastung Sectarian terrorist attack, April 2012.
9. Killing of Foreigners in Nanga Parbat, June 2013.
10. Terrorist attack on civilian and security officials at
Chalas, August 2013.
11. Terrorist attack on SSP Chaudhary Aslam, January 2014.
12. Karachi Airport attack, June 2014.
13. Terrorists’ attack on Ms Sabin Mehmood, April 2015.
14. Terrorists’ attack Safora Ghot Karachi, May 2015.
15. Bacha Khan University attack, January 2016.
16. Terrorist attack on Amjad Sabri, June 2016.
Fake ‘amil’ makes brothers bury their sister alive!
Ammar Ahmed Khan
TAXILA: On the instructions of a fake faith-healer two brothers killed their mentally sick sister in order to get the house rid of evil.
Shabana, 38, and a resident of Banni Mohallah near Christian Hospital had not been seen since 4th of Dec. Her elder brother, Mohammad Imran, who lives separately, lodged a complaint with the police about his sister’s unexplained disappearance. On Friday, the victim’s mother called her brother, Abdul Lateef, saying she had been locked in a room by her two sons, Mohammad Farhan and Mohammad Kamran, and that she had managed to break out of the room.
Abdul Lateef came to his sister’s aid and also informed his nephew, Mohammad Imran. The victim’s mother told her brother and son that her daughter had been buried alive in the well in the house. Imran then informed the local police about the crime. Rescue 1122 was called to retrieve the body but the operation was abandoned when the oxygen supply was exhausted and it got dark.
Rescue 1122 officer Adeel Ahmed said the operation will resume on Saturday after more oxygen cylinders are brought in. Investigation Officer Assistant Sub-Inspector Mohammad Shahzad told media persons that both the suspects were taken into custody. He said the two brothers had confessed to killing their sister on the directives of the local spiritual healer, who had told them that evil forces have descended on her which also affected their family. The spiritual healer had advised they kill her in order to rid the family of evil forces.
A case will be registered against the suspects after the body is recovered. Another case in which a lack of knowledge destroys a life, even consultation with an amateur in the medical field could have prevented such a tragedy.
4th Anniversary of Army Public School (APS)
PESHAWAR: Today the nation is observing 4th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the Army Public School Peshawar (APS).
Six terrorists stormed APS School on the same day four years ago and opened indiscriminate firing killing 147 students and teachers of the school. Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated that the government would transform the country into such abode where there would be no place for religious, lingual, caste or creed based sectarianism, extremism, and violence.
The Prime Minister in a message on the 4th anniversary of Army Public School (APS) Peshawar tragedy reiterated that education was the only weapon with which they could defeat extremism and terrorism permanently.
He said December 16, reminded the nation of that tragic day on which the terrorists, with utter disregard for the humanitarian and religious principles, targeted the innocent students of the Army Public School who had arrived school to seek an education with a hope for a bright future.
This heart-wrenching incident not only inflicted pain and misery on the whole nation but also paved way for the unity and solidarity among the ranks of the nation against terrorism, he added.
The Prime Minister said with Allah Almighty’s support and nation’s backing, the valiant armed forces of Pakistan and other law enforcement agencies, through operations Zarb-e-Azb and Raddul Fasad accomplished an
unprecedented decisive action against terrorism.
He said by sacrificing their innocent blood, the APS students united the nation forever against a heartless enemy who was a blot on the humanity and worst manifestation of inhumanity.
The Prime Minister observed that the memories of APS tragedy would always remain alive. On this day, they paid tributes to the innocent `Shuhadah’ of APS and expressed solidarity and sympathies with the bereaved families who had sent their children to school for getting an education, but their bodies returned homes wrapped in `Shahadat’.
The whole nation shared the pain and suffering of all the grieving parents, he added. The Prime Minister said the nation had paid huge price in the war on terror. Despite giving huge sacrifices
in term of human and financial losses, still, if anyone leveled the accusation against Pakistan, or blamed it, they were reminded that in this global war, the massive price was paid by the personnel of our armed forces, law enforcement agencies, civilian and innocent souls.
The Prime Minister reiterated that despite all these huge losses and sufferings, as a nation, they were committed to the national, regional and global peace.
He also paid tribute to the gallant armed forces of Pakistan, law enforcement agencies and all those institutions who had sacrificed in the war on terror.
The best way to pay tributes to the `Shuhadah’ was to reiterate the resolve for the sublime objective for which they had laid down their lives, he stressed. Special functions have been arranged at APS schools and other educational institutions to pay homage to martyrs of APS school tragedy.
Similar, functions are being held in other parts of the country including candle vigil light in the memory of martyr students.
President Dr. Arif Alvi Sunday said the sacrifices of innocent students and teachers of Army Public School (APS) Peshawar had awakened and united the whole nation. On the 4th anniversary of the APS tragedy, the President in his message said, the APS was not only a national tragedy but also a day to renew the pledge towards the motherland. The nation should vow that it would be ready for every sacrifice to face extremism in the country, he added. The President prayed for the `Shuhadah’ of the APS and the bereaved families to bear their losses with equanimity. He observed that the nation would always remember the great sacrifices of the APS `Shuhadah’ and their families. The whole nation also acknowledged the huge sacrifices rendered by the armed forces and other law enforcement agencies in their successful campaigns to root out terrorism.
President of ANP Asfanyar Wali Khan Saturday emphasized on full implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) drafted in the wake of APS carnage on December 16, 2014, that united the entire nation on the platform against terrorism. On the eve of the fifth anniversary of APC massacre, the ANP Chief argued that though some points of the NAP have been followed by the provinces and the federal government majority of the points yet to be implemented. To avoid APS like carnage, Asfandyar Wali said: “we have to bring the factors behind the national tragedy before of the nation”. The notion of good and bad Taliban has to be abandoned and initiation of across the board action against the banned outfit was need of the hour to get rid of terrorism, he added. NAP is the best option available with us to overcome the problem of terrorism on sound footings, he added. The atmosphere of trust and confidence is being built due to temporary peace in the region, therefore, we have to benefit from it an otherwise big danger in the shape of Daesh was looming large in the region which is being funded by forty countries. The philosophy of non-violence of Khudai Khidmatgar Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan also known as Baacha Khan has to be followed in letter and spirit for achieving the desired goal of peace in the region.
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Sunday said that the Pakistani nation will never forget the sacrifice of the martyrs of Army Public School in the war against terrorism. Paying glowing tributes to Martyrs of Army Public School (APS) Peshawar, the minister said in a statement that the callous and inhuman terrorists targeted innocent students having no parallel in human history. He said Pakistan was a country, children of which contributed to the war against terrorism through their blood. He said that sacrifice of APS students and teachers was the undeniable proof of Pakistani nation’s unflinching resolve to defeat this scourge as every segment of society including children, women, youth, elderly and non-Muslims have resisted terrorism by setting examples of bravery. He said if any country neglected supreme sacrifices and gave negative remarks against Pakistani nation’s efforts in the war against terrorism, actually it insulted the sacrifices of innocent martyrs of APS, our valiant armed forces, police, and other law enforcement agencies, adding, no religion or justice loving person can allow this attitude. Fawad said that with the grace of Almighty Allah, Pakistan has defeated terrorists and Pakistan would keep the tradition of sacrifices in this war alive.
Candles were lit in the memory of martyrs of Army Public School (APS) Peshawar, outside DC Complex in Faisalabad. Speaking on the occasion, the DC said the APS tragedy was the worst example of barbarism. He said sacrifices of the martyrs would be remembered for long. He said a site outside the DC Complex had been fixed where people could place flowers and lit candles for APS martyrs. Later, Fateha was also offered.