Cape barren murder appeal dismissed as evidence
A judge dismissed the murder appeal against a man accused of killing his wife in an acid attack.
Luka Rocco was cleared of the murder charge against the man by a jury on Tuesday (June 19).
The court in The Hague granted his request to have the case quashed.
It was an unusual move. But some believe the legal precedent set by the death penalty is at stake.
‘I want people to respect that if I make the decision, it won’t be used for any purpose other than my own’
Lombardi said he wanted to make a public statement defending his client’s decision to kill himself.
“I want people to respect that if I make the decision, it won’t be used for any purpose other than my own and not for any harm to him or his family,” Lombardi said.
Lombardi said he believed the case would be dismissed because his client had no evidence against the other man charged with killing the wife, in a different case.
“He didn’t find that there was any danger to the person, there was no danger to another person and so that would be the logical conclusion to find that there was no need for it,” Lombardi said.
Lombardi did not name Rocco, but a few weeks after the murder, he posted an image to Facebook with the words “If this killer gets to see me he’ll think the same about me”.
The images are not the first, said one former prosecutor who spoke to the BBC.
“I think that’s the beginning of what may be a trend among the police and others who see murder as a new weapon against anyone who opposes what they have to do,” said Mark Koutrosian, who served as special assistant to President Ronald Reagan.
Some police and politicians, however, question the risk of overreaching.
“He has no criminal history and was on a death sentence before he committed these acts against the woman he loved and wanted to kill,” Lina Schumacher, president of the National Association of Prosecutor’s Associations, said.
“I think they’ve seen his actions and thought he deserves a second chance,” she said. “If they’re going to continue with the execution of innocent people, that’s where we are.”
A number of Italian judges have also said that death penalty appeals should be heard only by magistrates, not lawyers.
Adelaide hills squatter iain herridge debt paid by investors, says she’s going ‘into my own country to play golf’
New Zealand’s National MP, the incumbent Liberal MP Tim Christodoulou, has admitted to taking over debt from debt-stricken investors and handed it to the country to repay, according to media reports.
Christodoulou, who is expected to be released from Parliament later this month after serving 12 years, confirmed the debt was paid by his constituency group, a group named after the former Labour prime minister John Major in 2003.
As a result of the debt-for-investors arrangement, Christodoulou said he was going to return to golf.
READ MORE: NZ prime minister Tim Christodoulou finds a house
New Zealand Finance Minister Bill English says a minister should take responsibility to make sure such debt is paid and will ask Parliament in May to hold a special inquiry into how the debt was incurred and resolved.
“It’s one of those things that goes through a series of events which are not necessarily well known. It’s the role of a government minister to look at it and to ensure this happens and take appropriate action to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.”
READ MORE: What happens if someone is responsible for money you’ve borrowed?
He declined to speculate on what might happen next, saying the matter is being looked into.
However he said that in the case of a minister who was being paid off by debt-strapped investors, “they’re now acting on their own” and their involvement has been brought into “account”.
“What I’m saying is that I have said I will look again at this, if they are, how they’ve performed, how they’ve acted on this, why they’ve failed to act, why they haven’t acted.”
The debt that the Liberal MP and former leader of the New Zealand Labour Party (NZLDP) Michael Nuttall was given in 2014 has been handed over to a parliamentary committee which will assess how to handle the case.
The NZLDP confirmed that their national president, Te Reo Leilani, was approached by a New Zealand newspaper asking him to discuss whether the debt could be dealt with, and they agreed to the inquiry.
He said the NZLDP had no comment and the committee would look at the matter further “in the coming months”.
Lionel Martin, the former minister for finance, was also contacted by the same newspaper. He said he did not know whether debt could be paid off, but stressed there was “no question about the issue”.
The NZLDP, which has a large majority in Parliament, voted down several Liberal proposals on finance over the last 18 months.