Tag Archives: punishment

The governor of Florida to let the Miami killer serve his sentence in Italy. Prosecutors objected. | National | Instant News


MIAMI – Two decades ago, a Miami jury convicted Italian filmmaker Enrico Forti for murdering an Australian man whose body was found in the sand in Virginia Key.

Forti’s claim of innocence has been a cause for célèbre in Italy, even as he is serving a life sentence in Florida and state courts have consistently rejected his appeal of the 1998 murder conviction of Anthony “Dale” Pike.

But Forti, 61, may return to his home country soon after Governor Ron DeSantis, at the request of the US Department of Justice and the Italian government, “conditionally agreed” to transfer his custody to Italy – a move that the Miami-Dade prosecutor who punished him fiercely opposed.

Such transfers are rare but permitted under agreements between the United States and most European countries. A spokesman for the governor said the transfer was approved “following guarantees by the Italian government that Mr Forti will serve the entire remainder of his Florida prison sentence in Italy.”

Miami-Dade lawyer Katherine Fernandez Rundle, in a statement, said she was “disappointed by the government’s decision” to send Enrico Forti back to Italy.

“Due to the strength of the evidence against Forti, the 12 jurors rejected multiple fakes aimed at suspecting anyone but himself of the murder of Dale Pike,” the statement said. “Many of Forti’s criminal court appeals appear to have failed for the same reason.”

The transfers were made public last weekend when Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio announced the news in a Facebook post. Forti’s conviction of murder remains intact.

Forti’s case is little known in the United States, but journalists in Italy have long championed it as an example of American justice going awry, even likening it to the case of the infamous Amanda Knox of America, who was jailed for murder in Italy and eventually released. .

Pike’s murder isn’t the first time Forti has made headlines in South Florida.

Connection to the Versace murders

When spree killer Andrew Cunanan was found dead on the Miami Beach houseboat in 1997, Forti presented papers indicating he was the ship’s final owner. Forti claimed exclusive film rights until 2000, and made thousands of people who rent boats for tabloid TV shows want to show Cunanan’s final hideout, who killed fashion icon Gianni Versace.

The film Forti itself was never filmed there: The ship sank just before Pike’s murder.

Police and prosecutors say Forti killed Pike, an Australian whose father owned a resort on the Spanish island of Ibiza. Dale Pike flew to Miami in February 1998, after he intercepted a fax in which his father appeared to be signing his exclusive resort to Forti.

Pike flies into Miami International Airport determined to uncover what happened. Forti offers to pick him up from MIA so they can talk about him. Pike was later found face down in an area known as Sewer Beach. He was shot dead on his son’s third birthday.

At the 2000 trial, prosecutors presented evidence to a jury that showed Forti tried to trick the older Pike, who had dementia, out of his fortune. They also present cellphone records showing Forti being near the beach, a popular windsurfing spot, the night Pike was killed.

Forti, in a preliminary interview with Miami homicide detectives, denied that he picked Pike from the airport.

As evidence Forti was at the scene, prosecutors showed the jury a small sample of sand found in the suspect’s Land Rover – unique sand on the Virginia Key line.

But defense lawyers argue that Forti, who has produced films about windsurfing and other extreme sports for ESPN, was framed when his body was dumped at a popular windsurfing site. They point out that there were no witnesses to the murder, or forensic evidence such as fingerprints or DNA that tied Forti to the murder.

Does anyone else have a motive?

His lawyers have always insisted that the real mastermind was a man named Thomas Knott, a German tennis professional and Forti’s neighbor on Williams Island. Prosecutors said Knott had an alibi for the night of the murder.

Days after Pike’s murder, Forti and Knott were both charged with exploitation and fraud for allegedly defrauding the old man.

In an interview with CBS’s “48 Hours” that aired last year, Forti admitted to picking up Pike but insisted that he dropped him off at Rusty Pelican, a restaurant near the beach. Forti said, Pike got into the Lexus who was waiting with an unknown man.

“The man in the car waiting for him is an elegant person in a white shirt – gold chain, gold watch,” Forti said in the interview.

Forti, for the time being, remains incarcerated at the South Florida Reception Center, a state prison facility in Miami-Dade County. When he will return to Italy is unclear.

“As the only possible vote for the victims of this fraud, which later turned into murder, I hope that justice is truly served and that the Italian government will fulfill their promise to the government that Forti will serve the entire remaining Florida prison sentence,” said Fernandez Rundle.

Forti’s lawyers did not reply to requests for comment.

The Florida Department of Improvement “will continue to work with federal authorities during the transfer process, which can take some time,” the agency said in a statement on Monday.

The US Justice Department – which approached Florida about the transfer after a request from Italy – must issue “final approval,” according to the governor’s office. The DOJ press office did not reply to a request for comment from the Herald on Monday.

According to a statement from the governor’s office, Forti would only be returned to Italy “upon confirmation that the victim’s immediate family has no objection to the transfer.” The statement did not say whether the governor’s office had not reached out to Pike’s living relatives.

“Neither Mr. Forti (Italy) nor the (Australian) victim was an American citizen, and neither Italy nor Australia supported the transfer,” governor spokesman Meredith Beatrice said in the statement.

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office was not aware of the governor’s decision until Monday. Italian media reported on the foreign minister’s announcement about Forti.

The state prosecutor did not deal with the governor’s office about the transfer request. Instead, prosecutors laid bare the history of the case, and their evidence, during a more than 90-minute conference call with a DOJ lawyer in June, according to an email obtained by the Herald.

“We were informed that the Italian ambassador made a direct request to the Attorney General and was told that there was ‘a lot of pressure’ being put on them,” Assistant Attorney General Christine Zahralban, head of the law firm, wrote in an email to colleagues on June 16.

Zahralban added: “I firmly state my position [State Attorney] and the leadership team is against this transfer. “

Whether Forti really remains in prison in Italy remains to be seen. His transfer is being processed under the DOJ’s International Prisoner Transfer Program, which began in the late 1970s.

Although tens of thousands of foreign convicts qualify for the program, only a handful are actually transferred abroad – in 2013, for example, only 245 convicted prisoners in the federal justice system were transferred.

It’s even more complicated for inmates convicted of state crimes like Forti because state authorities have to approve such transfers, said attorney Sylvia Royce in Washington, DC, who headed the DOJ program in the late 1990s.

He said many state governments were wary because foreign countries’ judicial systems often allow sentences to be drastically cut, or reduced to parole or house confinement.

“I would be very, very surprised if he was not released soon enough after he returned,” Royce, who was not involved in the case, said of Forti.

Forti is not the first Italian to be returned to serve America’s long sentence.

The most notable example is Silvia Baraldini, a left-wing activist who was sent back to Italy in 1999 to complete the remaining 23 years of the 40-year federal sentence originally handed down in New York. He was convicted of taking part in a series of robberies and attempted robberies, including the robbery of an armored truck which resulted in the killing of a guard and two police officers.

But two years after his return, Baraldini was allowed out on house arrest. He was later granted amnesty.

Nor will Forti become the first Miami convicted killer to be released from state prison to another state.

In 1988, then Governor. Bob Martinez allows William Shapiro to return to Israel to complete a life sentence for masterminding the murder of his business partner, Burt Dewitt. Miami-Dade prosecutors said Shapiro hired two men to fatally beat Dewitt and throw his body overboard.

Shapiro, a former US Army soldier and Israeli police officer, was stripped of American citizenship and freed to live in a commune known as a kibbutz. He later died of natural causes there.

© 2020 Miami Herald. Visit at miamiherald.com. Distributed by the Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Copyright 2020 Tribune Content Agency.

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Court orders the release of man accused of murdering Daniel Pearl | World | Instant News


By ADIL JAWAD Associated Press

KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) – A provincial court in Pakistan on Thursday ordered the release of a British-born Pakistani man charged with the 2002 murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl, defense lawyers said.

The Sindh High Court’s release order overturned the Pakistan high court’s decision that Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, the main suspect in Pearl’s murder, should remain in custody, his lawyers said. Sheikh was acquitted of Pearl’s murder earlier this year, but is being held while the Pearl family is appealing the release.

Lawyer Sheikh Mehmood A. Sheikh, who has nothing to do with him, has called for his client to be released immediately.

“The detention order was canceled,” said Faisal Siddiqi, the Pearl family lawyer. The sheikh will be released until the appeal is over, he said, but will be returned to prison if his family manages to cancel the release.

Sheikh was sentenced to death and three others were sentenced to life in prison for their role in the plot. But in April, the Sindh High Court acquitted him and three others, a move that shocked the US government, the Pearl family and journalism advocacy groups.

The exemption is now being proposed separately by the government and the Pearl family. The government opposed the Sheikh’s release, saying it would harm the public. The Supreme Court will resume hearings on January 5.

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FBR awarded retailers an Rs40mln penalty | Instant News


KARACHI: The Federal Revenue Council (FBR) has imposed at least Rs40 million in fines on retailers who fail to comply with a legal obligation to integrate their sales system with tax authorities in real-time, said people with knowledge of the matter. on Monday.

Sources said the Karachi Regional Tax Office (RTO) imposed fines of Rs1 million each on about 40 major retailers, for failing to comply with mandatory integration with the FBR tax portal.

The source said the tax office started action against about 50 absenteeism last month and issued a notice to them warning them of “tough” action. A tax official said out of a total of 50 identified retailers, four points of sale were installed at their outlets and six other retailers were registered with FBR and in the process of installing POS.

The official said the retailers, who were being punished, might also face the sealing of their business if they failed continuously to integrate their business with the FBR database.

“The monetary penalty can be lifted if retailers who fail to pay agree to integration,” the official said. Karachi’s RTO started a crackdown after the integration date ended. FBR extended the integration deadline to August 31 for retailers, who were required to integrate their businesses under the Sales Tax Act 1990.

In 2017, FBR decided to bring major retailers into net sales tax to prevent revenue leaks and identify potential taxpayers involved in sales and purchases. A new clause – 43 (A) – was added to section 2 of the 1990 Sales Tax Act to specify which tier 1 retailers are required to integrate.

With this integration, FBR will be able to obtain transaction details from retailers, including their purchases from manufacturers and importers.

RTO Karachi in early September issued notices to retailers involved in the retail chain, cosmetics and clothing store businesses that had been identified during the survey. The official said FBR had extended deadlines to retailers over the past two years. However, retailers have shown no willingness to link their invoices with tax authorities.

RTO Karachi is also engaged in consultations with the chamber business association to make tier 1 retailers aware of their mandatory compliance, the official said. The official said that the Chairman of RTO Karachi Nazir Ahmed Shoro directed officials to ensure enforcement of tax laws and taxpayers is facilitated for POS integration. The tax office withdrew Rs11.1 billion in September, up 60 percent from Rs6.9 billion in the same month last year.

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Aleem Khan told the PFA to increase fines, penalties | Instant News


LAHORE: A high level meeting of the Punjab Food Authority (PFA) chaired by Senior Punjab Minister Abdul Aleem Khan decided to increase fines and penalties in addition to ensuring a summary trial of those involved in adultery and providing substandard food items to residents.

There must be strict punishment so that more criminals can be tried.

While chairing a briefing meeting of the Punjab Food Authority here on Thursday, the minister said, “Unfortunately, counterfeiting has become a threat in our society that must be overcome by the Punjab Food Authority.”

He said that the Punjab Food Authority should intensify its activities at the technical level rather than the district level. Abdul Aleem Khan added that starting next week, raids will be carried out by him in various places without notifying the department and actions in place will be taken against those who play with people’s lives for their own benefit.

Senior Punjab Minister Abdul Aleem Khan ordered that permanent checkpoints be established at all entrances of the City of Lahore for contaminated milk which must be monitored through cameras. He directed that strict action must be taken against those who grow vegetables with dirty water.

He also asked officials that checking food streets and food places in the City must be ensured while simultaneous checks of large bakeries and food chains must also be carried out.

The senior minister said that the livestock department and the local government must be brought to the ship while the Legal Department should be consulted for further legislation at the Punjab Food Authority.

Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan said that the Punjab Food Authority must be financially independent, for that, further reform must be carried out.

Likewise, there is no urgent need to build new buildings and rental buildings must be preferred. He also directed officers to remove obstacles in 975 new appointments in the Punjab Food Authority and convince cooperation officials to solve other problems.

Director General of the Punjab Food Authority Irfan Memon when giving a briefing to Senior and Food Minister Abdul Aleem Khan said that they had a total of 110 teams working while they faced labor shortages and other problems.

Without pressure, the food authority will increase its activities and all resources will be mobilized for the success of a plan against counterfeiting announced by the prime minister in February, the Punjab Food Authority said.

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BBB Reports Drastic Increase in Complaints Travel Trip Refunds – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth | Instant News


Pandemic has hit the travel industry hard.

And if you have already booked a summer vacation, you are
might feel the pain too.

The Better Business Bureau gets a big increase in
complaints about travel companies and their refund policy. We were told
hundreds have been filed in North Texas alone.

The misery of travel is very difficult at school and
parents who have planned an educational trip for students at the end of school
year.

For example, Texas International Leadership, charter
a school with many locations throughout Texas, has so many students who are excited to travel
next month to places like New York, Washington, D.C. and Costa Rica for 7,
Students in grades 8 and 11.

But the pandemic destroyed the plans and parents found out how to get their money back or guaranteed that their money could be used for future school trips with the travel company, EF Educational Tours. Those who want a full refund will be able to get all their money back, minus $ 1,000 for cancellation fees.

“I don’t know anyone who has an extra thousand dollars
in their back pocket they can throw. I know of course not, and
we are a family of five, “said the parents, who did not want to reveal their names
but talked to NBC 5 about his experience. “I haven’t received anything for what
I already paid. ”

He is just one of hundreds of local parents who feel that right now. He said that he paid nearly $ 3,000 in advance for the EF Educational Tours company trip for his son’s high school trip to Costa Rica and also bought travel insurance but found a good print, legally excluding pandemic.

“I feel like I have to jump through a circle, I feel that way
even though it’s not an easy and easy process, “he said.” I feel like us
punished. Such a punishment. I have something else to do, I have
kids at home that I’m homeschooling. ”

Parents have several other options if they want to keep it
their investment in the whole trip, including getting the travel voucher
lasts two and a half years, transferring vouchers to other children for other children
travel, or transfer vouchers to other families.

However, for parents who have children to graduate later
years or who do not have other children who are eligible for travel in the next two years
over the years, the voucher might not be worth it. Vouchers are also taken into account
non-educational travel if the whole family wants to use it, but some say
Financial pressures in the economy and job loss may not be the best
option now.

Fortunately, schools say they have sought more solutions
with the company and able to cut cancellation fees by more than half.

What can travelers
To do?

The Better Business Bureau said this experience highlights the big problems facing the travel industry today.

“That is a challenge. What we say to people is to be patient and try hard to work with those companies specifically. Everyone knows that when this ends, the company will still need customers, “said Phylissia Clark, VP Public Relations for BBB Serving North Central Texas. “Be careful with the fact that businesses take this balancing act and try to do their best to make consumers happy. But it can be very, very difficult if they want the lights to remain on their doors open,” Clark said. .

Be persistent. It might take a lot of negotiation but
The company makes adjustments to respect the return of money when the situation develops.

“They might want to bend whatever the contract says
try and fix a customer service dispute, “Clark said.

If that doesn’t work, dispute the fee to your bank.

“They must give you detailed receipts for everything
that you’ve spent money if they try to charge you, “Clark said.” Worth it
ask the company to give you all the documents and have all the evidence
things have been spent. And persistently, continue to dialogue
with those companies. ”

And if all else fails, submit a complaint to the BBB or the Prosecutor’s Office
General Office.

“Tell us that this company does not respect the return of their money
policy or not work with you, “Clark said.” Because in some ways it is
can be a deceptive means. ”

When it comes to travel insurance, Clark explains why many
the policy does not cover cancellations and claims are denied.

“The real problem is that it’s usually in those contracts
there is something called force majeure. It says if there is
some kind of disaster – which usually means a storm or tornado or
some weather events that will stop something happening – usually it is
will trigger that clause and you will get a refund because everyone understands
it’s out of people’s control, “Clark said.” But the difficulty is now
whether a global pandemic is one of those situations. Because
no one will write a ‘global pandemic’ orally or into terms and conditions
contract conditions are therefore not a priority for anyone. Oh, I see
debated now, legally, whether the cabinet was triggered or not. ”

In the end, Clark said that everyone struggled
across the board.

“Types of companies that provide existing services
financially canceled. In many cases this is very
reputable companies that want to work with you, but they maintain a balance
payroll for their employees, trying not to lay off people and deal
with their expenses, “he said.

EF Educational Tours says cancellation fees exist because travel companies book flight tickets, hotel and tour costs in large quantities in advance, an investment that comes with a set of own costs.

The company issued the following statement to NBC 5 with information they share with parents from school trips and other travelers at this time.

The health and safety of our travelers and staff have been our top priority for more than 55 years. We are closely monitoring the situation of COVID-19, continuing to communicate with our offices throughout the world, and actively following the guidance of all relevant authorities.

The long-term impact of the COVID-19 virus on global travel is unclear, and the situation is changing and changing every day. Given these circumstances, we now offer our tour groups with travel plans until May 31 cash refunds (less than $ 1,000 per person) as an alternative to transferable travel vouchers, which, of course, also remain an option.

We also continue to adjust our Peace of Mind program and flexible re-order options, our voucher program, and our cancellation policy by instituting a freeze on fees and an extended schedule to cancel or re-order the tour.

Specifically, we now offer our tourists the expanded options below. You can see more details about how travel vouchers work here. We also have general FAQs and special vouchers here and here.

All travelers with trips until May 31 will automatically receive travel vouchers that can be transferred in full amount paid (including all payments that are normally non-refundable) until 30 September 2022.

Travel vouchers can be used by individual travelers for EF products including tours for adults and young adults, language travel programs, and new tour packages that we have designed specifically for senior graduates.

The full amount of the travel voucher can also be transferred to other people in the family or school traveler community.

Individuals or groups can also exchange their vouchers for a cash refund of less than $ 1,000 per person. The $ 1,000 fee allows us to partially cover costs related to non-refundable payments to suppliers and staff, while funding flexible reorder options in our Peace of Mind program.

For travelers departing June 1 or newer, know that all tours remain scheduled according to plan. Depending on how the current situation develops, we are committed to offering similar options. We advise individuals and groups who have expressed interest to travel before the end of the year to postpone the cancellation for now.

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