Man framed by cop clears his name after 43 years

  • Published in World

A man found guilty of stealing mailbags in London in the 1970s has had his name cleared, 43 years later.

Businessman Stephen Simmons, 62, from Dorking, Surrey, was 19 when he was convicted of the theft of the mailbags from Clapham Goods Yard in South London in 1976.

After being found guilty he served eight months in a youth detention centre. But Mr Simmons always maintained his innocence.

After taking legal advice from a radio phone-in show five years ago, Mr Simmons Googled the name of the policeman who’d arrested him and discovered the officer had later been convicted for stealing Royal Mail bags and framing people for it.

His case returned to court when the the Criminal Cases Review Commission referred the matter to the Appeal Court last year.

he was “100 per cent confident” that he would clear his name.

I am bitter, absolutely bitter against him.

I want to let it go, but I can't. Now I'm going to court and can have my day.

Mr Simmons was present in court in London on Wednesday when the Court of Appeal overturned his theft convictions.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett announced: “We would wish only to note our regret that it has taken so long for this injustice to be remedied.

Asked if he was relieved following the ruling, Mr Simmons replied: “I can't tell you how relieved.

It has only taken 43 years, but I have got there at last.

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9 years after 26/11, Moshe Holtzberg returns to Chabad House in Mumbai

11-year-old Moshe Holtzberg by his side, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday opened a memorial at the Nariman House for the victims of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people including Moshe's parents. Mr Netanyahu's Mumbai visit is the last leg of his India visit, and also the most emotional.

The Living Memorial project, as the memorial is called, will be housed on the top two floors and terrace of the Nariman House and will be dedicated to the victims of 26/11 attack. Part of it will have a special area designed to remember Moshe's parents -- Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and Rivka.

Moshe arrived in Mumbai on Tuesday, his first visit to the city and the Jewish centre where he, as a toddler, lost his parents in the attacks but was saved by his nanny who saved him during the terrorist attack in 2008. Shortly after his arrival in the city, Moshe said he was happy. Bahut khushi (I am very happy)".

He had planned to visit Mumbai when he turned 13, but that was advanced by two years after an invitation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Israel last year.

Moshe's return is a message to terrorists that we will always win against terror. Mohammed Hafiz Saeed  and others who financed the terrorists are still free but they will eventually pay the price," Moshe's uncle, who shares his name, has told NDTV.

Before heading to Nariman House, Mr Netanyahu also laid a wreath at the Taj Mahal hotel, another place that was attacked by terrorists in 2008.

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2G scam: A Raja challenges ex-CAG

New Delhi: Former telecom minister and DMK leader A Raja has challenged Vinod Rai, ex government auditor, to a debate on the allocation of 2G spectrum, billed as one of India's biggest corruption scams. Mr Raja was acquitted in the case by a trial court last month.

Vinod Rai is like a cat that closes its eyes to declare the world is dark. I challenge him via your channel. Come have a debate. Let's look at facts. The entire CAG agreed there was no loss so why did Vinod Rai say this motivated thing," Mr Raja said to NDTV on Thursday, a day before his book "2G Saga Unfolds" is released.

In 2010, Vinod Rai was the Comptroller and Auditor General or CAG at the head of the constitutional body that audits government expenses when he alleged in a scathing report that Mr Raja, as telecom minister, caused the tax payer a loss of 1. 76 lakh crore by allotting 2G spectrum licenses at throwaway prices. Mr Raja was forced to resign in 2010 just before the CAG report was to be tabled in parliament and later was jailed for 15 months in the case.

Last month, the trial court said the CBI had failed to prove charges against Mr Raja and 17 others accused in the 2G case. They were all acquitted.

The Congress which led the national coalition UPA that was in power at the centre at the time, has said the 2G verdict "will remain a black mark in the history of CAG" and has demanded Mr Rai be prosecuted. The 69-year-old former bureaucrat is currently chief of committee of cricket administrators.

Mr Raja today said that he has "grievances" against the Congress' Dr Manmohan Singh, who was his boss then as Prime Minister. I am not angry but I have my grievances,'' Mr Raja said about the way he was treated.

The CBI had accused Mr Raja of misleading Dr Singh through letters on several key processes in the allocation of 2G spectrum, including those related to the policy of granting licences.

The judge who acquitted the DMK leader last month held that it was officials in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) who had kept Dr Singh in the dark.

In an emotional letter to Manmohan Singh after he was acquitted, Mr Raja had said he was disappointed at the former PM not trusting him. Now that the truth about 2G is out in the open, perhaps you too could come forward in my support, which you could not earlier," he wrote, and also, "Neither of us could have imagined the twists and turns in our political and personal lives over the next ten years. It cost you the UPA government and it took seven years of my life including 15 months in jail.

Dr Singh responded saying he was happy that Mr Raja was vindicated. You and your family have suffered greatly in this process but all your friends are greatly relieved that truth has prevailed," the former PM said.

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Drunk Bengaluru mob seen hitting 2 men on bike in viral video

Bengaluru: Two young men from the north-east are thrashed and punched by a group of New Year's revellers in Bengaluru in a video that has gone viral. The 27-second video shows a group partying in a lane at the city's posh Indira Nagar area when three persons, including a woman, arrive on a motorbike. The bike gently brushes past one of the revellers without causing any visible harm to him.

But suddenly, some of the other revellers pounce on the two men, repeatedly hitting them on their faces. The woman, who got off the bike before it fell during the assault, reportedly tried to stop the group but without any luck.

The woman on the bike was not attacked, said Bengaluru Police Commissioner T. Suneel Kumar. However, one of the victims -- Gautam -- later claimed that the woman was his sister and had been slapped once. Describing it as a case of road rage, Mr Kumar said two of the assaulters have been arrested. One of them, Ambreesh, has a criminal record. The police are looking for three more men.

The video was shot and uploaded by another group of revellers, police said, adding that the bikers who were attacked didn't report the assault. After watching the video, the police filed a case on their own and are trying to approach the victims, said Mr Kumar.

The previous year, Bengaluru's New Year celebration was clouded by outrage after many women were molested and harassed by a big mob that went on the rampage in the city's MB Road and Brigade Road, where people had gathered for celebrations. The police had then denied there was any molestation.

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Israel PM at Modi’s home state

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today received his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu in Ahmedabad. The Israeli Prime Minister is on a day-long visit to PM Modi's home state Gujarat. The two leaders held a roadshow with an eight-km ride in a motorcade -- a change in plan from an open-top vehicle decked with flowers due to security reasons -- from the airport to the Sabarmati Ashram. Some 50,000 people lined up on the route that the two leaders took, and there was heavy security, including the deployment of Israeli snipers.


1. Mr Netanyahu and his wife, after reaching Sabarmati Ashram, spun a charka in PM Modi's presence. He then took them about the riverside campus. The Israeli Prime Minister, after taking a brief stroll on the campus, signed a guestbook.

2. Mr Netanyahu is spending about seven hours in Gujarat before leaving for Mumbai. Later in the day, PM Modi and Prime Minister Netanyahu will inaugurate the iCreate Center at Deo Dholera Village in Ahmedabad and will also visit a centre of excellence for agriculture established by Israel in Sabarkantha, some 100 km away.

3. A village located on a small hill 10 km from the Rann of Kutch is set to receive the Gal-Mobile water desalinisation and purification jeep, a gift that Mr Netanyahu has brought for PM Modi. During PM Modi's visit to Israel in July last year, the two leaders rode the mobile unit on the country's Olga beach; it can purify up to 20,000 litres of sea water per day.

4. Traffic was blocked along the route of the roadshow till noon, the Gujarat Police said. A kilometre-long periphery was a fortress today with 12 teams of the elite 'Chetak commandos', Quick Response Teams, the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad and the police guarding venues.

5. Special squads were deployed on high-rise buildings along the route and also on the Sabarmati river in speedboats for when the leaders are at the Ashram.

6. Around 50 tableaux had been put up on the roadside along the route, accommodating people from different states of the country who welcomed the leaders as they passed by. One of the tableaux showed tribal dancers from Junagadh in Gujarat.

7. Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara arrived in India on Sunday on a six-day tour. PM Modi broke protocol to receive them at the airport and hosted them at a private dinner without officials attending.

8. The visit has been marked by warmth between the two leaders, with Mr Netanyahu calling PM Modi a "revolutionary leader" and the Prime Minister referring to his guest as "my friend Bibi.

9. PM Modi has called the Gujarat visit an opportunity "to see the fulfilment of the promise, which our mutual cooperation holds in diverse areas such as agriculture, technology, and innovation".

10. Benjamin Netanyahu heads next to Mumbai where he will, on Thursday, open a memorial for 26/11 terror attack victims at Chabad House. Eleven-year-old Moshe Holtzman, who lost his parents, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and Rivka Holtzberg, in the attack, will also be present at the ceremony.

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BJP leader shouts at cop for filing case against Hindus

MEERUT: Named in a case linked to a communal flare-up, a local BJP leader in Uttar Pradesh's Meerut has been caught on camera trying to bully the police into withdrawing the case against him and others. How did you file a case against Hindus? Kapil Dutt Sharma shouts at the senior police officer in his office.

The video, widely circulated in western Uttar Pradesh, was taken on a mobile phone last Saturday.

Manzil Saini, the Meerut district police chief, said they had sent a detailed report to the police headquarters in this connection. We have sent an intelligence report on this individual to our senior officers. There have been instances of misbehaviour earlier too", she said.

Kapil Dutt Sharma, a local BJP leader and formerly an officer bearer in the local party unit, had barged into the office on Man Singh Chauhan, a senior police officer in Meerut. He was accompanied by supporters and members of the city's business community. The BJP leader and his men were angry that a case was registered against Mr Sharma in a local police station a few days earlier.

Mr Sharma had gone to a market area during a flare up between Hindu and Muslim shopkeepers in the western UP town on Thursday, reportedly sided with one community and later gone to the police station in favour of that community.

Will these people not call anyone? Did I got to the spot and create a ruckus? I was helping the police in fact. And then I find out that there is a case against me? What enmity are you taking out against me? And what enmity do you have against Hindus, that you filed a case against them? Mr Sharma is seen telling the senior police officer, insisting that the Hindus were living in a part of the city where they were in a minority, and suppressed.

This has happened because of you, and you are filing a case against our people? You don't know Meerut's history. You don't know? he said.

When the officer tries to explain, he is shouted down again.

What will you say? You tell me how you filed a case against Hindus? You think we are 'bhaade ke tattoos' (hired men who can be taken lightly) How did you file a case against Hindus? an aggressive Mr Sharma goes on.

Police officers said this wasn't a first for the BJP leader.

Last year, Mr Sharma was caught on camera repeatedly slapping a woman trying to enter his Meerut residence and was later removed as an office bearer in the city BJP unit. But he continues to remain an influential member of the party and is often known to identify himself as a gau rakshak, or cow protector.

The Samajwadi Party said the BJP member's conduct was representative of what was happening across Uttar Pradesh.

If a police officer wants to act in an impartial manner, he or she is being threatened. This person is a member of the BJP and the party supported him in threatening the police officer," said Juhi Singh, the party's spokesperson.

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Immigration in US on merit: Trump

WASHINGTON: Reiterating his "America First" policy, US President Donald Trump on Sunday pushed for a merit-based immigration system, saying he only wants people who can help America become "strong and great again". He also said that there will be no more diversity lottery visa.

I, as President, want people coming into our Country who are going to help us become strong and great again, people coming in through a system based on MERIT. No more Lotteries!

Mr Trump tweeted on Sunday. Mr Trump, who said a merit-based system will allow only people with "great track record" to enter the country, stressed that he wanted safety and security of Americans and an end to "massive" inflow of drugs.

The US president has been calling for the merit-based immigration system, of which people from countries like India could be a major beneficiary, to reduce overall immigration to the US.

The decades-old diversity lottery visa system gave green cards to people from countries from where people would normally not qualify to come to the US through a merit-based system.

In an another tweet, President Trump said a deal to resolve the status of hundreds of thousands of immigrants who entered the United States illegally as children is "probably dead," blaming it on Democrats.

DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don't really want it, they just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our Military," Trump said, referring to the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program.

DACA, established in 2012 by Trump predecessor Barack Obama, protects from deportation hundreds of thousands of immigrants whose parents brought them into the country illegally as children.

Trump said in September he was scrapping the program but delayed enforcement to give Congress six months -- until March -- to craft a lasting solution.

Trump came back on the issue in a pair of tweets three days after igniting outrage by referring to African and Haitian immigrants as coming from "shithole countries.

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