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Iran director screens film to save man on death row

An Iranian film director is to hold a private screening of his latest movie on Saturday to raise funds to save the life of a 26-year-old on death row. Mostafa Kiaei, director of "Special Line", said he had learnt by accident of the young man's case and wanted to help raise the "blood money" to be paid to the family of a murder victim. "I didn't know the convict before and I learned about the case through a contact in the judiciary," Kiaei told AFP.

FBI most wanted fugitive arrested in murder of NY mother, toddler

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An accused gang member put on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" list this week was arrested on Friday for his role in the 2010 killing of his girlfriend and her toddler son, federal authorities said. Juan Elias "Cruzito" Garcia, 21, a reputed member of the murderous international gang known as MS-13, was taken into custody when he voluntarily returned to the United States to face criminal prosecution, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a press release.

Angelina Jolie urges action against rape as a war weapon

Hollywood superstar Angelina Jolie and British Foreign Minister William Hague on Friday urged the international community to stop the use of sexual violence as a war weapon. Jolie, whose 2011 directorial debut "In the Land of Blood and Honey" dealt with violence against women during Bosnia's war, urged peace missions around the world to make combatting sex crimes a priority. "The use of rape as a weapon of war is one of the most harrowing and savage of these crimes against civilians," Jolie told a conference in Bosnia's capital.

Nicaragua nabs top FBI fugitive

Nicaragua has nabbed a Salvadoran gang member on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, a government official said Thursday. Juan Elias Garcia is wanted by US authorities for the execution-style murder of a 19-year-old New York woman and her two-year-old son in 2010, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said on its website. Garcia, 21, is a reputed member of a powerful street gang called the Mara Salvatrucha. He was caught in a neighborhood in the east of the Nicaraguan capital Managua, police director Aminta Granera told Radio ya.

Secrecy plagues Japanese executions

Human rights group Amnesty International said Thursday that Japan's use of capital punishment was "shrouded in secrecy" and criticised its treatment of death row prisoners who are kept in solitary confinement for years. Launching its annual review of the death penalty around the world, Amnesty said the United Nation's Committee Against Torture has signalled its concerns about the Japanese criminal justice system.

World's 'longest-serving' death row inmate granted retrial in Japan

A man believed to be the world's longest-serving death row inmate was Thursday granted a retrial in Japan over multiple murders in 1966, decades after doubts emerged about his guilt. Shizuoka District Court decided to "start the retrial over the case" of Iwao Hakamada, 78, who was convicted for the grisly murder of his boss and the man's family, a court official said. Delivering his ruling, presiding judge Hiroaki Murayama cited possible planting of evidence by investigators to win a conviction as they sought to bring closure to a crime that shocked the country.

Accused killer of NY mother, toddler now on FBI most wanted list

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A reputed member of the murderous international gang known as MS-13 was added to the FBI's list of "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" for his role in the 2010 killing of his girlfriend and her toddler son, federal authorities said on Wednesday. Accused of the execution-style shooting of the mother and child, who was clinging to his leg, is Juan Elias "Cruzito" Garcia, 21, a reputed member of MS-13 with ties to El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Panama, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a press release.

Yemen security forces free Western hostages soon after kidnap

SANAA (Reuters) - Yemeni security forces freed two Westerners unharmed on Tuesday shortly after they were kidnapped by gunmen in the capital Sanaa, police sources said, in an incident highlighting the growing security threat in the country. Kidnapping is common in U.S.-allied Yemen, where the government is struggling to contain an insurgency from Islamists linked to al Qaeda, a southern separatist movement, fighting in the country's north and sporadic conflicts with armed tribes.

Spain cracks down on South American criminal gangs

Spain Tuesday arrested 35 people from a violent street gang born in San Salvador as part of a major police crackdown on the growing threat from Latin American crime groups. Some 300 Guardia Civil police carried out 28 raids against the notorious Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, in their first such strike against the group, police said in a statement. Law enforcement officers have reported a mounting threat from Latin American gangs in Spain, where economic hardship and high unemployment have left many young people feeling marginalised.

Former Madoff associates found guilty of fraud

By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - Five former aides to investment manager Bernard Madoff were convicted on Monday of charges that they helped their boss conceal his multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme for years. A federal jury in New York found back-office director Daniel Bonventre, portfolio managers Annette Bongiorno and Joann Crupi, and computer programmers Jerome O'Hara and George Perez guilty on all counts, including securities fraud and conspiracy to defraud clients.
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