Police to be tried for murder
Three police officers are to be tried for the murder of a transgender woman who was deported from the US two years ago after failing to prove her life was at risk in the Central American country. The unidentified officers, who all deny the charges, face prison sentences of up to 30 years. Camila Diaz, a 29-year-old sex worker who fled the country following repeated threats on her life from a gang, was killed early last month after she was kidnapped and beaten. Judge Sidney Blanco said in court proceeding on Wednesday that sufficient evidence existed to implicate the police officers for the crime of aggravated homicide. The accused officers on Jan. 31 arrested Diaz for supposedly creating a public nuisance and then forced her into a police vehicle, the attorney general’s office said. Once in the vehicle, Diaz was severely beaten and then thrown out onto a highway, prosecutors said. She died of her injuries in hospital three days later. Diaz had turned herself over to US immigration agents in August 2017 to apply for asylum protection, saying she had received death threats from members of the Salvadorean gang Barrio 18. However, she was deported in November 2017 after her asylum request was rejected.
Mladic appeal postponed
International judges on Wednesday postponed an appeal hearing for former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic, 78, against his convictions on charges including genocide because he is to undergo surgery. The hearing had been scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday next week at the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, a court that handles appeals and other cases from the now closed UN war crimes tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Mladic was on Nov. 22, 2017, given a life sentence after being convicted of crimes including genocide for leading troops who massacred more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys at the Srebrenica enclave in Bosnia in 1995. He appealed and remains in custody in The Hague. Prosecutors have also appealed to overturn Mladic’s acquittal over a second count of genocide. According to filings released on Wednesday by the residual mechanism, Mladic is to undergo surgery to remove a benign polyp from his colon. Judges did not set a new date for the hearing, but indicated they want to hold it about six weeks after Mladic’s surgery.
Chopin competition set
Culture authorities on Monday said that the 18th edition of the international Frederic Chopin piano competition is to take place from Oct. 2 to 23 in Warsaw. Eliminations for the competition, which is famous for launching world careers for its laureates, are to be held from April 17 to 28 in Warsaw and select about 80 pianists who are to compete in the fall. Addressing concerns over the spread of COVID-19, National Frederic Chopin Institute head Artur Szklener said that the eliminations would only be postponed until September if a large number of those who qualified were unable to visit the nation next month. A total of 164 pianists from 33 nations are to perform before a jury at the Chamber Hall of the Warsaw Philharmonic in the qualifications for the fall event. Fans will be able to follow the competition live on www.chopin2020.pl and watch the finals from Oct. 18 to 21 in special fan zones in New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Budapest, Moscow, Jerusalem and Seoul. The winner is to receive a gold medal and 40,000 euros (US$45,248).
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