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MANILA: Philippine attorney Jude Sabio says he has not been home for a year, steers clear of public events and is forever looking over his shoulder after accusing President Rodrigo Duterte of crimes against humanity.
Sabio, a stocky 51 year old, says he lives in constant fear of reprisals after filing a complaint at the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the wildly popular Duterte, whose administration Filipinos rate as the best performing since opinion polls started in the 1980s.
A little-known lawyer until he filed the complaint last April, Sabio argues that the deaths of thousands of Filipinos in a brutal war on drugs is Duterte’s method of controlling crime, and that he used the tactic effectively during his 22 years as the mayor of Davao City in the south of the country.
Duterte has repeatedly denied ordering extra-judicial killings while mayor or president and reiterated this month that he would “gladly” go before the ICC. Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda had earlier said her office had started a preliminary examination into whether any crimes against humanity had been committed and if ICC had jurisdiction.
The step is the first in a process that could take years to complete, if at all. Since it was set up in 2002, the ICC has received more than 12,000 complaints or communications, just nine of which have gone to trial.
The Social Weather Station’s (SWS) latest quarterly poll shows Duterte’s trust rating bounced back to “excellent” in December from “very high” three months before. Another SWS poll gave his government the best rating so far for a Philippine administration
“When I went to The Hague I received so many threats,” Sabio told Reuters. “The (latest) announcement from the ICC, I’m also receiving threats. It’s many, I don’t want to read them.”
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque says “domestic enemies of the state” are behind Sabio’s complaint. Asked about Sabio’s safety, Roque said he should report threats to the police.
“We have no ill will against him,” he added. “We know it (the complaint) will not proceed beyond preliminary examination.”
In an interview, Sabio described Duterte as a “death squad president” who bragged in public about killing criminals and promised voters he would kill thousands in an anti-drug crackdown if elected.
Duterte earned the nickname “the Punisher” because of allegations he operated a death squad that killed more than 1,000 criminals when he was Davao mayor. He suggested during a televised presidential election debate in 2016 that more would die if he became president.
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MALE: Maldives police arrested 25 people under a state of emergency, opposition legislators said, after thousands of protesters gathered a day earlier to call for the detention of the president and release of opposition leaders.
The tiny Indian Ocean archipelago, best known for its luxury hotels and dive resorts, imposed a 15-day state of emergency on Feb. 5 to annul a Supreme Court ruling ordering the release of nine leading opposition figures.
Shortly after imposing the state of emergency, President Abdulla Yameen’s administration arrested two Supreme Court judges and detained former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom on allegations that he solicited bribes to topple the government.
Thousands gathered in locations across the 15 islands in protest on Friday to demand the arrest of the president and the enforcement of the court ruling to free the opposition leaders.
Ahmed Mahloof, a legislator from the main opposition Maldives Democratic Party (MDP), told Reuters 25 people, including two journalists, had been detained, based on numbers gathered via the party’s telephone hotline.
“Police have so far refused to tell us how many were arrested. We don’t have any access to them,” he said. “We don’t know where they are being held. Police has said they are arrested under state of emergency and that they don’t have to give the information.”
Raajee TV, an independent media outlet, said police had attacked journalists covering the Friday’s protests and said one had been treated for injuries.
Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick, the man behind the renowned red and black print of Che Guevara, has his focus on a new hero, Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi.
Fitzpatrick has created a print of Tamimi holding a Palestinian flag above DC Comics’ Wonder Woman symbol. The strap-line reads ‘There is a real wonder woman”. The image can be found at his website.
Ahed, 17, has become an international symbol of Palestinian resistance following her arrest in December last year, which came days after a confrontation with Israeli soldiers.
“Ahed Tamimi, to me, signifies nobility in the face of oppression. This is a kid, a child,” Fitzpatrick told news website Newsweek.
When I was 15, I think I would have been petrified. Wherever she’s getting her courage from, there’s a resonance of it echoing across the world. I’m just a part of it.” He said, “I’m afraid they’re going to kill her. And that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing.
In the incident, which took place in her home village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah, Ahed was filmed by her mother, Nariman, screaming at and pushing two soldiers. She is seen kicking one soldier and slapping his face and threatens to punch the other. The video went viral and just four days later, on the night of December 19, Ahed and her mother were arrested after soldiers stormed her house. Ahed said that the incident took place after she had seen a video of her 15-year-old cousin being shot in the head with a rubber bullet.
She faces 12 charges, including assault, “incitement” and stone-throwing. If she is convicted she faces a lengthy jail term. Judge Menachem Liberman ordered that the case, which is being held in a military court, would take place behind closed doors.
The judge cleared the court of diplomats, journalists and Ahed’s supporters. Mr Liberman said the move was to protect Ahed’s privacy as a minor. The teenager’s lawyer, Gaby Lasky, said her client was willing to waive this right.
“This court of occupation fears the light shined on it by this case.” Ms Lasky said. “After it placed Ahed under open-ended detention in violation of her rights as a minor, the court now uses the false pretext of protecting these rights to shield itself from the criticism this case raises.”
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MIAMI: Pistols, rifles and ammunition are on display at a gun show in Miami, where Mike Vallone is buying an AR-15, a firearm at the center of debate on gun control as the weapon of choice of several mass shooters.
Why would the 55-year-old, who already owns about 50 guns, want another one?
“Because I choose to own them. I have the constitutional right to own them and I choose to exercise that right,” he told AFP on Saturday.
Vallone was visiting the gun show three days after a 19-year-old massacred 17 people at his former high school with an AR-15 in Parkland, about an hour north of Miami.
The semi-automatic rifle was also used to carry out mass shootings in Las Vegas (58 dead), Sutherland Springs, Texas (26 dead) and Newtown, Connecticut (26 dead).
The media “makes it look like it’s evil,” Vallone said, holding the $600 gun he is about to buy. “This does nothing by itself. This takes a human being to take the rifle, point it and shoot someone.”
Every mass shooting reveals the deep fissures in American society between those who favor fewer restrictions on guns and gun ownership, and those who demand greater controls. The “right of the people to keep and bear arms” is guaranteed under the US Constitution’s Second Amendment, which was adopted in 1791.
“The focus on gun control is an error and it won’t stop someone determined to commit crimes,” said Vallone, raising a common argument among pro-gun advocates.
“I own guns, I choose to own guns, I choose to carry guns. That’s my choice. It’s not for everyone, I absolutely agree with that. Everybody needs a background check, I’m having a background check right now,” he said, pointing at the gun vendor who was looking at a laptop.
In the US, adults with a clean criminal record can generally buy a gun, as was the case with Nikolas Cruz in Parkland. Regulatory loopholes also allow for certain gun sales without background checks.
The issue is deeply political — on one side, the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA) aggressively lobbies lawmakers to maintain the status quo.
On the other side, advocates for stricter gun controls say a criminal record check is not sufficiently thorough and often misses red flags that don’t rise to the level of criminal charges, such a mental health problems.
The FBI admitted Friday it received a chilling warning in January from a tipster who said Cruz could be planning a mass shooting, but that agents failed to follow up.
Florida Gun Shows, which holds events in major cities throughout the state every week, opened its Miami show on Saturday.
“Legislation is great to talk about, as long as it doesn’t infringe upon your rights,” said George Fernandez, a spokesman for the gun show, defending the Second Amendment.
Some 140 exhibitors had their wares on display in booths, many decorated with alligator heads.
One vendor displayed knives made from giraffe bones. Another seller highlighted the advantages of tasers and stun guns: “You don’t need to go through the paperwork to carry it, you can just take it.”
The line to enter the exhibition hall was long and made up mostly of men, with some holding small children by the hand.
Meanwhile, student survivors of the school shooting in Parkland rallied in the nearby city of Fort Lauderdale. Brandishing posters with messages like “Never again” and “Gun control now,” they demanded that politicians tackle the issue that surfaces after every mass shooting.
“If the president wants to come up to me and tell me to my face that it was a terrible tragedy and… how nothing is going to be done about it, I’m going to happily ask him how much money he received from the National Rifle Association,” 18-year-old student Emma Gonzalez said in a fiery address to several thousand people.
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Three students who knew the Florida high school shooting suspect reported him to school administrators for threats and erratic behavior after an ex-girlfriend broke up with him and began seeing another teenager, reports BuzzFeed News.
Nikolas Cruz, charged with the premeditated murder of 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, had been suspended in 2017 for “disciplinary reasons.” While some reports say he was expelled for getting into a fight with his ex’s new boyfriend, others say he was kicked out for carrying a knife to school.
The students who spoke to BuzzFeed News — Dana Craig, 16; her boyfriend, Matthew Rosario, 16; and Enea Sabadini, 17 — said that such a fight happened, and that it was the culmination of a jealous and angry period for Cruz because Enea began dating Cruz’s ex-girlfriend. Three other friends who asked BuzzFeed News not to use their names, for privacy reasons, confirmed their accounts.
“Im going to watch ypu bleed,” read an Instagram message sent under Cruz’s name to Enea in 2017, when students said Cruz was no longer at the school. “iam going to shoot you dead.” Another message said Enea “stole my ex.” –BuzzFeed
In addition to the FBI having received several tips over Cruz’s threats of violence which they completely botchedthanks to the way previous administration(s) designed the tip-line, a simple look into Cruz’s social media history reveals a disturbing obsession with weapons and violence.
Following the shooting, a Broward County public defender for Cruz, Melissa McNeill discussed the “underdeveloped” brain of a 19 year old, telling reporters “He’s sad. He’s mournful. He’s remorseful,” before saying of Cruz, who is 19 and a legal adult, “the child is deeply troubled and has endured significant trauma that stems from the loss of his mother.”
Florida school shooting suspect’s defense attorney: “He is fully aware of what is going on, and he’s just a broken human being.” pic.twitter.com/sK9O9kuFCq
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) February 15, 2018
In August of 2016, Enea Sabadini began dating Cruz’s ex girlfriend, who declined to be named. Shortly thereafter, Cruz sent Sabadini a series of increasingly threatening text messages over Instagram – at first threatening to beat Sabadini up, and eventually progressing to death threats and then two physical altercations:
The first fight began as an argument on the sidewalk next to their school. Nikolas yelled “Stop talking to her!” Enea said. Enea said he responded: “No, I’m not going to stop talking to her.” Matthew said he witnessed this fight.
Enea said Cruz ran at him. “While he was chasing me down the street, he also called me a nigger multiple times,” Enea said. “He was also trying to stab me with pencils.” Cruz couldn’t catch him, and Enea said he taunted him. “I remember telling him that I was a gazelle, because I was much faster than him,” he said.
Enea also said he doesn’t think Cruz disliked him because of his race. “I don’t think he was mad at me about race. But I don’t get why he was so mad over a girl,” he said. –BuzzFeed
The second fight didn’t go so well for Cruz.
“My friends and I were laughing. Talking to each other, laughing and everything, and as we’re talking a water bottle flies by. I remember it going right between my legs,” said Sabadini. Then Cruz “charges me and hits me in my left arm.”
Sabadini, a rugby player, proceeded to slam, Cruz to the ground and repeatedly punch him in the face.
“I was just done. I can’t believe you actually decided to fight me during lunch. I really don’t want to have any problems with this guy. Can we just get over the situation already?”
During their text exchange, Sabadini tried to reason with Cruz – deflecting Cruz’s threats and then sending him humorous videos and memes.
The text messages are below. Suffice it to say, Cruz clearly had mental problems:
The post Florida School Shooter To Romantic Rival: “Iam Going To Fu*king Kill You” appeared first on crude-oil.news.
The newly launched Croatian self-regulating Blockchain organization will work with the government to create an environment for Blockchain innovation. #NEWS
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If someone wanted to kill 300,000 Americans and get away with it, they could not have accomplished it more effectively than our government has accomplished it with the opioid epidemic.
If someone— let’s say good old Uncle Sam—wanted to kill 300,000 Americans, they would go about it as detailed in this step-by-step guide. This also just so happens to be precisely how our government did go about it.
Step 1 – In 1996, Uncle Sam would award a 17-year government patent monopoly to Purdue Pharma to be the exclusive supplier of OxyContin, an addictive and potentially deadly opioid painkiller. This would ensure that they had a massive multi-billion-dollar profit incentive to get as many people addicted as possible without any generic competition to keep this profit motive in check.
Step 2 – To further fuel the use of OxyContin, Uncle Sam would cover the cost of it through Medicaid and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This would ensure that there were billions of dollars available to fund the purchase of massive quantities of the addictive and potentially deadly substance.
Step 3- For further assurance more people become dependent on opioids, Uncle Sam would enact growth-retardant public policies such as mountains of regulation and exorbitant taxation, exacerbating the link between depression, poverty, and opioid dependence.
Step 4 – Uncle Sam would make pain the “fifth vital sign” and financially penalize any hospital that got poor reviews or ratings for not adequately treating pain, encouraging hospitals to hand out opioids like candy.
Step 5 – Uncle Sam would ban medical marijuana, depriving those in pain of a viable non-opioid alternative.
Step 6 – Uncle Sam would allow doctors to be sued for medical malpractice for not adequately treating pain, ensuring they prescribed even more opioids.
Step 7 – Uncle Sam would then move many opioid painkillers to Schedule 2, which would prohibit refills. This would ensure that doctors prescribed a 30-day supply for patients that needed a 3-days’ supply, just to “keep the patient from having to come back to get a new prescription if they need it.”
Step 8 – Uncle Sam would then allow the profit motive of the patent monopoly, the free money of Medicaid and SSDI, the “fifth vital sign,” and the fear of being sued for medical malpractice to continue to fuel an increase in OxyContin prescriptions until the year 2010, leaving many millions of Americans addicted to opioids.
After having created a sufficiently massive pool of addicted individuals, it would then be time to turn the “prescription epidemic” into an “overdose epidemic” and drive the death rate up into the stratosphere.
Step 9 – Knowing that many of the millions of OxyContin users were crushing the pills and snorting them, Uncle Sam would go to Purdue Pharma and convince them that they needed to make OxyContin “abuse-deterrent” by making the pills difficult to crush. This would cause a large number of people who were currently crushing the pills and snorting them to start instead melting the pills and injecting them (which is much more dangerous and deadly). This change would also cause many of the users to switch to heroin since it is cheaper and more available than prescription opioids. This would start the process of killing as many of the addicted as possible.
Step 10 – Uncle Sam would then demand that Purdue Pharma remove the old formulation of OxyContin from the market. Considering that Purdue Pharma’s monopoly patent was about to run out, they would be all too happy to oblige and get a brand-new patent on the abuse-deterrent formula, effectively restarting the 17-year monopoly period. Uncle Sam would also prohibit generic versions of the old, crushable formulation since that would allow a crushable generic to remain on the market, which would render the abuse-determine formula superfluous, undermining the efforts to get people to switch to injection and/or heroin.
Step 11 – Knowing that the death rate would rise as people switch to injecting and to heroin, Uncle Sam would then steadily reduce the supply of legal prescription opioids, leaving the millions of Americans that were already addicted with no place to go other than heroin and injection drug use. Uncle Sam would do this by threatening or prosecuting doctors who “prescribed too much.” Uncle Sam would also recommend or mandate the use of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP’s) and drug tests to catch and shut off anyone who appeared to be using more opioids than the state-sanctioned arbitrary cutoff amount.
Step 12 – Uncle Sam would also ban doctors from prescribing opioids as maintenance therapy or for gradually tapering patients off, and require doctors to abruptly cut off anyone they suspected of using too many opioids.
Step 13 – Uncle Sam would further decrease the supply of legal opioids for those already addicted by mandating a constant year-over-year reduction in the prescriptions of opioids.
Step 14 – To increase the death rate even further, Uncle Sam would ensure that the Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) options that work, like Buprenorphine (Suboxone) and Methadone, were so heavily regulated and controlled that they were effectively unavailable to the vast majority of addicted Americans. Uncle Sam would also require “prior authorization” by managed care providers to ensure that it took as much as four weeks to get Medication Assisted Treatment. This would ensure that the vast majority of opioid users switched to injection and street heroin before their MAT prescription could be filled. Uncle Sam would also send opioid users to prison or abstinence-only rehab where they would be forced to detox cold-turkey. This would ensure that the patient’s opioid tolerance decreased to the point that when the patient came back from prison or rehab, the patient would easily overdose. Uncle Sam would also ban the use of Medication Assisted Treatment in most drug court programs, also ensuring low opioid tolerance and a high risk that relapse would result in death.
Step 15 – Uncle Sam would ban supervised consumption facilities, ensuring that drug use happened alone, unsupervised, and beyond the reach of most first-responders.
Step 16 – After vast numbers of Americans had switched to injection drug use and street heroin, and were using drugs alone and unsupervised, Uncle Sam would then make the street drugs as deadly as possible. Uncle Sam would do this by “cracking down” on the supply side of heroin, knowing full well that illegal drug manufacturers would respond by making their drugs ever more potent, or finding ultra-potent additives to substitute into their street drugs to decrease the size and weight of the trafficked substance (this is known as the Iron Law of Prohibition). That would ensure that heroin was laced with fentanyl (a substance 100 times more potent than morphine) and that eventually fentanyl was replaced by the even more potent carfentanil (a substance 10,000 times more powerful than morphine). Uncle Sam would then ban drug checking under drug paraphernalia laws, ensuring users had no idea if the substance they were about to use was laced with fentanyl. With each increase in potency and adulteration, the death rate would continue to climb higher, and higher, and higher.
There you have it: the perfect guide to killing at least 300,000 people and getting away with it. It is an absolute tragedy that this also happens to be the precise course of action the US government has taken over the past few decades to create this perfect storm of addiction and death.
Heightening the tragic nature of the crisis is the fact that the government was entirely unaware that the consequences of each step in this plan would lead to the eventual death toll currently mounting in America. This was by no means an intentional, deliberate plan to kill people; however, kill people is exactly what it has done.
It is also worth noting that, although these governmental actions listed above take the lion’s share of the blame for the problem, I am by no means asserting that other factors were not at play. Purdue Pharma clearly deserves much blame for making billions of dollars intentionally rendering people addicted and steadily supplied with opioids. Doctors deserve some blame for blindly following prescriber guidelines without reference to the unique situation of each patient. The economic malaise we currently face that has so exacerbated this crisis is the result of an astoundingly complex myriad of factors that extend far beyond just government meddling in the marketplace.
Still, though, the fact remains that the United States government has enacted and pursued a variety of policies that are directly, tangibly responsible for the severity and intensity of this crisis. It is not a stretch to say the opioid crisis would not exist were it not for the government actions listed above.
In light of this realization, a sharp change in the course of policy is in order. The government can take some actions to immediately alleviate many of the problems it has caused:
Follow the recommendations of Human Rights Watch and end the drug war immediately. Although there are a plethora of other reasons to do this, addicted individuals need medical care, not jail time, and bringing the drug trade out of the shadow economy and into the formal market would solve many of the consistency, purity, and quality problems currently causing so many of the deadly overdoses.
Along with ending the drug war, legalize supervised consumption facilities so that addicted individuals can utilize the drugs under safe, clean conditions, enabling them to lead relatively normal lives. These have been wildly successful in other parts of the world.
Abolish all intellectual property laws, especially patent and copyright laws, immediately. Not only does intellectual property stymie economic prosperity and innovation to an astounding degree, but it is also philosophically incoherent. Without a patent on Oxycotin restricting the supply of alternatives and generics, the opioid crisis would never have occurred in the first place.
Considering the admittedly difficult prospect of ending IP law, a good intermediary solution could be to abolish all patents on addictive substances. This would prevent the creation of the circumstances wherein a firm like Purdue Pharma can so aggressively market their product and have such an outsize influence on the formation of medical policies. This would also have the happy side effect of massively increasing the levels of innovation of new, more effective drugs in the pharmaceutical industry.
Remove all legal restrictions on the use of medication-assisted treatment programs for opioid dependency so that people can receive the help they truly need.
Remove any and all legally enforceable prescriber guidelines (especially laws against maintenance therapy doses) so that doctors are free to adjust their prescribing habits about the latest peer-reviewed guidelines and the unique circumstances of each
Abolish Medicare and SSDI entirely, allowing mutual aid societies to re-emerge and innovative market healthcare solutions to take their place.
Alternatively, reform these entitlement programs to preclude the use of government funds to purchase addictive substances.
Although many of these solutions sound quite radical, it takes a radical solution to rectify a radical problem of this magnitude. It’s time to stop pursuing the same failed policies that created this crisis in the first place. It’s time to start for the government to start saving lives instead of ending them.
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FCC officially notifies Brooklyn resident of his BTC’s miners “harmful interference” on T-Mobile’s broadband network. #NEWS
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Back in May 2016, Lithuania central bank head, and ECB governing council member, Vitas Vasiliauskas said that contrary to widespread perceptions of central planners as clueless hack economists who would not survive one day in the private sector and who can only inflate asset bubbles, then watch them burst and replace them with even bigger asset bubbles, central bankers are really “magic people.”
“Markets say the ECB is done, their box is empty,” Vasiliauskas told Bloomberg in the spring of 2016. “But we are magic people. Each time we take something and give to the markets — a rabbit out of the hat.”
It now turns out they also appear to be corrupt, criminal people because on Saturday, Vasiliauskas’ next door peer, Latvian central bank Governor, Ilmars Rimsevics who is also a member of the European Central Bank’s governing council, was detained by Latvia’s anti-graft bureau, prompting calls for him to step aside to prevent harming the country’s financial sector.
In a statement to Reuters, Latvia’s Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis did not say why Rimsevics had been detained or what he was being investigated for. However, he attempted to reassure people that the economy was stable.
Rimsevics, 52, has worked at the Baltic nation’s central bank since graduating with an MBA from Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, in 1992. After first taking the role of deputy governor that year, he was promoted to governor in 2001. He’s been a member of the ECB governing council since 2014, when Latvia adopted the euro.
Hardly encouraging confidence, the statement said that “there are no indications that would suggest threats to the financial system of Latvia,” Kucinskis said, confirming that it is very likely that there are copious threats to the financial system of Latvia, whose central banker may soon be in prison for graft.
As a result, finance minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola said Rimsevics should step aside for the time being to protect the Baltic country’s reputation.
“Given that the governor of the central bank is a symbol for every country, [then] I think that it would be sensible at this moment that Mr. Rimsevics, at least during the investigation, steps down,” Reizniece-Ozola told a news conference.
“Under the current circumstances… every day that Mr. Rimsevics remains in the post of governor of the central bank, the situation (for the reputation of Latvia’s financial system) substantially worsens,” she said.
Latvia’s Economics Minister Arvils Aseradens, speaking on Radio Latvia, also said the governor should consider resigning. The home and office of the central bank’s governor were searched on Friday, the state broadcaster said on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Rimsevics’ lawyer told local media that the detention was unlawful. “A complaint is being prepared at the moment,” the lawyer, Saulvedis Varpins, told news agency LETA without elaborating. Varpins, who spent more than eight hours at the anti-graft bureau in Riga with Rimsevics before the governor was taken away in a bureau van, said his client was being held at the state police station and hasn’t been charged, according to Leta. Varpins, who didn’t answer repeated calls and text messages, cited the reason for the detention as alleged acts from years ago.
Reiznice-Ozola said the country was suffering a crisis of reputation over ABLV, which has denied all accusations from the U.S. Treasury and said it will work with U.S. officials and provide information so that doubts about it can be laid to rest. Latvia has asked the U.S. Treasury to discuss and share data on ABLV, she said. The central bank is helping the lender with liquidity, said Edvards Kusners, a member of the monetary authority’s board.
As Bloomberg adds, this is the latest setback for Latvia’s banking sector, which last week was hit by allegations by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network that its third largest financial institution by assets, ABLV Bank, has institutionalised money laundering, claiming it helped entities allegedly linked to North Korea’s missile program process transactions — charges the lender denies.
The ECB declined to comment, according to Bloomberg. Another ECB governing board member, Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras, is also being accused of bribery, an accusation he vehemently denies, alleging political persecution aimed at forcing him to resign.