Griffith mourns bashed teen

by admin on April 29th, 2019

filed under 苏州半永久

Andrew, 17, was fatally attacked in the main street of Griffith in the early hours of New Year\’s Day.


Many who gathered today to farewell the popular Rankins Springs teen listened to the hour-long service from the grounds of Griffith\’s Sacred Heart Catholic Church, which was filled to capacity.

Braving the 35-degree heat, they heard tributes to a talented student, sportsman and musician lost at a “high point in his life”.

“We are here to say goodbye to a friend. Let us honour him by behaving like decent human beings,” Father Michael Mikulek told the congregation.

“His legacy is the message that it is important to be honest, kind and tolerant. Let us honour him with calm in our heads and compassion in our hearts.”

Fears of new violence in Griffith arose late last week, with

reports that text messages inciting revenge for Andrew\’s death were circulating in the community.

While no such violence has arisen, many in the community were still grappling with anger, sadness and frustration, said Griffith Mayor Dino Zappacosta, who attended the funeral.

Two boys have been charged with murdering Andrew, and police inquiries are continuing.

Today, pallbearers wearing white shoes in a tribute to their mate\’s trademark style, carried a casket adorned with a Newcastle Knights flag past an honour guard of friends.

The strains of the Leonard Cohen song, Hallelujah, marked the beginning of the ecumenical service.

Andrew\’s cousin Stephanie Williams fought back tears as she recalled their childhoods together.

She said Andrew had grown into a committed young man who was passionate about school, rugby league, BMX bikes, tennis and his band, The Mourning After.

“When Andrew left us he was at a high point in his life and this is how we will remember him,” she said.

“Andrew, 17, popular, achieving his goals and dreams.

“Andrew forever young, forever happy and forever loved.”

The distinction between cousin and brother was often blurred when it came to Andrew, she said.

“I knew Andrew for all of his life, and I know I will miss him

for the rest of mine.”

The Mourning After performed a song, Waiting for You (For Andy), penned in the hours after Andrew\’s death, and Fr Mikulek sympathised with the mourners.

“We are angry, we are sad and we feel helpless,” he said.

“We have to find a way to deal with deep, very, very strong emotions.

“We will need some time to heal. We will need time to find meaning in all this.”

Timeline of events

by admin on April 29th, 2019

filed under 苏州半永久

November 15, 2000 Peter Falconio and Joanne Lees set off from their English home on their round-the-world trip.


January 16, 2001 The couple arrive in Sydney on the Australian leg of their holiday.

June 2001 Mr Falconio and Ms Lees set off on their driving trip around Australia in their 30-year-old orange VW Kombi van from Sydney, travelling through Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Port Pirie, Coober Pedy and Alice Springs.

July 14, 2001 The tourists attend the Camel Cup in Alice Springs, Mr Falconio visits an accountant, and Ms Lees uses the internet, before they continue their journey north up the Stuart Highway in the afternoon.

July 14, 2001, 6.20pm They stop at Ti Tree, north of Alice Springs, to buy fuel and watch the spectacular red centre sunset and share a marijuana joint.

About 100km or so up the road, a man in a white four-wheel drive waves the Kombi over, and Mr Falconio disappears, believed shot dead.

Ms Lees is threatened with a gun, punched and restrained with cable-tie handcuffs before escaping and hiding in the bushes for several hours, until she waves down a passing road train.

Sunday, July 15, 2001 Truck drivers take Ms Lees to the Barrow Creek Hotel, where they call police.

NT police launch a search for Mr Falconio and the gunman. They find a pool of Mr Falconio\’s blood covered with dirt beside the highway near Barrow Creek.

October 15, 2001 Police officers on an orientation visit to the site uncover more evidence – tape used to restrain Ms Lees and her lip gloss tube – apparently missed during a police search three months earlier.

Early 2003 Some 2,500 people have been identified during the lengthy police investigation as “persons of interest”.

November 14, 2004 Broome mechanic Bradley John Murdoch is charged and faces Darwin Magistrates Court over Mr Falconio\’s murder.

May 17, 2004 A committal hearing into the charges is heard in Darwin Magistrates Court over three weeks, resuming for a further two weeks in August, 2004.

August 18, 2004 Murdoch is committed to stand trial in the Northern Territory Supreme Court on the charges.

May 2005 Authorities send a portion of the cable-tie restraints to the United Kingdom for specialist DNA testing, which finds a DNA sample 100 million times more likely to have come from Murdoch than anyone else.

October 17, 2005 The Northern Territory Supreme Court trial begins into Mr Falconio\’s murder.

December 13, 2005 Murdoch is found guilty of murdering Mr Falconio, assaulting Ms Lees and depriving her of her liberty. He is given a mandatory life sentence and minimum 28-year non-parole period.

December 12, 2006 Lawyers for Bradley John Murdoch begin a three-day appeal against his conviction and sentence in the NT Court of Criminal Appeal in Darwin.

January 10, 2007 Three judges in the NT Court of Criminal Appeal unanimously dismiss his appeal. Murdoch\’s lawyers consider taking their case to the High Court within an allocated 21 days.

No bail: Rocket launcher case

by admin on April 29th, 2019

filed under 苏州半永久

It is alleged the man, Mohammad Ali Elomar, was later seen near Sydney’s Lucas Heights nuclear reactor, where an access lock for a gate to a nearby reservoir had recently been cut.


The claims were contained in a police statement tendered to Central Local Court, where Taha Abdul Rahman – the man accused of selling the rocket launchers – was today refused bail.

Abdul Rahman, 28, from Leumeah, in Sydney’s south-west, faces 17 charges related to the possession and supply of seven rocket launchers allegedly stolen from the Australian Defence Force.

The statement did not detail how Abdul Rahman allegedly acquired the weapons.

But according to the statement, he sold five rocket launchers to Mr Elomar through an associate, Adnan Darwiche, who was last year jailed for life for double murder.

Mr Elomar, 41, of Bankstown, is one of nine Sydney men charged in late 2005 with conspiring to make explosives in preparation for a terrorist attack.

Abdul Rahman allegedly sold Darwiche a rocket launcher on September 30, 2003 for A$15,000, and on October 9 sold him six more for $70,000.

Darwiche said Mr Elomar had given him most of the $70,000 to buy five rocket launchers on his behalf, the statement said.

Prior to the purchase, Mr Elomar allegedly commented: “Look what is happening overseas. It is a war against Muslims. We should do something about it over here.”

According to the police statement, a source claimed Mr Elomar was “elated he had received the rocket launchers”.

“Elomar first joked that he would use them to blow up Parliament House and later more seriously said, `I am going to blow up the nuclear place’,” the statement alleged.

On December 28, 2004, Mr Elomar and two co-accused were allegedly seen near the Lucas Heights reactor, each later giving differing versions of their activities to police.

Mr Elomar and the eight other suspects are still before the courts.

Darwiche was one of three men convicted of shooting dead two people at a Greenacre home in October 2003, during a feud with another family.

The court was told the killers dismissed using the rocket launcher on that occasion, as they believed the warhead could pass through the fibro house without exploding.

Abdul Rahman was arrested last week following a lengthy investigation by Strike Force Ridgecrop, established by New South Wales and federal police to probe the possession and supply of rocket launchers.

The police statement alleges that from 2001, he was involved in the supply of illegal handguns, explosives and rocket launchers to the criminal element in NSW.

Abdul Rahman allegedly said he made just $1,000 profit on each rocket launcher sold. Only one has so far been recovered.

‘Needed to care for daughters’

Abdul Rahman’s wife, Belinda Rahman, gave evidence at his bail hearing after defence barrister William Brewer argued his client needed to care for his two young daughters at home.

As the accused looked on via videolink, Mr Brewer urged that bail considerations not be “lost in a bit of hysteria” over the rocket launchers.

But prosecutor Wendy Abraham QC opposed bail, telling the court that five of the rocket launchers introduced into the community by Abdul Rahman “ended up with someone who is currently charged with terrorism offences”.

“The bottom line is these are extremely powerful weapons designed to penetrate armour and concrete,” she said.

Magistrate Allan Moore refused bail, remanding Abdul Rahman in custody “for the protection of the community at large”.

He faces two counts of dishonestly receiving stolen property, seven counts of unauthorised possession of a prohibited weapon, seven counts of unauthorised supply of a prohibited weapon, and one count of possession of ammunition.

He will return to court on March 21.

Bushfires continue to rage

by admin on April 29th, 2019

filed under 苏州半永久

The fire near the Mount Bold reservoir has destroyed more than 1,000 hectares and is threatening about 60 properties.


About 400 firefighters have been sent to the area.

A police spokesman said an aerial search was underway to check if any other homes or other buildings had been destroyed.

Meanwhile in Victoria, residents of the tiny Gippsland town of Tambo Crossing have been warned to expect ember attack and spot fires as a bushfire rages nearby.

Fires are again threatening the alpine resort at Mt Buller.

A cool change moving across Victoria could worsen the situation because of erratic winds.

Tasmanian firefighters are also trying to contain a blaze in the state\’s north-east ahead of today\’s forecast high temperatures.

They\’ve been working to build containment lines around the fire at Wardlaws Creek, south of Elephant Pass and near St Mary\’s.

Total fire bans have been declared for Victoria, the ACT and parts of New South Wales.

South Australia

An historic building in the Adelaide Hills has been destroyed as a bushfire continues to burn.

The unoccupied building known as Yaroona near the Mt Bold Reservoir, south-east of Adelaide, was gutted by the blaze, the Country Fire Service (CFS) said today.

A spokeswoman said there were no other confirmed reports of property damage although there were fears several sheds and livestock were also lost.

More than 300 firefighters and 80 fire units were fighting the blaze, helped by water bombing aircraft.

Their efforts were centred on the eastern flank with the fire heading in a north-easterly direction.

A backburn in that area this morning should help bring the blaze under control.


The front of an out of control bushfire was approaching properties near the tiny Gippsland town of Tambo Crossing.

The Country Fire Authority (CFA) and Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) issued the warning at 11.30am (AEDT) today.

“The fire is currently burning to the west and north of Tambo Crossing under severe fire conditions and spot fires are occurring around the town,” the warning said.

“The fire continues to burn in a south-easterly direction.”

Residents have been warned to take precautions against radiant heat and that it is unsafe to travel in a car or on foot as the front approaches and to shelter in their houses or other structures until the fire front passes.

Residents of nearby Ensay, Ensay South and Ensay North have been warned to expect ember attack and spot fires.

The front is seven kilometres from Ensay.

The Tambo Crossing fire is a break-out from the main Great Divide North and South fire complex, which has burned about 948,000 hectares of Victoria\’s alpine country since sparked by lightning strikes in early December.

Hicks prosecutor talks tough

by admin on April 29th, 2019

filed under 苏州半永久

The 31-year-old from Adelaide, who has been held at the notorious US military jail in Cuba since January 2002 after being captured a month earlier in Afghanistan, has previously pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy, attempted murder and aiding the enemy.


But the charges were dropped after a US Supreme Court ruling last June declared the military tribunals set up to try Hicks and other Guantanamo Bay inmates were illegal.

Colonel Morris Davis today says the new rules for military commissions should be eleased next week.

“I anticipate within two weeks of the rules coming out we will start charging some of the individuals and David Hicks, I believe, will be among the first that we charge,” he told ABC Radio.

Colonel Davis expects Hicks will face trial within six months.

“We expect shortly after that we\’d probably have a hearing on motions and we\’re hopeful by summertime that we can actually get the jury assembled and go to a trial on the merits and let the facts speak for themselves,” he said.

The prosecutor said the US believed it had a strong case against

Hicks and he was not convinced of his innocence.

“He (Hicks) had experience in Kosovo, he had experience in Kashmir, he\’s been to a number of combat and terrorism training courses put on my al-Qaeda and from my understanding when 9/11 happened he was out of the country, but once he saw the US had been attacked he made a conscious choice to try to get back to Afghanistan, report in to a senior al-Qaeda leader and, in essence, say: `I\’m David Hicks and I\’m reporting for duty\’.”

Colonel Davis said people should not believe without question much of what Hicks\’ military-appointed lawyer Major Michael Mori said.

“I hope the Australian people aren\’t so gullible as to step in everything that Major Mori has been spreading and if they do step in it they need to wipe their feet before they go into the house, because we contend a lot of the evidence has been half truths,” he said.

Colonel Davis said US officials were just as unhappy as Australians with the delays to the case.

“We really and truly want to get this case to trial as soon as possible.

“We\’re frustrated that it has taken this long and we\’re anxious to get into the courtroom at the earliest possible date, that the facts be accurately reported back and that the world can see we are going to provide fair trials for the folks that come before military commissions.”