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Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

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The fire moved quickly through the house, a one-story wood-frame structure in a working-class neighborhood of Corsicana, in northeast Texas. Flames spread along the walls, bursting through doorways, blistering paint and tiles and furniture. Smoke pressed against the ceiling, then banked downward, seeping into each room and through crevices in the windows, staining the morning sky.
Buffie Barbee, who was eleven years old and lived two houses down, was playing in her back yard when she smelled the smoke. She ran inside and told her mother, Diane, and they hurried up the street; that’s when they saw the smoldering house and Cameron Todd Willingham standing on the front porch, wearing only a pair of jeans, his chest blackened with soot, his hair and eyelids singed. He was screaming, “My babies are burning up!” His children—Karmon and Kameron, who were one-year-old twin girls, and two-year-old Amber—were trapped inside.
Willingham told the Barbees to call the Fire Department, and while Dia…

Iran billionaire Babak Zanjani sentenced to death for 'spreading corruption on Earth'

Babak Zanjani
Babak Zanjani
Iranian billionaire businessman Babak Zanjani has been sentenced to death for corruption, justice officials say.

He was arrested in December 2013 after accusations that he withheld billions in oil revenue channelled through his companies. He denies the allegations.

Zanjani was convicted of fraud and economic crimes, a judiciary spokesperson said at a press briefing.

Two others were also sentenced to death and all were ordered to repay embezzled funds.

The ruling can be appealed.

One of Iran's richest men, Zanjani had been blacklisted by the US and EU for helping Iran evade oil sanctions in place at the time.

He had acknowledged using a web of companies in the UAE, Turkey, and Malaysia to sell millions of barrels of Iranian oil on behalf of the government since 2010.

Before his arrest, Zanjani had claimed international sanctions were preventing him from handing over $1.2bn still owed to the government.

But at his recent trial, prosecutors claimed he still owed the government more than $2.7bn in oil revenue.

He was taken into custody a day after President Hassan Rouhani ordered his government to fight "financial corruption", particularly "privileged figures" who had "taken advantage of economic sanctions".

In a 2013 interview with the BBC, Zanjani played down his political connections in Iran, saying: "I don't do anything political, I just do business."

Zanjani has said he is worth about some $13.5bn
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International sanctions on Iran were lifted in January after a watchdog confirmed it had complied with a deal designed to prevent it developing nuclear weapons.

Source: BBC News, march 6, 2016


Iran: Babak Zanjani sentenced to death

Dubai - A court in Iran sentenced to death Iranian businessman Babak Zanjani and two accomplices for embezzlement, the judiciary said on Sunday, in a case widely watched due to Zanjani's prominent role in helping the government evade oil sanctions.

The Islamic court convicted the defendants of 'spreading corruption on Earth', a capital offence, and ordered them to repay funds embezzled from, among others, state-run National Iranian Oil Company, judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei said on live television.

The defendants can appeal against the ruling.

Source: Gulf News, March 6, 2016

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