Crime

Three Auschwitz sign thieves plead guilty

By Jessica Elgot, March 10, 2010

Three men who stole and vandalised the ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ sign from Auschwitz may face up to three years in jail after pleading guilty to the theft.

Five Polish men aged in their 20s and 30s were arrested by police when they recovered the 16-foot wrought-iron sign, which had been cut into three pieces.

Three of the men have pleaded guilty, said Boguslawa Marcinkowska, spokesperson of the Prosecutor’s Office in Krakow.

The prosecution have suggested prison terms between 18 months and three years.

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Analysis: Gaza protesters might be 'angry' but they're still guilty

By David Aaronovitch, March 4, 2010

In January 2009 someone sent me a link to footage taken at one of the Gaza protests in London. Taken by a demonstrator, and 10 minutes long, it showed a thin cordon of policemen being, in effect, chased from the edge of Trafalgar Square to the Hyde Park end of Piccadilly.

For the entire distance, men with faces covered were throwing traffic cones, sticks and anything that came to hand at the retreating officers, while shouting "Run, you f**** cowards!" The only time this mantra changed was when the police, briefly, put up a fight, when the shout became "you racist bastards!"

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More jailed for Gaza protest violence

By Jessica Elgot, February 26, 2010

More protesters have been jailed for offences during the January 2009 violent protest in London against Israel’s operation in Gaza.

At Isleworth Crown Court, one of the protesters was sentenced to 12 months in prison. One will serve ten months in a Young Offenders Institute. Another was given 12 months conditional discharge and one given an 18 month supervision order.

All had pleaded guilty to violent disorder.

More than 5,000 people attended the demonstration outside the Israeli Embassy in January and protests occurred across the capital during December 2008 and January 2009.

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Conman receives suspended sentence for fraud

By Alex Hill, February 25, 2010

A once respected businessman who lied to suppliers and investigators in a desperate bid to keep his ailing clothing company afloat has received a suspended prison sentence.

Stuart Schlomo Hirt, 56, pleaded guilty to obtaining property by deception, making a false statement and forgery, having previously denied the allegations.

St Albans Crown Court heard today (Thursday) that Hirt, from Bushey, Hertfordshire, had built up a successful business after settling in the UK from Israel in 1977.

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Fake Viagra factory raided in Israel

By Jessica Elgot, February 24, 2010

Twelve people have been arrested on suspicion of distributing fake Viagra from a factory in central Israel.

Undercover police officers from the Financial Intelligence Unit conducted a lengthy investigation into the factory, in a small moshav in central Israel, Ynet reports.

Police seized thousands of fake Viagra and Cialis pills. Both are prescription drugs used to treat impotence but they are a valuable commodity online as patients buy them without prescription.

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Accountant jailed for £100k fraud

By Leon Symons, February 19, 2010

An accountant has been jailed for two years for fraud and deception involving sums up to £100,000.

Fred Blacher, 65, of Grange Gardens, Pinner, had pleaded guilty at a previous hearing at Isleworth Crown Court in west London to charges of obtaining property by deception, fraud by abuse of his position and dishonestly making a false representation.

He has appeared there again and Judge Edmunds QC sentenced him to two years on each charge, with the sentences running concurrently, giving a total of two years in prison.

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Israeli ambassador called to Foreign Office over Dubai murder

By Jessica Elgot, February 18, 2010

Israel’s ambassador Ron Prosor has been invited to a meeting at the Foreign Office to discuss the killing of a Hamas leader in Dubai, where the British passports of Israeli immigrants were used to conceal the identity of some of the killers.

Both the Foreign Office and the Israeli embassy are expected to release statements later today.

A Foreign Office spokesman said the meeting was because of the “links to Israel of a number the British nationals affected.”

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Seven jailed for Gaza protest violence

By Jessica Elgot, February 17, 2010

Seven men, two of whom hold Palestinian nationality, have been jailed for offences during the January 2009 violent protest in London against Israel’s operation in Gaza.

At Isleworth Crown Court, one of the protesters was sentenced to 12 months in a young offenders’ institution (YOI) and three people were imprisoned for 18 months, one in a YOI.

Two more protesters were sentenced for two years, one in a YOI and another has been jailed for two and a half years. Six of the men pleaded guilty to violent disorder at the protest and one to handling stolen goods.

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Teen to website users: Pledge you aren't Jewish

By Jessica Elgot, February 17, 2010

A teenager who set up a racist website, which asked people to pledge they had never followed Judaism, is believed to be the youngest person prosecuted for inciting racial hatred.

The 17-year-old from north Norfolk set up his own website where visitors had to pledge they “have never been a follower of the Jewish religion”.

He also asked visitors to affirm they were white and they “believe in the segregation of the races and have never engaged in an inter-racial relationship.”

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Brown: Investigate passports in Dubai murder

By Jessica Elgot, February 17, 2010

Gordon Brown has called for an inquiry into how British passports were used by assassins who killed a senior Hamas leader in Dubai.

At least seven of the members of the Dubai assassination team, who killed Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, had passports with the names of real people, six British and one German. Most of the “real names” were men who had made aliyah to Israel.

Prime Minister Brown said: “We have to carry out a full investigation into this. The evidence has to be assembled about what actually happened, about how it happened and why.

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