2014年11月8日 星期六

Mexican gang members admit killing students, burning bodies and throwing remains in river

Mexican gang members admit killing students, burning bodies and throwing remains in river

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 November, 2014, 9:30am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 November, 2014, 9:35am

Confessions by suspected gang members indicate that 43 Mexican students missing for six weeks were killed, burned beyond recognition and tossed in a river in a case that outraged the nation, authorities said on Friday.

Facing angry protests in the biggest crisis of his administration, President Enrique Pena Nieto vowed to hunt down all those responsible for the "horrible crime."

Authorities have been searching for the aspiring teachers since gang-linked police attacked their buses in the southern city of Iguala on September 26, allegedly under orders of the mayor and his wife in a night of terror that left six people dead.

"To the parents of the missing young men and society as a whole, I assure you that we won't stop until justice is served," Pena Nieto said.

If the testimonies are proven true, it would be one of the worst massacres in a drug war that has killed more than 80,000 people and left 22,000 others missing since 2006.

Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam warned that it would be difficult to identify the charred remains and that authorities will continue to consider the students as missing until DNA tests confirm the identities.

He added, however, that there was "a lot of evidence ... that could indicate it was them."

Three Guerreros Unidos gang members confessed to killing the students, all men, after police handed them over between Iguala and the neighbouring town of Cocula, Murillo Karam said, showing videos of the taped confessions.

Iguala's ousted mayor Jose Luis Abarca and his wife Maria de los Angeles Pineda were detained in Mexico City district on Tuesday after more than a month on the run. Photo: AP

The bodies were set on fire down a hill from a Cocula garbage dump with petrol, tyres, firewood and plastic, in an inferno that lasted 14 hours, he said.

"The fire lasted from midnight to 2pm the next day. The criminals could not handle the bodies until 5pm due to the heat," he said.

The suspects then crushed the remains, stuffed them in bags and threw some in a river.

Murillo Karam showed videos of investigators combing through small pieces of charcoal-like remains that were found in black plastic bags. Some remains were found near the landfill.

The gang members were not sure how many students they received but one of them said there were more than 40.

Murillo Karam delivered the news to the relatives of the missing in an airport hangar in Chilpancingo, capital of the violence-plagued southern state of Guerrero.

But the parents, who distrust the government, said they would not accept that their children are dead until they get a final ruling from independent Argentinian forensic experts who are taking part in the investigation.

"As long as there is no proof, our sons are alive," Felipe de la Cruz, a spokesman for the families, said at a news conference from the missing young men's teacher-training college near Chilpancingo.

Last month, two hitmen had already confessed to killing 17 of the students and dumping them in a mass grave near Iguala. But authorities said tests showed none of the 28 bodies found in the pit belonged to the students.

Murillo Karam said experts from an Austrian university would help identify the charred remains.

Authorities have now detained 74 people, including several Guerreros Unidos members, 36 Iguala and Cocula police officers and Iguala's ousted mayor Jose Luis Abarca and his wife Maria de los Angeles Pineda.

The mayoral couple were detained in a gritty Mexico City district on Tuesday after more than a month on the run.

Students take part in a protest in support of the 43 missing students outside the Mexican Embassy in Bogota, Colombia. Photo: Reuters

Authorities say Abarca ordered the officers to confront the students over fears they would derail a speech by his wife, who headed the local child protection agency.

The missing young men said they went to Iguala to raise funds, though they hijacked four buses to move around, a common practice among students from the radical teachers college.

The crisis forced Pena Nieto to shorten a major upcoming trip to China and Australia by four days, which will now run from Sunday to next Saturday.

Human Rights Watch dubbed the mass disappearance "one of the gravest cases recorded in the contemporary history of Mexico and Latin America."

Fed up with years of relentless violence, tens of thousands of Mexicans held a new protest over the Iguala case on Wednesday.

2014年11月2日 星期日

British banker held over double murder in Wan Chai flat

SUN Nov 2, 2014
Updated: 5:30am

British banker held over double murder in Wan Chai flat
Bodies of two young women, believed to be sex workers, found in Briton's upscale Wan Chai apartment – and they may have died days apart

Police forensic officers search the 29-year-old man's flat at J Residence in Johnston Road, Wan Chai. Photo: Jonathan Wong
A British banker was being questioned by murder squad detectives last night after the naked bodies of two young women were discovered in his 31st-floor Wan Chai apartment.

The 29-year-old - who works for a top-tier global bank - was arrested early yesterday after he called police. Officers arrived at his Johnston Road flat to discover the body of one young woman in the living room. Her throat had been slashed. Hours later the body of the second woman was found stuffed in a suitcase on the apartment's balcony.

It is believed that the women were sex workers of Southeast Asian or Asian ethnicity and that they may have been killed days apart.

A police source said the flat at J Residence, a high-end block at 60 Johnston Road favoured by junior expatriate bankers, was "covered in blood''.

Exterior view of the J Residence Building in Wan Chai. Photo: Jonathan Wong

The first victim, aged between 25 and 30, was found naked in the living room with knife wounds to her neck and buttocks. "Two cut wounds were found in her neck and her throat was slashed," the source said.

CCTV footage showed the woman and the suspect, who has not been charged, had returned to the flat at around midnight.

About eight hours after the first body was found, the naked corpse of the second woman, thought to be Indonesian and aged 25, was discovered wrapped in a carpet inside a black suitcase on the flat's balcony. "She was nearly decapitated and her hands and legs were bound with ropes," the source said. Her passport was found at the scene.

Police investigate the murder scene. Photo: Jonathan Wong

An initial investigation found that the body in the suitcase had been there for three to four days and had started to decompose.

"We believe the woman had been dead for quite some time," said Wan Siu-hung, Wan Chai assistant district commander for crime.

He said the time gap between the discovery of the bodies was because police had to follow strict procedures to collect the evidence in the living room before searching the balcony.

A small quantity of cocaine was found in the living room. "We are investigating whether [the suspect] was under the influence of illegal drugs at the time of the incident," the source said.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London said: "We can confirm that a British national has been arrested in Hong Kong. We are in touch with the local police and stand ready to provide consular assistance."

Security was tight at the 40-storey block last night. One person who has lived at J Residence for about a year said he had noticed an odd smell recently. "There was a stink in the building like a dead animal," he said. "It was a shock because you would never expect something like this to happen in Hong Kong."

He said the building's occupants were mainly expatriates.

The murders are the latest in a series of shocking crimes the city has seen in recent months.

A police source said the scene of the murder in Wan Chai was among the grisliest seen since the so-called "milkshake murder" in 2003, when a high-flying American banker's wife served him a strawberry milkshake full of sedatives before bludgeoning him to death.

2014年8月18日 星期一

Police say anti-Occupy Central turnout was higher than July 1 march

MON Aug 18, 2014

Occupy Central
Police say anti-Occupy Central turnout was higher than July 1 march

Pro-Beijing alliance says turnout shows many Hongkongers are against civil disobedience campaign, despite claims of protest recruitment

Some of the crowd during yesterday's march against the Occupy Central movement. Police said 111,000 people took part although other estimates varied. Photo: K.Y. Cheng
Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets yesterday in protest at the threat by Occupy Central campaigners to paralyse Central and pressure Beijing into giving Hong Kong "genuine" universal suffrage.

Among those leading the march, organised by the pro-establishment Alliance for Peace and Democracy, were executive councillors Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, Cheung Chi-kong, Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung, and Cheng Yiu-tong.

There were also large numbers of mainland tourists and organised groups of elderly participants from leftist associations.

Watch: Hong Kong Pro-government marchers explain why they joined anti-Occupy Central rally

Shouts of "Against Occupy Central" echoed through the streets as the crowds marched from Victoria Park in Causeway Bay to Chater Garden in Central.

Police said about 111,000 people took part, compared with its estimate of roughly 98,600 for the pro-democracy march on July 1. The University of Hong Kong public opinion programme put the number at between 79,000 and 88,000, roughly half of its estimate for the July 1 march.

An initial estimate by the alliance put the figure at 193,000.

READ: United they stand - Anti-Occupy campaign rallies establishment camp

The protest was peaceful apart from some minor clashes between marchers and opponents. Four men aged between 36 to 58 were arrested. Another marcher threw eggs at radical People Power activists.

A statement from Hong Kong police said: "Police received several incident reports in the course of the event, including assault, criminal damage and a person throwing eggs." It added officers "handled the incidents in a fair and just manner".

Police estimated that more than 110,000 people left the march's starting point at Victoria Park. Photo: Nora Tam

Amid conflicting reports on the size of the crowd, rumours flew of participants being strong-armed into attending and of people being offered a free lunch or money. Many restaurants in the area reported full houses. Tour buses were also seen streaming into Victoria Park, reportedly bringing people from across the border.

Starry Lee Wai-king, an executive councillor and lawmaker from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said: "The turnout shows many Hong Kong people do not want to see Occupy Central happen. [The Occupy Central] activists have gone too far."

Mainlanders were said to have been brought in for the march. Photo: K. Y. Cheng
The march marked the end of the alliance's month-long petition campaign against Occupy Central during which nearly 1.5 million people signed, beating the 800,000 who voted in an unofficial referendum held in June by Occupy Central organisers.

Dr Chan Kin-man, an organiser of Occupy Central, said he respected the freedom of speech of the marchers. "I hope they can understand that Occupy Central will only be our last resort," he said.

A government spokesman said: "The [Hong Kong] government welcomes and supports all activities which take forward the implementation of universal suffrage for the chief executive election in 2017 in accordance with the law and opposes all unlawful acts which affect social order and the betterment of our people."

Dr James Sung Lap-kung, a City University political scientist, said that whatever the size of the march's crowd, it would not stop the Occupy Central movement.

Copyright © 2014 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd.
All rights reserved

2014年7月9日 星期三

2014年7月5日 星期六

明報網上版 Editorial The Occupy Central rehearsal

Editorial The Occupy Central rehearsal
【明報專訊】AFTER this year\'s July 1 march, some protesters, responding to the calls of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, staged a sit-in in Chater Road as a rehearsal of the Occupy Central movement. On the one hand, such a development indicates that things in Hong Kong have now reached a critical point, where violent clashes or bloodshed could happen anytime. On the other hand, we were deeply impressed by the professionalism and efficiency the police displayed in the clearing of the sit-in, which, as witnessed by journalists and broadcast live on television, was meticulously executed.

Some commentators are of the opinion that the Occupy Central movement is nothing to be afraid of, as the rehearsal did not turn violent. It is true that protesters wearing Guy Fawkes masks or surgical masks, who are active participants in mass demonstrations, were absent from the Occupy Central rehearsal. But no one can guarantee that they will not show up next time. These protesters, or other people bent on radicalism, could turn up anytime and stir up trouble under the pretext of supporting the Occupy Central movement. It is an undeniable fact that these radicals have repeatedly staged "follow-ups" to mass demonstrations, which invariably ended in confrontations and clashes with police. The assertion that the Occupy Central movement will not turn violent, based on the observation that its rehearsal did not turn violent, simply does not hold water.

Despite their restraint in handling the demonstrators, the police have come under quite a lot of criticism. Participants in the rehearsal were brought to the Police College in Wong Chuk Hang. Some are complaining that they didn\'t have a chance to consult with their lawyers. Some say that they have been denied water and food. These are complaints the Independent Police Complaints Council should investigate. However, some people are saying that the protesters were peaceful and the police should not have dispersed them. Some even insist that the police should have waited until 8 o\'clock yesterday, when the protesters still at the scene, who were in their dozens, would have surrendered to demonstrate their willingness to honour their promise. We beg to differ.

First, the Hong Kong Federation of Students had declared that they would stay in Chater Road from midnight to 8 o\'clock the next day. No matter what the protesters called the event, there is little doubt that they were an unlawful assembly, as they had not sought the police\'s approval. Whether it was peaceful or violent is beside the point. Furthermore, had the police put off dispersing the crowd, what could they have done if the protesters broke their promise and refused to leave at 8 o\'clock? And let\'s not forget that the protesters were an unlawful assembly. The police officers would be considered these protesters\' accomplices had they taken the "promise" seriously. We don\'t see why the police should have done that.

Those who have leveled criticism at the police include members of the Legislative Council and influential opinion leaders. Their freedom of speech must be respected. However, they should understand that things are now very sensitive at the moment and that their opinions carry weight. They should endorse what is right and denounce what is wrong. It is irresponsible for them to make comments out of political considerations, political necessity, or political interest. For this will mislead Hong Kong people and add uncertainty to Hong Kong\'s already precarious situation.

明報社評 2014.07.03﹕事關香港命運安危 支持警隊依法履行職責




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2014年7月3日 星期四

2014年6月1日 星期日

Tower block murder suspect 'kills himself' after shooting drama leaves one other dead

Tower block murder suspect 'kills himself' after shooting drama leaves one other dead

Two members of the "Flying Tigers" police special duties are waiting to climb into the flat when several flashes and smoke are seen from inside the flat. Photo: Dickson Lee

A jobless ex-convict shot himself dead 12 hours after he was suspected to have killed an air-conditioning technician neighbour, in a drama that saw the firing of seven gunshots and 20 rounds of teargas and stun grenades in the Kowloon Bay public housing estate.
A police source told the South China Morning Post said mental illness was among their lines of investigation and they were probing more on the background of the gunman, Lee Tak-yan, 51, and whether he knew the victim, Li Kai-chung, 43. Both lived in Lok Ching House of Kai Ching Estate, which was only completed last August.
“At this stage, [a] mental problem is one of the possibilities” the source said, adding the gunman, who was later found to have possessed two guns at his flat, was released from jail last year for a non-triad related wounding case in 2011 in Tin Shui Wai.
Both Lee and Liu had a wife on the mainland. Liu, an air-conditioning technician, is survived by his wife in Zhuhai and a five-year-old son who lives with his sister in Hong Kong.
Drama unfolded around 11.20pm on Saturday night when residents of the Lok Ching House heard arguing followed by three gunshots and discovered the man dead on the 21st floor lift lobby.
Watch: Man believed to be suspect of Hong Kong tower block killing sent to hospital
The source told the Post that the CCTV footage showed the gunman taking the lift with Liu and other residents.
“CCTV footage showed they did not have any conversation inside the lift,” the source said.

Liu walked out onto the 21st floor and Lee followed. Residents called the police after hearing gunshots.
Police said an initial examination showed two shots hit Liu in the chest and one in his back. Three 7.62mm-calibre empty cartridges were found at the scene.
The source said the CCTV footage of the lift and security guards helped indentify the suspect. Lee was believed to have taken the staircase back to his 10th floor home as the footage did not show him taking the lift after the shootout.
“Special equipment was used to spy inside his flat to ensure that Lee was alone inside and no one was taken hostage,” the source said.
The police cordoned off the 10th floor in the morning and phoned residents there to stay indoors and lie on the ground.
Shortly before 11am, the suspect fired two shots at the police, who returned one shot. No one was hurt.
Lee then clambered onto a window ledge and pointed a gun at his own head for less than one minute, as more than 150 officers wearing body armour surrounded the building.
A fourth gunshot was heard from the flat at around 11.13am.
Smoke and sparks were seen as officers fired over 20 rounds of teargas and stun grenades to break into the flat about 30 minutes later. A pair of ’Flying Tigers’ special duties officers slid down ropes from a flat above and entered the apartment.
The suspect was found lying unconscious in the flat, and was then rushed to the United Christian Hospital where he was declared dead.
Watch: Police ask reporters to take cover after fresh gunshots heard in Hong Kong Tower
Police believe Lee killed himself with a 7.62 calibre pistol, which is believed to be different from the one he suspected to have used to kill Liu as the bullets found were of different length.
Lee was released from prison in 2012 and moved into the Kai Ching estate last August. He had divorced his first wife and remarried, with his current wife living in China. He had no previous record of psychiatric illness.
All residents entering and leaving the building were searched by police officers in the lobby on Sunday morning.
"Do I need to get myself one of those bulletproof vests too?" asked one resident, surnamed Chan, when told by neighbours that the assailant may still be hiding in the building.
The 67-year-old who lives on 33/F said he had not heard any gunshots last night and thought the Kai Ching Estate was a safe neighbourhood.
When asked whether the police had taken enough precaution in re-opening the building on Sunday morning allowing residents to enter and leave, Chau said: “When we confirmed which floor the suspect was living in, we closed all passages to that floor. It was safe for other residents to go freely in and out [of the building].”
One resident of the building said he had heard the voices of quarelling men both before and after last night’s shooting.
Liu lived alone in a flat on the floor where he was found.
He moved in last December, said Chau. Police officers found nothing illegal in his flat and nothing is believed to have been taken. He is not thought to have had a triad background.
“We so far believe and suspect that the incident may be related to his background and whether he had contracted any enmity. We are investigating in this direction,” said Chau.
He added that police were also looking into whether the shooting may be related to his work or whether he had committed any crime.
One male resident who had children said he was very scared. “I heard quarrelling noises, they were very loud and were still shouting after the gunshots.”
Another man living nearby said, “I heard three shots – bang, bang, bang… I think they were around two to three minutes apart.”
Residents of the public housing estate complained that they had not been kept informed about the incident.
A resident who lives on the eleventh floor, one story above the gunshot scene, said police gave no information to them about the operation.
"I heard officers walking and talking outside my house this morning," said the man surnamed Lau, who moved into the block in November. "But I've received no calls so far from [the police] to tell me to stay at home whatsoever."
He said he received information from TV news.
He lived in the flat with his wife and daughter and said he didn't know his neighbours, but public security of the block was generally "acceptable".
Another resident, 24-year-old Sandy Lam Yung-yin who lives on the 30th floor, said no one had called her to tell her what to do.
"I called the estate management office and only got told to stay home. Many elderly people live next door and they didn't know what happened," she said.
Lam added that the public security of the block was sometimes unsatisfactory.
"There's sometimes only one security guard monitoring the whole building. When's he's away patrolling, the main  entrance will be left unguarded," she said.
But she added that she has seen no suspicious people wandering around on the estate since she had moved in last November.
Many residents of Kai Ching Estate either live alone or are new immigrants from the mainland, said a resident surnamed Wong, who was among the first batch to move into the building last summer.
"We [local Hongkongers] are the minority here," she said. "Many residents here are very hot-tempered and I often hear noises downstairs when some swear loudly at night when they forget the door passcode."
Investigations by the Regional Anti-triad Unit of Kowloon East are under way. Police are calling on anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information to offer to contact the investigating officers on 2726 6272.

2014年5月23日 星期五

2014年5月22日 星期四