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Ghislaine Maxwell’s Brother Accuses Prison Guards of ‘physical Abuse’ As She Awaits Trial

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The brother of Ghislaine Maxwell has told Sky News he believes prison officers have “physically abused” his sister and her treatment in a New York jail is a “fundamental abuse of human rights” that is “designed to break her”.

In his first UK TV interview, Ian Maxwell said US authorities have mounted a “disinformation campaign” against her.

He also raised concerns over whether she would receive a fair trial.

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(L) Ghislaine Maxwell in 2014. In April this year, a photo of her with a ‘black eye’ was released by her lawyer

The British socialite and former girlfriend of paedophile Jeffrey Epstein is awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking, which she denies. She is accused of procuring teenage girls for Epstein to sexually abuse.

In April, Ms Maxwell‘s lawyers released an image which appeared to show her with a black eye.

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“I don’t see Ghislaine administering a black eye to herself,” Mr Maxwell said. “I think she has suffered some occasional physical abuse at the hands of her guards. Yes.”

Mr Maxwell also suggested his family would mount a legal challenge under human rights legislation.

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“We are going to take it to the UN,” he said. “Take it from me. America has to be held to account, and it will be.”

A spokesperson for the US Federal Bureau of Prisons said: “We are committed to ensuring the safety and security of all inmates in our population, our staff, and the public.

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Ghislaine Maxwell has not been seen in public for weeks

“The BOP takes allegations of staff misconduct seriously and consistent with national policy, refers all allegations for investigation, if warranted.”

Epstein, a wealthy financier and convicted sex offender, took his own life in jail in 2019. He was awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.

Mr Maxwell believes Epstein’s death was a failure of the US judicial system, and his sister is now being blamed.

He said: “There has just simply been a transference of presumed guilt on the part of Jeffrey Epstein without any corroborating evidence. Just simply because she had a relationship.

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Maxwell was a former girlfriend and friend of paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who died in jail in 2019. Pic: Sky UK

“He then dies, and they’ve got to find someone to pay the price.”

Mr Maxwell believes the US authorities are responsible for a “disinformation campaign” against his sister.

“We start with a press conference designed to be prejudicial,” he said. “And then we have for the last two or three years a whole plethora of news programmes, documentaries and so forth, which are entirely one-sided.

“There isn’t any possible other way of viewing this, other than the way the accusers have set it up, and their attorneys, and that strikes me as a campaign designed to prejudice my sister in the eyes of the public.”

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Ian Maxwell, brother of Ghislaine Maxwell, speaks to Sky News

The Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York declined to comment.

Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyers have previously claimed their client has lost hair and over 15 pounds in body weight during her incarceration.

Mr Maxwell believes his sister’s treatment in prison has made it more difficult to prepare her defence, and questioned how Harvey Weinstein, Derek Chauvin and Bernie Madoff could all be granted bail pre-trial, yet his sister’s applications be repeatedly denied.

“It’s designed to break her,” he said. “That is just unjust. It is a fundamental abuse of human rights. And I find that quite shocking.”

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“And I think that your viewers, if they are honest, should also find it shocking. Imagine if it was their mother or their sister or their daughter in the same position as my sister. You don’t think you’d kick up a hell of a fuss about it?”

A US federal judge has repeatedly ruled Ghislaine Maxwell poses a flight risk. Prosecutors cited her citizenship in three countries and significant wealth as factors as why bail should be refused.

With one month until Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial, her brother believes her reputation has been “comprehensively trashed” and is concerned she may not receive a fair trial.

“In the court of public opinion…. it seems to me that Ghislaine has already been convicted and the punishment that she is having meted out to her in prison as a pre-trial detainee is precisely what it is. Punishment prior to conviction.

“You are innocent unless and until you are proven guilty.

Maxwell and Epstein: New documentary tells story of the socialite who became sex offender’s shadow

“But the mountain of allegations made against it and broadcasted and loud hailered around the world is so great, that I have to really ask myself, are we going to get a fair trial?”

Mr Maxwell has his own memories of court: he was acquitted of fraud alongside his brother Kevin in a high profile 1996 trial.

The legal action followed the death of their father, the disgraced newspaper owner Robert Maxwell.

Mr Maxwell said he has not spoken to his sister since her arrest, and he would be “shocked” if she was found guilty, but said she would likely appeal.

Jill Greenfield, a lawyer who represents some of Epstein’s alleged victims in the UK, said she had confidence in the US legal system and the trial was a vital opportunity for Ms Maxwell’s accusers.

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Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in New York. Pic: Patrick McMullan 1995/Sky UK

“I think any alleged victim of a sexual assault will very painfully recount their memories of what happened to them.

“But by doing so they speak openly about something where they were, as they see themselves, a victim.

“And I think that can be quite cathartic for that alleged victim and [an] important part of the process to recovery.

“Standing up to an accuser in any sense is a really hard thing for someone to do and to be given and enabled to do that, through a court process, is really important.”

Ghislaine Maxwell is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. Her trial is due to begin on 29 November.

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Original Source: news.sky.com

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A Historic Night for Barbados and the Role of the Royal Family

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The crowds were strictly restricted due to the COVID pandemic, and despite the efforts and enthusiasm of the bands and dancers the atmosphere seemed muted in National Heroes Square, once known as Trafalgar Square.

But as the ceremonial events got under way the significance was striking, a historic night for Barbados and the role of the Royal Family.

There was a series of symbolic moments: the Prince of Wales closing almost 400 years of royal history inspecting one last military march past; the standard lowered for the final time; and the new president, Dame Sandra Mason, stepping forward to take her new role just seconds after the clock struck midnight.

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Rihanna ‘national hero’ of Barbados

Barbados had made that final step out on its own, now a republic.

In the distance you could hear the crowds clapping as the president entered the square.

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There were a few cheers for Prince Charles as his car swept past them, but the loudest cheer was for Barbados’s biggest star Rihanna, as she tried to make a subtle appearance during the middle of the proceedings.

And with the cheering and the fireworks lighting up the sky you could be led to believe this was a moment of celebration for all Barbadians.

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Yes, independence day always brings parties, but the move to a republic isn’t without controversy.

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‘Atrocity of slavery forever stains our history’

There was no referendum about it, and in the crowds it wasn’t difficult to find those who thought they should have had their say, others who don’t understand what this new status means for them, as well as those who for decades have fought to cut the colonial ties.

While it will remain a member of the Commonwealth, now it will be up to Prime Minister Mia Mottley to more forcefully take Barbados to the world stage, hammer home the need for greater support on the matters of COVID and the climate crisis.

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President Sandra Mason, singer Rihanna and Prince Charles during the transition ceremony

This is not a completely fresh slate, there are still matters around reparations and the legacy of the slave trade to deal with.

Prince Charles at least acknowledging the appalling ways hundreds of thousands of enslaved Africans were treated, going some would say further formally in his comments than any other member of his family in the past.

He too reiterated that message that this is a new chapter for Barbados. And it was encouraging to see that at the helm a female prime minister and a female president are now helping to write that future.

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Original Post: news.sky.com

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Rihanna Declared a ‘national Hero’ As Barbados Celebrates Becoming a Republic

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Barbadian singer and businesswoman Rihanna has been declared a national hero by the country’s prime minister.

The 33-year-old was awarded the honour by Mia Mottley during an event to celebrate the island nation becoming a republic.

“On behalf of a grateful nation, but an even prouder people, we therefore present to you the designee for national hero for Barbados, ambassador Robyn Rihanna Fenty,” the PM said to a jubilant crowd in the capital, Bridgetown.

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The singer was awarded the honour as the Caribbean island celebrated becoming a republic

“May you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honour to your nation by your works, by your actions.”

Rihanna was born in Saint Michael and raised in Bridgetown, before moving to the United States after she was discovered by New York-based music producer Evan Rogers.

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She has since gone on to become one of the biggest artists in the world, as well as starring in movies including Battleship and Ocean’s 8, and launching her own fashion brand, Fenty, in 2018.

Since 2018, Rihanna has had the honorary title of Ambassador for Culture and Youth in Barbados.

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In 2008, former prime minister David Thompson declared 22 February “Rihanna Day” – and although it is not a bank holiday, Barbadians celebrate it every year.

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Prince Charles was invited to speak at the transition ceremony

The latest honour was awarded to the star from her homeland as it celebrated becoming a republic – 55 years after gaining independence from the UK.

In a message to the people of the Caribbean island, the Queen sent her “good wishes for your happiness, peace and prosperity in the future” and emphasised the importance of the “continuation of the friendship” with the UK as she ceased to be their monarch.

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Rihanna joined the ceremony in Bridgetown

Prince Charles was invited to speak at the transition ceremony formalising the move.

Speaking in front of a crowd in National Heroes Square in Bridgetown, once known as Trafalgar Square, he said: “From the darkest days of our past, and the appalling atrocity of slavery, which forever stains our histories, the people of this island forged their path with extraordinary fortitude.

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There was singing and dancing during the celebrations

“Emancipation, self-government and independence were your way-points. Freedom, justice and self-determination have been your guides.”

Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as the island’s first-ever president.

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Source: news.sky.com

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Prince Charles Acknowledges ‘appalling’ History of Slavery As Barbados Becomes a Republic

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The Prince of Wales has formally acknowledged “the appalling atrocity of slavery” in the Caribbean, saying “it forever stains our history” at an event to mark Barbados becoming a republic.

Prince Charles was invited to speak at the transition ceremony formalising the Caribbean island’s decision to remove the Queen as its head of state.

Speaking in front of a crowd in National Heroes Square in Bridgetown, once known as Trafalgar Square, he said: “From the darkest days of our past, and the appalling atrocity of slavery, which forever stains our histories, the people of this island forged their path with extraordinary fortitude.

“Emancipation, self-government and independence were your way-points. Freedom, justice and self-determination have been your guides.”

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Prince Charles celebrated the UK’s relationship with Barbados in his speech

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Performers provide entertainment as part of the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony in Bridgetown

A 21-gun salute was fired just after midnight when the nation officially became a republic, marking a new chapter in the nation’s history.

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The prince, who described how “the creation of this republic offers a new beginning”, watched as the Queen’s standard was lowered for the final time.

He described how he felt “deeply touched” to be invited to the event, held on the nation’s 55th anniversary of independence from Britain, and spoke of his great personal respect for the people of Barbados.

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He added: “Tonight you write the next chapter of your nation’s story, adding to the treasury of past achievement, collective enterprise and personal courage which already fill its pages.

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Members of the Barbados armed forces carry the presidential colours

A new chapter

“The creation of this republic offers a new beginning, but it also marks a point on a continuum – a milestone on the long road you have not only travelled but which you have built.”

In a message to the people of the Caribbean island, the Queen sent her “good wishes for your happiness, peace and prosperity in the future” and emphasised the importance of the “continuation of the friendship” with the UK as she ceased to be their monarch.

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Rihanna ‘national hero’ of Barbados

Barbados’ decision to remove the Queen as head of state will be watched closely by other members of the Commonwealth, especially in the Caribbean region.

Prince Charles’ speech referenced the UK’s close relationship with Barbados and a continuing partnership between the two nations.

“As your constitutional status changes, it was important to me that I should join you to reaffirm those things which do not change,” Prince Charles said.

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Dame Sandra Mason is now president of Barbados

“For example, the close and trusted partnership between Barbados and the United Kingdom as vital members of the Commonwealth; our common determination to defend the values we both cherish and to pursue the goals we share; and the myriad connections between the people of our countries – through which flow admiration and affection, co-operation and opportunity – strengthening and enriching us all.”

After a dazzling display of Barbadian dance and music, Sandra Mason was sworn in as Barbados’ first ever president.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley, the leader of Barbados’ republican movement, helped lead the ceremony.

Barbadian singer Rihanna also attended the event and was declared a national hero.

“May you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honour to your nation by your works, by your actions,” Ms Mottley told Rihanna, a reference to her 2012 chart-topping single Diamonds.

The transition ceremony was watched in-person by a large crowd, and broadcast online and on screens across the island.

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Source: news.sky.com

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