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.
(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.
“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.
“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.
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.
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.”
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.”
“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.
“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.
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.
Original Source: news.sky.com
WHO Estimates 15m People Have Died Directly or Indirectly From COVID – More Than Double Official Death Toll
The World Health Organisation estimates that 15 million people worldwide have now died of coronavirus – or as a result of its impact on health services.
WHO data shows the number of excess COVID mortalities to be somewhere between 13.3 million and 16.6 million people from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2021. This is more than double the official death toll of around six million.
Excess mortality refers to the number of people who have died of the virus either directly or indirectly by being unable to access health services for other conditions.
The figures were compiled using country-reported data and statistical modelling, the WHO said.
There were 14.9 million excess deaths associated with COVID-19 by the end of 2021, the UN body said on Thursday.
Most excess COVID deaths (86%) happened in Asia, Europe and the Americas, according to the figures.
Middle-income countries accounted for 81% of deaths, with 28% occurring in upper-middle-income countries and 4% in low-income ones.
Some 68% of all excess deaths worldwide happened in just 10 countries.
There was a higher rate for men (57%) than there was for women (43%), with more excess deaths among the elderly than younger generations.
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WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus commented: “These sobering data not only point to the impact of the pandemic but also to the need for all countries to invest in more resilient health systems that can sustain essential health services during crises, including stronger health information systems.
“WHO is committed to working with all countries to strengthen their health information systems to generate better data for better decisions and better outcomes.”
Original Source: news.sky.com
Pope Francis Seen Using Wheelchair for the First Time for Mobility Reasons
The Pope has been pictured using a wheelchair – the first time he’s used one in public due to the knee pain that’s made it hard for him to walk and stand.
Francis, 85, was wheeled on stage and helped into a seat during an audience with a group of nuns and religious superiors from around the world at the Vatican.
He appears to be having a flare-up of sciatica, a nerve condition he suffers with that he’s called his “troublesome guest”.
The Pope has had to cancel or cut short activities several times in the last month because of pain in his right knee.
He was pictured in a wheelchair last July after major intestinal surgery, but this is believed to be the first time he’s used one in public due to his mobility problems.
Before Thursday’s event, he was able to walk the roughly 10 metres or so from the side entrance of the stage to his seat with some help.
He recently received some injections to try to relieve the pain but has continued to struggle.
His impaired movement was apparent over Easter when he attended but did not take charge of masses at St Peter’s Basilica, instead delegating a cardinal or archbishop to preside.
During a trip to Malta in April he was also pictured using an elevator platform to get on and off the plane.
Original Article: news.sky.com
Woman Pulled Alive From Rubble Six Days After Building Collapsed
A woman has been found alive in the rubble of a building that partially collapsed almost six days earlier, Chinese state media has said.
The unidentified woman has become the 10th survivor and was rescued shortly after midnight today, about 132 hours after the rear of the six-storey building suddenly caved in, the official Xinhua News Agency has reported.
The woman was conscious and told rescuers how to pull her out without causing further injury, Xinhua added.
Teams had used dogs and hand tools as well as drones and electronic life detectors in the search.
All the survivors were reportedly in good condition after being treated in a hospital and it is thought intermittent rain showers over the last few days may have helped their chances of survival without food or water.
At least nine people have been arrested in relation to the collapse of what Xinhua has described as a “self-built building”.
This includes its owner, on suspicion of ignoring building codes or committing other violations.
Three people in charge of design and construction were also held, along with five others who allegedly gave a false safety assessment for a guest house on the building’s fourth to sixth floors.
The building also housed residences, a cafe and shops.
An aerial photo shows the site of the collapsed residential building in Changsha, central China’s Hunan Province
There has been increase in the number of collapses of self-built buildings in recent years.
Last month, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for additional checks to uncover structural weaknesses.
Following the building collapse at the weekend, he urged for more victims to be found in the rubble “at all costs”.
Poor adherence to safety standards, including the illegal addition of extra floors and failure to use reinforcing iron bars, is often blamed for similar disasters.
China also suffers from decaying infrastructure such as gas pipes that has led to explosions and collapses.
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