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Canadian claims torture

OTTAWA -- Amnesty International says it supports the claims of a Canadian man who alleges he has been tortured while behind bars in the North African country of Mauritania.

Alex Neve, head of Amnesty's Canadian branch, said he believes the torture allegations made by 24-year-old Aaron Yoon, who has been in a Mauritanian prison since 2011 on terror-related charges, including a link to the January terrorist attack on an Algerian gas plant.

Neve said Yoon also told Canadian government officials who visited him in prison he had been tortured, so he wants to follow up with Ottawa about what they are doing about his case.

The Foreign Affairs Department declined comment Tuesday, calling the matter a national security issue.

Neve has just finished a 10-day trip to Mauritania where he repeatedly met Yoon, who denies all the terrorism charges against him and says he was tortured.

"I would say that his torture allegations were vivid and detailed," Neve told The Canadian Press on Tuesday, shortly after he arrived back in Canada.

"They're certainly credible and completely consistent with the wider pattern that we've known to be the case for quite some time in Mauritania. Torture is very commonplace during the early period of detention."

Yoon is accused by prosecutors of having links to the terrorists who attacked an Algerian gas plant in January in an incident that ended with the deaths of the 37 hostages and 29 terrorists. The terrorists included two Canadians from London, Ont., who were found dead at the plant after it was stormed by Algerian troops.


Jail for poker champ's ex

LONGUEUIL, Que. -- The ex-girlfriend of poker champion Jonathan Duhamel has been sentenced to 42 months in jail for her role in a home invasion, assault and robbery of her former beau.

Bianca Rojas-Latraverse had pleaded guilty to three of the five charges against her -- kidnapping, break and enter, and conspiracy to commit an armed robbery.

The attack on Duhamel took place on Dec. 21, 2011, at his upscale condominium south of Montreal. Men barged in through his front entrance and beat him before stealing a gold Rolex watch, his poker championship bracelet and $115,000.


Music pirate has to pay up

BOSTON -- A $675,000 verdict against a former Boston University student who illegally downloaded and shared songs on the Internet has been upheld.

A jury ordered Providence, R.I., resident Joel Tenenbaum to pay $22,500 for each of 30 songs after the Recording Industry Association of America sued him on behalf of four record labels.

Tenenbaum argued the $675,000 award violates his due process rights because it's not tied to the injury he caused. He estimates that to be no more than $450, or the cost of 30 albums.

A federal appeals court Tuesday found Tenenbaum's conduct was "egregious" because he illegally shared songs for years despite numerous warnings.


-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 26, 2013 A11

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