Daily Archives: May 14, 2019

Brexit Party gearing up for landslide

Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party has jumped to a double-digit lead over its closest rival, Labour, in the upcoming European election, and has three times the support of the Conservatives, who continue to lose ground, a poll has found.

With the EU Parliament election, set for May 23, inching closer, Farage’s anti-EU party has taken pole position, leading with 34 percent thanks to a six-point increase in voter support from two weeks ago, a new Opinium poll commissioned by the Observer has revealed.

While the Brexit Party and Labour shared first place with 28 percent in the last poll, Jeremy Corbyn’s party has since lost seven points, while Farage’s newest political creation pulled ahead and is now separated from its closest rival by a 13-percent gap.

 

Theresa May can set ‘clarity’ on her resignation date in coming days – senior Tory backbencher

 

Support for the Tories continues to hurtle downward. According to the Opinium poll, Prime Minister Theresa May’s party is down three points and occupies fourth place with 11 percent, behind the Brexit Party, Labour and now the Liberal Democrats. The latter have gained five points and are now at 12 percent.

The Brexit Party is making similarly massive gains in general election polls. At 21 percent, it has almost caught up with the Tories, who have just one percentage point more.

While the Brexit Party is still trailing Labour in the national polls, the lead held by Corbyn’s party is by no means secure. Now at 28 percent, as it has lost five points in the last two weeks.

In light of Farage’s advance, high-profile Tories and Labour have been sounding the alarm over the rise of populism embodied by the Brexit firebrand.

In an op-ed published by the Observer on Saturday, former Labour PM Tony Blair urged Remainers to unite and stop Farage at any cost. “Farage cannot be allowed to dictate Britain’s future. He must be thwarted,” its headline says. Any party is better than the Brexit Party, Blair pleadingly writes.

Pro-EU Change UK is all at sea while Farage’s new Brexit Party flies high in polls

“There are unequivocal remain parties – Liberal Democrats, Change UK, Greens, SNP and Plaid Cymru. If, because of Labour’s equivocation, you simply won’t vote Labour, then vote for them.”

While some Tory MPs, dissatisfied with May’s failure to deliver Brexit, have indicated they might back Farage in the European election, and others like Telford MP Lucy Allan have openly endorsed the Brexit Party’s candidates, Tory chiefs warned MPs that they would be shown the door if they back anyone but their own party. The Sunday Times reported last month that a strong-worded email was sent to MPs noting that “campaigning for or endorsement of any other political party is incompatible with membership of the party.”

Meanwhile, pressure is mounting for May to step down following a calamitous performance in the local election, the worst for Tories since 1995. May vowed to step down as the party’s leader if her Brexit deal is passed by Parliament. Although that has not happened yet, she was called to clarify her resignation date in a meeting with backbench MPs next week.

The Opinium poll was taken online between May 8 and 10 and involved 2,004 respondents.

Cyprus: detention for confessed serial killer extended

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — A Cypriot army captain who confessed to killing seven foreign women and girls will remain in custody after a court on Monday approved a police request to extend his detention for another eight days.

Investigators need more time to collect testimony and other evidence as authorities continue to search for the bodies of two of the victims, police investigator YIannis Georgadjis told the court.

The 35 year-old suspect, believed to be Cyprus’ first known serial killer, faces charges including premeditated murder and kidnapping in the slayings of three Filipino women and the daughter of one of them, a Romanian mother and daughter and a woman believed to be from Nepal.

The killings appear to have taken place over a period of 2 ½ years starting in September 2016 with the disappearance of 36-year-old Romanian Livia Florentina Bunea, and her 8-year-old daughter Elena Natalia.

Police are accused of failing to properly investigate initial missing persons’ reports that may have prevented the suspect from claiming more victims. Revelations of what the Cypriot president called “negligence” on the part of some police officers led to the justice minister’s resignation while the police chief was fired.

The suspect, who authorities haven’t formally identified, faces an additional charge of raping a woman he contacted through a social media platform. The woman, who was 19 in early 2017 when the alleged rape took place, told police the suspect had sex with her against her will in his car when he picked her up supposedly to give her modelling photographs he took of her.

The suspect is denying the rape allegation. Wearing a bulletproof vest, he represented himself in court on Monday and said he didn’t object to his detention.

The chance discovery of the bound body of Mary Rose Tiburcio, 38, from the Philippines, down an abandoned mineshaft triggered an investigation last month that led to the suspect’s arrest.

The suspect confessed to seven killings in a 10-page handwritten note and took investigators to where he dumped some of his victims.

They include a poisonous lake that is part of a disused copper mine where he said he disposed of the bodies of Bunea, her daughter and another Filipino woman after placing them in suitcases. Divers have so far retrieved two suitcases from the lake and are continuing to search for a third.

A separate search is being carried out at another lake where the suspect said he dumped the body of Tiburcio’s 6-year-old daughter Sierra Grace.

Investigators said the suspect, who is divorced and has two children, had a six-month relationship with Tiburcio before she and her daughter vanished in May 2018.

Court issues fresh remand against self-confessed serial killer

The Nicosia district court on  Monday issued a fresh remand order against 35-year-old suspected serial killer Nikos Metaxas to allow police to continue investigations into premeditated murder, kidnapping, and rape.

The 35-year-old, who appeared before the court once again without a lawyer, was escorted by members of the counter-terrorism unit.

Requesting a fresh remand order, lead investigator Ioannis Yiorkadjis outlined the progress of the continuing investigation into multiple crimes connected with the suspect, which involve the murder of seven victims and one rape charge.

So far, police have taken 450 statements and collected 355 pieces of evidence. Some 100 additional statements remain to be collected, Yiorkadjis said. Police have also found a third car belonging to the 35-year-old, which he used in 2016. Authorities have also tracked down where the suspect found the cement blocks used to weigh down the body-containing suitcases into the red lake in Mitsero.

Yiorkadjis added that police are continuing investigations into Metaxas’ phone data, as well as into the allegation of rape of a Filipino woman in 2017, which the 35-year-old denied. In a previous hearing, Yiorkadjis had told the court that Metaxas handed police a 10-page handwritten confession, outlining six murders, five women and one child aged eight. He denied killing a second child, six, claiming she had choked on her own vomit.

Five bodies have so far been found at three locations, including a mine shaft in Mitsero, a toxic red lake near the mine, and a firing range in Orounta. On May 5, the second out of the three bodies that Metaxas told police he dumped in the red lake in suitcases was found by search crews.

The UK-based Cypriot state pathologist Andreas Marnerides, who was among the five-member team of British experts who had assisted in the investigations earlier in the month, participated in the post-mortem that was conducted on the retrieved body along with two other local state pathologists on Monday.

The body is believed to be eight-year-old Elena Natalia, daughter of Livia Florentina, 36, from Romania, whose body is believed to be that retrieved from the red lake on April 28.

Tissue was taken for histopathological examinations at the time while the post mortem will be continued at a later stage, police said.

Search crews continued scouring the red lake on Monday for a third suitcase, believed to contain 30-year-old Marricar Valdez Arguiola from the Philippines. The search for the suitcase ended unsuccessfully on Sunday, reportedly due to the limited visibility in the waters of the red lake as a result of the waist-high mud.

According to the Cyprus News Agency, should search crews fail to locate the third suitcase on Monday, the search will continue with an additional diver, as only one has entered the lake so far.

The sonar technology is also expected to return to the USA on Tuesday, as it has already provided search crews with underwater scans of both the red lake and Memi lake in the Xyliatos reservoir area, where Metaxas told police he dumped the body of six-year-old Sierra Graze Seucalliuc, which has yet to be found.

Sierra is the daughter of Mary Rose Tiburcio, 39, from the Philippines, whose body was the first of Metaxas’ victims to be found on April 14 in the Mitsero mine shaft. Mother and daughter Sierra went missing last May.

Last week, fire chief Marcos Trangolas announced that should the current search strategy fail to locate the two remaining bodies, a ground penetrating radar will be employed.

COMMENT

“The 35-year-old, who appeared before the court once again without a lawyer, was escorted by members of the counter-terrorism unit.”

This is worrying, whether he wants a solicitor or not, they are gathering too much without adequate legal representation. I don’t think people realise how important that is, because they may be setting themselves up for a shock.

The importance of good legal representation for the accused is to ensure that the prosecution is forced to prove their case, bare in mind that the burden of proof lays with the prosecution. In this instance, he should have been assigned the BEST legal representation possible, not to get him off, but to ensure that every step of the way, the prosecution is forced to account for their case and that every shred of evidence is gathered in accordance with the law and presented in accordance of the law, to ensure a safe conviction.

If this is not done, there could be a terrible shock down the road in the ECHR and for those who think otherwise, confessions CAN be revoked, they CAN be discredited and they CAN be thrown out. I just hope that in their hast to cover up their incompetence and negligence, that they do not end up with an unsafe conviction and rest assured, that despite the overwhelming evidence that we believe that they have, anything is possible if the case is not watertight….and they are dealing with PSYCHOPATH, I still wonder, is he confessing or misleading? I’m still not convinced.