SINGAPORE: A man facing rape charges defecated in his pants on the way out of court to the washroom, smearing it on his shirt and leaving the courtroom with a sour smell in acts the judge called "malingering".
Isham Kayubi, 49, was taken to court on Tuesday (Jan 14) to face four charges of rape and two charges of sexual assault committed against two victims aged 14 at the time.
In his previous hearing in August last year, he urinated and flashed his penis in court.
The judge adjourned the hearing and he was taken for psychiatric assessment, which found him to be mentally sound.
On Tuesday, the hearing was delayed for more than an hour after Isham said he wanted to go to the toilet, soiling himself on the way.
He refused to be changed, and returned to court where he sat on a plastic sheet, flanked by officers with masks and gloves on.
Deputy Public Prosecutor James Chew said Isham should be issued a warning, asking him to refrain from any acts to obstruct further proceedings.
Justice See Kee Oon, who noted the morning's happenings with a grim face, said: "I also wanted to ascertain, just to be totally fair to the accused, that he has not exhibited any issues of control over his bowels."
The court heard that Isham gave no such indication, and there was no evidence of such issues.
"Now we have waited for over an hour to commence this trial today," said the judge. "I am still prepared to give you the benefit of doubt. I have asked the deputy public prosecutor to ascertain if there are any biological issues that need to be addressed, whether medically if there are issues that affect control of your bowels. I do not have any evidence of that at this stage."
When asked by a court interpreter whether he pleaded guilty or claimed trial, the unrepresented Isham said nothing, as he had previously done at last year's hearing.
"We will proceed on the basis that he is claiming trial," said the judge.
The judge said Isham's acts were "clearly contemptuous" and said relevant charges against him should be considered.
He asked the prison officers to check if the shackles Isham had on were sufficient to "prevent further antics of this nature".
“I cannot see how it is possible that faeces accidentally got onto his shirt. That appears to be deliberate in nature unless I am advised otherwise," said the judge.
HE ALLEGEDLY LURED TWO 14-YEAR-OLD GIRLS TO HIS HOUSE TO RAPE THEM
According to the prosecution's case, Isham was a part-time food deliveryman when he committed "a series of heinous sexual offences" against the two teenagers in a short span of time.
He lured the two girls to his house on false pretences, where he raped them, forced them to fellate him, and filmed the process, said Deputy Public Prosecutors James Chew and Jane Lim.
He is accused of raping one victim twice, on Oct 29, 2017, and Nov 3, 2017, after being introduced to her through an unidentified person at a void deck of her boyfriend's HDB block.
The girl agreed to help house-sit for him in return for a free mobile phone, and Isham took her back to his home on his motorcycle.
However, once there, he allegedly forced her to perform oral sex on him and raped her, threatening that he would call his friends to "gang-bang" her if she refused.
He filmed the assault on his phone and told her he would leak the videos if she told anyone about it, before sending her home with S$20.
APPROACHED THE SAME VICTIM AGAIN A FEW DAYS LATER
He approached the girl again in November 2017, approaching her with a long wooden object.
He said he wanted to talk to her about the events of their earlier meeting, before taking her home where he raped her again, said the prosecution.
The second victim had received a text message from Isham in September 2017, with Isham saying he had seen her at a birthday party, said the prosecutors in their opening address.
He offered the victim S$150 to clean his house, and took her home on his motorcycle when she agreed.
He raped her in his home and forced her to fellate him, again threatening to call his gang members if she refused.
He sent her home after with a helmet, a Bluetooth earpiece and S$20.
The prosecution intends to present video evidence retrieved from Isham's mobile phone of the attacks, as well as evidence from the first victim's boyfriend.
Forensic and DNA evidence will also be presented over the trial, showing that semen matching Isham's DNA profile was found in swabs from the first victim.
The trial continues in the afternoon, with the judge urging the court to have Isham changed out of his soiled clothes during the lunch break.
Isham had also smeared some of his faeces on the glass panel in the court during trial proceedings, with the judge asking the court interpreter if she would like a face mask.
If found guilty, he could be jailed for up to 20 years and fined or caned for each charge of rape.
SINGAPORE: A Singaporean man was found guilty on Tuesday (Jan 14) for financing terrorism in the first trial of its kind.
Imran Kassim, 36, was convicted of one count of funding Islamic State (ISIS) propaganda by sending S$450 to a man named Mohamad Alsaied Alhmidan in Turkey on Oct 31, 2014.
After a short trial that lasted only a few hours, District Judge Seah Chi-Ling found Imran guilty based on his statements to officers, his admissions in court, and a remittance advice and receipt.
He knew that the money would benefit ISIS, which is an entity within the Al-Qaeda list and clearly a terrorist entity, said the judge.
Imran admitted in his statements that he had sent the money in response to a Facebook post, as he believed the donation would benefit the page holder, whose work was to get support for ISIS.
He answered that he donated because it would "help spread support for ISIS", gather more supporters for ISIS, and raise awareness for ISIS.
The judge also responded to Imran's defence, which he said had two strands.
"First, he claims he is not subject to Singapore law, being subject instead to Islamic Sharia law," said Judge Seah. "The accused does not cite any authority in support of this submission."
He added: "This argument is clearly ... without basis in our laws, and I therefore reject the accused's argument."
Responding to Imran's allegations that there were inconsistencies and "gross exaggerations" in the way ISIS is portrayed, and that opponents of ISIS have themselves committed atrocities, the judge said that even if these facts were proven, his arguments were not a defence in criminal law.
The prosecution asked for a sentence of 32 to 33 months' jail, saying that while Imran was the first offender to claim trial for a terrorism financing offence, he was not the first to be prosecuted.
They listed aggravating factors including how Imran carried out the offence in a deliberate fashion, how he donated to "one of the most dangerous terrorist organisations in the world", and how he has displayed "no remorse".
"He does not recognise Singapore law, despite being a Singaporean who has enjoyed Singaporean citizenship his entire life," said the prosecutor.
"Even going so far as to say that he transferred the money to protest Singapore's participation in the war against ISIS."
Imran said he had nothing to say as he "said everything I had to say yesterday".
The judge adjourned sentencing to Tuesday afternoon.
Imran's family members, who declined to be named, told reporters after the conviction that they did not support Imran's actions, but stressed that he had decided not to mount a legal defence as he had purportedly been told by the Internal Security Department (ISD) that he would be detained indefinitely regardless of conviction.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had said in a statement when Imran was charged last year that Imran may be detained further under the Internal Security Act "if he remains a threat" after finishing his jail term if convicted.
"We are not supporting his actions in any shape or form," said a male family member. "It's very clear that he broke the law in (transferring the money)."
He said the family had not expected Imran's actions, and that they had not had physical contact with him for more than two years, touching his hand only briefly during the trial opening on Monday.
The penalties for providing property for the benefit of a terrorist or terrorist entity are a jail term of up to 10 years, a maximum fine of S$500,000, or both.
KYIV, Ukraine - A Ukrainian political analyst who was in Iran's capital for an international conference planned to head home when it was done, but then chose to stay one more day and do some sightseeing. The decision saved his life.
Andrey Buzarov told the Associated Press on Sunday that his original plan would have put him on the flight that Iran shot down by mistake last week, killing all 176 people on board.
"I found out within an hour after the crash. My friend, an Iranian, came to me and showed photos from local Iranian social networks; the media hadn't written yet, no one had information," Buzarov said.
His top concern was to let his mother know he was alive. But she lives in a rebel-controlled part of eastern Ukraine and communication with the region is difficult.
His mother uses Facebook, but that social network is banned in Iran.
Finally, he was able to make a Facebook post by using a virtual private network, or VPN, which creates encrypted links between computers, "and then she calmed down," he said.
Buzarov, a specialist in Middle East affairs and a consultant to the Ukrainian parliament, had been invited to Iran for an international conference run by the country's foreign ministry.
He was in Teheran when millions jammed the streets to mourn the death of Iran's top general, Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by a US strike in Iraq.
Iran accidentally downed the flight as it braced for possible American retaliation after firing ballistic missiles at bases in Iraq housing US forces. But no retaliation came.
The crowds of mourners showed "the colossal unity of the Iranians against the Americans. Many people craved revenge," he said.
"But when the events related to the plane took place, I saw that opinions changed."
The gravity of the crash took time to register with many Iranians, partly because little information was officially reported, he said.
"For the first hours, people did not realise the seriousness of the situation, and only in the evening when the data were published and the Iranians themselves realised that there was an absolute majority of ethnic Iranians (on the plane), then people began to understand this catastrophe," he said.
Most of those killed were Iranians and Iranian-Canadians.
Buzarov was able to return to Ukraine on Friday, getting a flight with Azerbaijan Airlines.
The next day, Iran admitted that one of its missiles had shot down the plane and Buzarov watched from afar as protests against the government gathered.
"Young people do not understand why they (Iran's government) did not immediately talk about it, if many knew that it was shot down," he said.
"These protests show a certain degree of mistrust on the part of the younger generation towards politicians inside Iran."
When she saw an object flying from an open-top lorry towards her motorcycle, she thought it was a piece of string.
Then Ms Ismawati Ali, 40, realised it was an iron pipe or rod - and it was heading towards her head.
She managed to duck her head out of the way while maintaining control of her 800cc Kawasaki Z800 motorcycle.
But the object struck her left shoulder, with the impact causing her to jerk backwards and the bike to wobble on the Pan-Island Expressway.
Fortunately, she managed to steady herself and continue riding towards Bukit Batok, where she was meeting a Carousell seller, on Thursday evening last week.
Ms Ismawati, 40, told reporters yesterday that the incident occurred when she was travelling at 75kmh on the right-most lane, about a car length's behind the lorry, which was in the centre lane.
It was laden with metal recyclables such as iron scraps.
The accountant said: "When the metre-long pipe flew towards me, I quickly bent down and it hit my shoulder really hard. My shoulder jerked sharply backwards.
"My bike wobbled a little, and I gripped the handlebars tightly to prevent it from going out of control."
Ms Ismawati, who posted about her close shave on Facebook on Saturday, added: "I was lucky because the pipe could have hit me on the head.
"I could have landed on the road and would most likely be run over by the car behind me."
The single mother of a 12- year-old girl, said: "The whole time I was praying, 'Please don't let me die.' I still have a daughter who depends on me."
By then, the lorry had vanished from view, and she continued riding to her destination.
"My mind was messed up and I didn't want to take any chances. I didn't want to risk another accident," she said.
Her shoulder was also throbbing in pain. But it was only when she felt something warm trickling down her arm did she suspect that she was bleeding.
Ms Ismawati said: "When I met the Carousell seller, she was shocked and asked me why my sleeve was wet."
SOAKED WITH BLOOD
She glanced down and saw a small tear on her dark purple blouse. The sleeve was soaked with blood. She decided to return home, which was a five-minute ride away.
But when she reached the foot of her block, she felt giddy and took a taxi to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital in Jurong East.
"The doctors showed me a picture of my cut and I thought it looked very deep and really bad," Ms Ismawati told reporters.
The wound needed about 12 stitches, which took 45 minutes to complete. An X-ray was also taken of her shoulder.
She was given a week of medical leave and kept for observation until she was discharged at about 3am the next day. She made a police report about the incident later that day.
This is not the first time Ms Ismawati was involved in an accident. When she was a Pizza Hut delivery rider about 17 years ago, she was flung off her motorbike in a collision with a car.
She broke her femur and needed to have a metal implant in her leg.
After this accident, Ms Ismawati - a seasoned rider of 20 years and also a former police officer - plans to downgrade from her current bike, which cost her about $18,000 about five years ago, to a scooter.
She said: "I've had enough of touring with the bike to Malaysia and Thailand. I just want to be safe now."
SINGAPORE - A woman was taken to hospital after she lost her balance and fell while collecting laundry at a fourth-floor flat in Whampoa Drive.
The police were alerted to a fall from height at Block 82 Whampoa Drive at 7.20pm on Saturday (Jan 11).
The woman, 27, was conscious when she was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
Investigations are ongoing.
Chinese-language evening newspaper Shin Min Daily News reported that the woman was a Vietnamese national who was staying at a friend's home with three other friends. The four of them were on holiday here.
She was scheduled to return to Vietnam on Sunday, but the accident has resulted in a delay.
"Although her head was bleeding yesterday, her head injury is not serious. However, her leg is fractured," the woman's friend told reporters on Sunday.
A pole was seen dangling from a laundry rack outside a second-floor flat, two storeys below the flat which the woman was staying in, suggesting it might have broken her fall, reported the paper.
NEW YORK: The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said on Thursday (Jan 9) it will join the probe into the Ukrainian Boeing airliner which went down in Iran.
In a statement posted on its Twitter account, the agency said it had "received formal notification" from Iran of the crash which occurred on Wednesday.
The plane, a US-made Boeing 737, went down minutes after takeoff from Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport, after Iran launched ballistic missiles at American military targets in Iraq in retaliation for the Jan 3 US drone strike in Baghdad that killed top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.
"The NTSB has designated an accredited representative to the investigation of the crash," said the US agency which probes transport accidents.
"The NTSB continues to monitor the situation surrounding the crash and evaluate its level of participation in the investigation," which will be led by Iran, the statement said.
"As with any investigation in which the NTSB is involved, the agency will not speculate about the cause of the crash."
"The NTSB has replied to our chief investigator and has announced an accredited representative," Farhad Parvaresh, Iran's representative at the International Civil Aviation Organization, part of the United Nations, told Reuters.
Canada, which had dozens of passengers onboard, has also assigned an expert, while a team from Ukraine held discussions in Tehran on Thursday, Parvaresh said in a telephone interview.
Iran is ready to provide consular facilities and visas for accredited investigators, he added.
Sweden and Afghanistan, which had some passengers on board, have also been notified. France may also be involved as it was one of the countries where the engines are made, Parvaresh said.
He denied US and Canadian claims that the jet had been shot down and said Iran was committed to a full and transparent investigation for the accident, adding it was too early to speculate on the cause.
"As Iranians we feel this tragedy and disaster for us and for the families," Parvaresh said, expressing condolences to the relatives of all 176 people who died when the Ukraine International Airlines jet crashed on Wednesday.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said earlier the jet was probably brought down by an accidental Iranian missile strike, citing intelligence from Canadian and other sources.
The US government believes Iran shot down the plane by mistake, three US officials told Reuters.
Parvaresh said expert testimony indicated that the aircraft could not have been hit by a missile and that it was important to keep the crash investigation non-political.
"I think we should keep this purely technical and not confuse it with political tensions in the region. We should leave it to experts to investigate and make their report," he said.
SINGAPORE: A Singaporean man has been charged in Australia for importing a childlike sex doll.
The 26-year-old, who is in Australia on a student visa, was arrested in Perth on Thursday (Jan 9) after border officials intercepted a parcel at an air cargo depot on Christmas Eve.
The parcel, shipped from China, was X-rayed and found to contain a silicone female childlike sex doll, said the Australian Border Force in a news release.
The man, who was not identified, was subsequently arrested and charged with importing the sex doll.
He was granted conditional bail and is due to appear at Perth Magistrates Court on Jan 17.
If found guilty of importing child abuse material, he could be jailed for 10 years, fined up to A$525,000 (S$486,500), or both.
Border force officers have seized increasing numbers of such imported sex dolls, which are an emerging form of child abuse material, said ABF Investigations Acting Commander Nicholas Walker.
“Dolls that are manufactured for a sexual purpose that depict a child under the age of 18 are classified as ‘objectionable goods’ and are prohibited from being imported into Australia," he said.
Tackling child abuse material is an "operational priority" for the force, he added.
The Australian government last year introduced legislation barring the possession of childlike sex dolls, with offenders facing up to 15 years in jail.
The definition of "child abuse material" in the country's Criminal Code was also amended to "put beyond doubt" that it is an offence to use the Internet to advertise or solicit, or use a postal service to send, a childlike sex doll, added ABF.
SINGAPORE: More than 760,000 Central Provident Fund (CPF) members are set to receive Home Protection Scheme premium rebates this month, in the first such rebate exercise in more than four years.
Rebates totalling S$640 million will be distributed to eligible members on the back of better than expected investment gains and lower than projected claims experience, said the CPF Board in a news release on Friday (Jan 10).
About half of those eligible can expect to receive at least S$500 from the rebate exercise.
Eligible CPF members will receive the rebate in their CPF Ordinary Account, which can be used to pay for future Home Protection Scheme premiums and other CPF-approved schemes.
Those who qualify will be notified of their rebate amount via SMS, e-mail or letter from mid January.
The amount will also be reflected under members' transaction history statement when they login on the CPF website.
The last such rebate exercise was in November 2015.
The Home Protection Scheme is a mortgage-reducing insurance scheme which aims to protect CPF members and their families from losing their HDB flat in the event of death, terminal illness or total permanent disability.
Members are covered for the period of the housing loan or until they reach the maximum cover age of 65, whichever is earlier.
MELBOURNE: Authorities issued new warnings and evacuation notices across southeast Australia on Thursday (Jan 9), as a return of hot weather fanned huge bushfires threatening several towns and communities.
A disaster level notice in large parts of Victoria state, already in place for the past week, was extended by 48 hours and people in danger zones were advised to leave if it was safe to do so.
"Don't get complacent from the rain we have had recently," Victoria Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville said in a televised briefing, referring to several days of cool weather that has allowed firefighters to strengthen containment lines around blazes that have been burning for months.
"These fires are absolutely still moving, still growing in our landscape and they pose significant risk to communities," Neville said.
Twenty-six people have died, thousands have been made homeless and thousands of others have had to evacuate repeatedly as the monster fires have scorched through more than 10.3 million hectares (25.5 million acres) of land - an area the size of South Korea.
Authorities have said the blazes will continue to burn, posing extreme danger at times of high temperatures and winds, until the country experiences significant rainfall.
The official weather agency on Thursday confirmed fears that there was no sign of that happening in the next few months as it released its annual report, which also showed that 2019 was Australia's hottest and driest year on record.
While there was some rainfall coming from the north it would not be enough to douse the bushfires raging in the country's southeast, the bureau said.
"While the rainfall will be welcome, we’re stopping short of saying that it’s going to be drought-breaking or really relieving the conditions we’ve seen," the Bureau of Meteorology’s manager of climate monitoring Karl Braganza told reporters at a briefing on its annual climate statement.
CLIMATE CHANGE TRENDS WILL CONTINUE
The current crisis was sparked into life following a three-year drought that has left much of the country's bushland vulnerable to fires.
Many towns were without power and telecommunications and some were running low on drinking water supplies. Smoke has blanketed Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, and drifted as far as South America.
Parts of Kangaroo Island, a wildlife-rich tourist spot off the country's southeast coast where Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday made a plea for foreign tourists not to be deterred by the fires, were again evacuated on Thursday. A third of the island has already been destroyed by fires.
The meteorology bureau said climate change and natural drivers, including warmer than normal waters in the Indian Ocean off Africa, had made 2019 Australia's hottest and driest year on record, with the highest ever forest fire danger rating.
The country had only 6 per cent of its typical annual rainfall last year, while daytime temperatures across were more than 2 degrees Celsius above normal.
"These are large departures that we saw in 2019, both in terms of how different they were to the average temperatures and rainfall that we see, but also compared to previous records as well," Braganza said.
He said these were part of longer term trends in temperature and fire weather that the bureau has observed. Rainfall has been tracked since 1900 and temperatures since 1910.
"Australia's getting warmer, the fire season's getting longer and the severity of the fire weather during that season is getting more frequent and severe," Braganza said.
"When we look at the projections that we do for climate change, certainly Australia should be preparing for those trends to continue."
The following are some highlights of what is happening in the bushfire crisis:
A student from Outram Secondary School was knocked down by a car at the junction of Clemenceau Avenue and Havelock Road on Monday.
A video depicting the incident which was circulated online shows the 15-year-old boy in white trousers crossing the junction while the green man is still flashing.
The car nearest to him slows down to let him cross, but a red Honda car on the next lane is seen driving ahead, colliding with the boy, causing him to flip and fall to the ground.
As seen in the video, the boy stands up moments after falling.
The police were alerted to the scene at about 7.10am and said the boy was conscious when he was taken to KK Women's and Children's Hospital.
Police investigations are still ongoing.
Outram Secondary School vice-principal Ellen Tan, 45, told reporters that the teenager has been discharged from the hospital and will be returning to school today.
She added that the school has arranged for a counsellor to tend to the boy during his recovery and will conduct a road safety talk during assembly as a reminder for students.