9/11 quintet faces trial
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba - Almost seven years after terrorists hijacked airliners and used them as missiles to kill 2,973 people, five men who allegedly plotted the attacks were to face a military tribunal today.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the confessed mastermind of the Sept. 11 al Qaeda attacks, will be arraigned simultaneously with four other detainees inside a high-security courthouse at the remote U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Olmert ally indicted
JERUSALEM - An Israeli court has indicted the country's former finance minister on charges of embezzlement, fraud and money laundering.
Avraham Hirchson is charged with stealing about $755,000 from a workers union he headed in 2003.
Hirchson, a loyal ally of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, resigned last July to fight the accusations. The indictment comes as Olmert faces his own corruption investigation, which threatens to oust him from office.
Sex-harass lawyer accused
LOWELL, Mass. - A prominent women's rights lawyer has been sued for sexual harassment by a former female office manager at his Manhattan firm.
Lisa Brockington says in the lawsuit filed yesterday in Manhattan that Jack Tuckner asked whether she had three-way sex and asked her other questions about her sex life.
She also says that Tuckner "demeaned all the women who worked for him." The lawsuit asks for unspecified money damages.
Brockington says she "jumped" at the chance when Tuckner offered her a job in 2005 after he represented her in a workplace sex-bias case. She quit Tuckner's firm in January.
The firm bills itself as "dedicated to the empowerment of women in the workplace."
A call to his office after hours seeking comment was not immediately returned.
Obama fundraiser guilty
CHICAGO - A federal jury has found a prominent political fundraiser for Sen. Barack Obama and Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich guilty of 16 of 24 counts in his corruption trial.
Antoin "Tony" Rezko was accused of scheming to get bribes from businesses seeking state contracts.
The jury delivered its verdict yesterday after a nine-week trial.
Rezko has known Obama since he entered politics and was involved in a 2005 real-estate deal with the Democratic presidential candidate, although testimony barely touched on their relationship. Most of the focus was on shakedowns that prosecutors say Rezko arranged when he was a top adviser to Blagojevich.
Neither Blagojevich nor Obama has been accused of wrongdoing.
Political clan indicted
NEW ORLEANS - A brother, sister and niece of indicted U.S. Rep. William Jefferson were charged yesterday with pocketing more than $600,000 in state and federal grant money intended for charitable and educational projects.
A federal grand jury indicted New Orleans tax assessor Betty Jefferson, her brother, Mose Jefferson, and her daughter, Angela Coleman, on charges that include federal program fraud, identity theft and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said that the family members used several nonprofit and for-profit companies to obtain grants designed to help pregnant teens, at-risk youths and others in need of assistance. They allegedly deposited some of the grant money into personal checking accounts and used it for personal expenses.
With yesterday's indictment, four members of the politically prominent Jefferson family now face federal criminal charges.
Rep. Jefferson, 61, a nine-term Louisiana Democrat, was indicted last year on bribery charges. He is awaiting a trial in Virginia and has denied wrongdoing. The congressman wasn't named in yesterday's indictment, and faces a re-election campaign this fall.
Nine mob figures arrested
NEW YORK - A reputed acting mob boss and eight other suspected gangsters were arrested yesterday on federal charges accusing them of coast-to-coast Mafia crimes ranging from gangland hits and a fur-coat heist in New York in the early 1990s to a home invasion by police impersonators in Los Angeles in 2006.
Among those named in a racketeering indictment unsealed in Brooklyn were Thomas "Tommy Shots" Gioeli, who authorities say is the acting boss of the Colombo organized crime family. Three other defendants already behind bars also were charged, including 89-year-old John "Sonny" Franzese, identified as the family's underboss.
Gioeli, 55, pleaded not guilty to robbery, murder and extortion charges and was ordered held without bail. *