05 24 2016
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  • The judge concluded Officer Edward Nero played little role in the arrest and wasn't responsible for the failure by police to buckle Gray in  
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  • Bill Cosby faces a preliminary hearing Tuesday to determine if his criminal sex-assault case in suburban Philadelphia goes to trial.Prosecutors had declined to charge the comedian-actor over the 2005 complaint, but arrested him in December after his explosive deposition in the woman's lawsuit became public. In the testimony given in that deposition, Cosby is grilled about giving drugs and alcohol to women before sex; making secret payments to ex-lovers; and hosting Andrea Constand at his home. They knew each other through Temple University, where he was a trustee and she managed the women's basketball team. Bill Cosby's wife refused to answer dozens of questions during a combative deposition in a defamation lawsuit filed by seven women who say the comedian branded them liars after they accused him of sexually assaulting them, according to a transcript released Friday. Camille Cosby was subjected to intense questioning by the women's lawyer, who repeatedly pressed her to say whether she believes her husband "acted with a lack of integrity" during their 52-year marriage. The lawyer also asked if her husband used his position and power "to manipulate young women." Camille Cosby didn't answer those questions and many others after her lawyer cited marital privilege, the legal protection given to communications between spouses. She repeatedly said she had "no opinion" when pressed on whether she viewed her husband's behavior as dishonest and a violation of their marriage vows. About 50 women have publicly accused Bill Cosby of forcing unwanted sexual contact on them decades ago. Cosby has denied the allegations. He faces a criminal case in Pennsylvania, where prosecutors have charged him with sexually violating a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand. He has pleaded not guilty. Camille Cosby answered questions in the deposition Feb. 22 and again April 19 after her lawyers argued unsuccessfully to stop it. A judge ruled she would have to give a deposition but said she could refuse to answer questions about private communications between her and her husband. Camille Cosby's lawyer, Monique Pressley, repeatedly cited that privilege and advised her not to answer many questions asked by the women's lawyer, Joseph Cammarata. The exchanges between Cammarata and Cosby became testy at times, and she admonished him: "Don't lecture me. Just keep going with the questions." Using a transcript of a deposition Bill Cosby gave in a civil lawsuit filed by Constand in 2005 and a transcript of an interview she gave to Oprah Winfrey in 2000, Cammarata asked Camille Cosby about extramarital affairs her husband had. "Were you aware of your husband setting up trusts for the benefit of women that he had a sexual relationship with?" Cammarata asked. She didn't answer after her lawyer cited marital privilege. Cammarata asked her about Shawn Thompson, a woman who said Bill Cosby fathered her daughter, Autumn Jackson, in the 1970s. Jackson was convicted in 1997 of attempting to extort money from Bill Cosby to prevent her from telling a tabloid she's his daughter. He acknowledged he had an affair with her mother and had given her money. "Was it a big deal when this came up in the 1970s that your husband had — big deal to you that your husband had an extramarital affair and potentially had a daughter from that extramarital affair?" Cammarata asked. "It was a big deal then, yes," Camille Cosby replied. She said she had "no opinion" on whether her husband's admission he obtained quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex violated their marriage vows. Her lawyer objected and instructed her not to answer when Cammarata asked her if she ever suspected she had been given any type of drug to alter her state of consciousness when she had sex with her husband. A spokesman for the Cosbys declined to comment on her deposition. The Cosbys have a home in Shelburne Falls, an hour's drive from Springfield, where the lawsuit, seeking unspecified damages, was filed. An attorney handling a separate lawsuit against Bill Cosby revealed Friday that Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner provided sworn testimony Wednesday. In the sexual battery lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, Judy Huth says Cosby forced her to perform a sex act on him at the Playboy Mansion around 1974, when she was 15. Bill Cosby's former lawyers have accused Huth of attempting to extort him before filing the case and have tried unsuccessfully to have it dismissed. Huth's attorney, Gloria Allred, said Hefner's testimony will remain under seal for now. Hefner also was named as a defendant in a case filed Monday by former model Chloe Goins, who accuses Bill Cosby of drugging and sexually abusing her at the Playboy Mansion in 2008.   The Associated Press generally doesn't identify people who say they're victims of sexual abuse, but the women accusing Cosby have come forward to tell their stories.___AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report from Los Angeles.
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Egyptian President Mohamed MorsyThe trial of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy got off to a raucous start Monday, with a judge twice pausing what was supposed to be a brief opening hearing as Morsy and his co-defendants loudly spoke over him, rejecting the charges and claiming Morsy still was the rightful ruler.

And the recesses were hardly calmer -- while the judge was away, journalists who were calling for Morsy's execution argued with defense lawyers. A fight appeared to break out at one point, according to CNN's Sarah Sirgany, who was in the courtroom.

In the end, the judge adjourned the trial until January 8 so that lawyers could meet with their clients. But not before several wild scenes in the court, where more than 100 observers looked on.

Morsy helped set a tone of defiance when he walked in, wearing a suit as opposed to the white uniforms of his co-defendants. Throughout, he refused to recognize the court's legitimacy and made it clear he still considered himself President.

"I warn everyone that what's happening is a cover for the military coup," he said shortly after the judge entered the room the first time. "I don't want the great Egyptian judiciary to ever serve as a cover for the standing military coup."

The charges

Morsy appeared with seven co-defendants; seven others are being tried in absentia. The charges stem from protests last December 5 over a constitution he shepherded into effect. Egyptian authorities have accused Morsy and his staff of ordering supporters to attack protesters after guards and members of the Interior Ministry refused to do it.

Morsy, whom the military removed from office in a coup on July 3, is not among the 11 defendants accused of using force. The 11 are charged with killing three men, torturing 54 people and possessing weapons.

But Morsy is charged with treason, an offense punishable by death.

Defendants chant: 'Down with military rule'

Monday's proceeding was unruly even before it began. Before Morsy and the judge entered the room, some of his seven co-defendants chanted "down with military rule" and "Morsy is my President" from the dock.

Even some of the defense lawyers, who numbered more than 20, chanted, "the people support the resilience of the President."

Morsy became Egypt's first freely elected President in 2012 after the overthrow of longtime strongman Hosni Mubarak.

The military deposed him in July, with detractors saying he was a tyrant trying to impose conservative values. Supporters, including the Muslim Brotherhood, have said the coup was a power grab by the military and elements of the old Mubarak regime.

After Morsy made his statement at the start of Monday's proceeding, the judge addressed the lawyers, asking who was representing whom. When he asked who was representing Morsy, things broke down.

"I am Dr. Mohamed Morsy, the President of the republic," Morsy said. "The coup is a crime and ... treason."

This led to chaos, with a number of people -- lawyers, journalists, the judge -- trying to speak at once, and Morsy repeating himself to make sure he was heard.

With no one able to hear anyone clearly, the judge called a recess for more than an hour. Upon returning, the judge let the prosecutor present the charges. Several defendants responded to the charges by proclaiming they rejected the court.

The second recess came after more commotion, after Morsy alleged the court wasn't properly specialized to charge Egypt's President.

The judge never returned to the courtroom: He sent a court official after the second recess to announce the adjournment until January 8.

Pro-Morsy demonstrators outside court

Outside the police academy where the trial was being held, more than 100 pro-Morsy demonstrators faced a cordon of security forces behind barbed wire.

The demonstrators waved flags and chanted loudly against the military, which deposed Morsy four months ago, and against Egypt's interim government.

Some protesters attacked television news crews they claimed were not reporting the truth, but that incident was brief.

Several hundred people have died in clashes between pro-Morsy demonstrators and security forces since the military removed him.

Authorities have warned they will crack down on any violent protests tied to the trial.

Constitutional claim

Defense lawyer Mohamed El-Damaty told CNN that Morsy's team will argue that it is illegal under the constitution approved under Morsy to try a President without approval of two-thirds of the members of the parliament. The military suspended that constitution, but the court could honor it, El-Damaty said.

Morsy had been held at an undisclosed location since the coup. Amnesty International has described his detention as an "enforced disappearance." After Monday's hearing, Morsy will be taken to the Borg El-Arab prison in Alexandria, state-run TV reported.

State-run Al Masriya TV reported that Morsy was transported by military plane to the court. The other defendants were transported by military armored vehicles.

Who represents Morsy?

It wasn't immediately clear after Monday's proceedings whether Morsy will accept the lawyer provided to him, as accepting legal representation could be perceived as acceptance of the court and the trial.

Morsy's Islamist Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, assigned lawyer Mohamed Selim El-Awa to him. El-Awa argued Monday that the court doesn't have jurisdiction to try Morsy, and that Morsy was illegally held -- asserting that anything gleaned during his detention would be null and void.

Lawyer Rajia Omran, who represents victims of the December clashes, repeatedly argued that this isn't a political trial -- saying she'd been working on the case since December, months before Morsy's ouster.

CNN's Ian Lee reported from Cairo; Jason Hanna wrote from Atlanta. CNN's David Simpson, Yousuf Basil and Christine Theodorou contributed to this report.

 

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