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The victim of Roman Polanski's sex assault 40 years ago is going to appeal directly to a judge to end the long-running case against the fugitive director, his lawyer said Thursday.

Samantha Geimer, 13 at the time of the crime, has long supported Polanski's efforts to end the legal saga that limits his freedom, but Friday will be the first time she's appeared in Los Angeles Superior Court on his behalf, attorney Harland Braun said.

"She's tired of this case," Braun said. "The judge is just playing games with him."

The Oscar-winner has been a fugitive since he fled to France in 1978 on the eve of sentencing for the crime of having unlawful sex with a minor. Prosecutors dropped charges that he drugged, raped and sodomized the girl.

Polanski feared the judge was going to renege on a plea agreement and send him away for more time than the six weeks he served in prison during a psychiatric evaluation prior to sentencing.

His lawyers have been fighting for years to end the case and lift an international arrest warrant that confined him to his native France, Switzerland and Poland, where he fled the Holocaust.



A man who leased the Oakland warehouse where 36 people died in a massive fire appeared briefly in court on charges of involuntary manslaughter.

Derick Almena had been expected to enter a plea Thursday but his attorney asked to delay the arraignment.

A judge ordered the 47-year-old Almena to return June 15 when co-defendant Max Harris is expected to make his first appearance on the same charges.

Officials say the warehouse was illegally turned into living spaces and an unpermitted concert was held there on the night of the fire in December.

Almena's attorney Jeffrey Krasnoff said his client is being used as a scapegoat and plans to fight the charges. Harris doesn't have an attorney yet.


Montenegro's higher court on Thursday confirmed prosecution indictments against 14 people, including two Russians charged with masterminding a coup attempt aimed at preventing Montenegro from joining NATO.

Russian nationals Eduard Shishmakov and Vladimir Popov have been indicted with various criminal offenses, terrorism and acts against the constitutional order of Montenegro, a court statement said.

The two alleged members of Russia's military security agency had reportedly operated from neighboring Serbia with sophisticated spying equipment. They have returned to Russia and are beyond the reach of Montenegro's judiciary.

Shishmakov was a deputy military attaché at the Russian embassy in Warsaw, but was declared persona non grata in Poland in June 2014 because it was believed that he was involved in spying.

The other 12 suspects, mostly Serbs, allegedly planned on the election day in October to take over parliament in the capital of Podgorica and kill then-Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic.

Among the indicted suspects are two top Montenegrin opposition officials who have made frequent visits to Moscow before and after the alleged coup attempt.

"This is a political process against fierce opponents of NATO," said opposition leader Milan Knezevic, who was indicted. Montenegro, once a Russian ally, formally became the 29th member of NATO on Monday, despite Moscow's strong opposition.


Judges on Brazil's top electoral court are in their third day of proceedings of a case that could cost President Michel Temer his job.

The judgment phase of the trial was supposed to last three days, with a vote expected Thursday. However, the court already has scheduled sessions for Friday and Saturday in case they are necessary.

At issue is whether the 2014 campaign of President Dilma Rousseff and her running mate Temer received illegal financing. Temer took over last year when Rousseff was removed for illegally managing the federal budget.

If a simple majority on court votes that the ticket did receive illegal funds, the victory would be annulled and Temer would be stripped of the presidency. However, Temer could appeal and has said he would do so.



A pot farm's neighbor can sue them for smells and other nuisances that could harm their property values, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling revives a lawsuit between a Colorado horse farm and a neighboring marijuana-growing warehouse.

The horse farm's owners, the Reillys, sued in 2015, claiming that the pot-growing warehouse would diminish their land's value by emitting "noxious odors" and attracting unsavory visitors. A federal district court dismissed the Reillys' claim, and the pot warehouse opened in 2016.

The horse farm owners appealed, and a three-judge appeals panel agreed Wednesday that their claims should be heard. But the judges said the Reillys can't sue Colorado to force the state to enforce federal drug law and not allow the pot warehouse in the first place.

The southern Colorado horse-vs-pot case is interesting because the horse farm owners are trying to use a 1970 federal law crafted to fight organized crime. The Reillys say that federal racketeering laws entitle them to collect damages from the pot farm, even though the pot farm is legal under state law.

"The landowners have plausibly alleged at least one (racketeering) claim," the judges wrote.

Pot opponents say the racketeering strategy gives them a possible tool to break an industry they oppose. It could give private citizens who oppose pot legalization a way to sue the industry out of business, even as federal officials have so far declined to shut down most pot businesses operating in violation of federal drug law.

"This is a tremendous victory for opponents of the marijuana industry," said Brian Barnes, a Washington-based lawyer who represents the Reillys on behalf of the anti-crime nonprofit group Safe Streets Alliance.

Owners of the pot warehouse, owned by a company called Alternative Holistic Healing, did not immediately return a call for comment Wednesday. An attorney representing them in the case could not be reached, either.

The case now goes to back to a federal district court that had earlier dismissed it.

The appeals panel handed pot opponents a defeat on another case Wednesday, however. The judges ruled that a lower court was right to dismiss a claim from a group of sheriffs in Colorado, Nebraska and Oklahoma, who had asked the federal court to block Colorado's pot law.


ECOT's reported enrollment of 15,000 Ohio students makes it one of the largest online charter schools in the U.S.

Democrats jumped on the court's decision to pile criticism on the school, which has struggled for years against attacks on its enrollment practices and student performance ratings.

"This sham, unaccountable school is a clear waste of taxpayer money and needs to be shut down," said Democratic gubernatorial candidate Betty Sutton. "The main thing that they seem to do well is shower Republican candidates and committees with political donations instead of educating children. Unfortunately, it is a symptom of a much larger disease facing Ohio's education system."

ECOT spokesman Neil Clark said the school didn't get a fair shake in court. He took particular aim at one of the three deciding judges, Gary Tyack, as being biased against the school, online learning and school choice.

"Today, Judge Tyack confirmed that he would put his agenda before the law," Clark said in a statement. "He is desperate to destroy ECOT and is unwilling to even wait for the judicial system to play out before advancing his vendetta."

Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor rebuked Tyack after oral arguments were held in the case before the state's high court. She wrote that his comments against the school, its founder and online education were derogatory, extrajudicial, unnecessary and unacceptable.

The school's efforts to revisit the issue of Tyack's impartiality came as it braced for Monday's important school board vote, which comes amid the long-running legal dispute over what attendance-tracking practices should be used to determine state funding.

A state hearing officer ruled against the school in its appeal of the state Education Department's determination that the school owes $64 million for enrollment that can't be justified due to lack of documentation.



Brazil's top electoral court on Wednesday returned to its examination of illegal campaign finance allegations that could force President Michel Temer from office, with much hinging on whether the judges throw out testimony that arose from plea bargains.

Defense attorneys were trying to exclude the damaging testimony against Temer and former President Dilma Rousseff by executives at the huge construction company Odebrecht. It is one of the businesses at the center of a sprawling investigation into kickbacks and bribes at the state-run oil company Petrobras, a scandal that has upended Brazilian life.

A simple majority among the seven judges will decide the question.

If the testimonies are allowed, Temer would be one step closer to being pushed out of office over allegations that the Rousseff-Temer ticket in 2014 was backed by illegal campaign contributions. Rousseff, who was impeached last year for illegally managing the government's budget and replaced as president by Temer, could lose her right to hold office for eight years.

Judge Herman Benjamin, who was named by the court to examine the case, began proceedings Tuesday evening with his analysis of the charges against the Rousseff-Temer campaign.

Hermann said the trial would be "based on facts, not on political convenience."

Rousseff asserts innocence as does Temer, who argues that his team was not responsible for fundraising.

The trial was expected to take at least three days, and there is no deadline for a final ruling by the seven judges. It is the first time in Brazil's history that a sitting president has risked having the job taken away by the electoral court.


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