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Dutch motivational speaker Emile Ratelband may feel like a 49-year-old but according to Dutch law he is still 69.

A Dutch court on Monday rejected Ratelband’s request to shave 20 years off his age in a case that drew worldwide attention.

“Mr. Ratelband is at liberty to feel 20 years younger than his real age and to act accordingly,” Arnhem court said in a press statement . “But amending his date of birth would cause 20 years of records to vanish from the register of births, deaths, marriages and registered partnerships. This would have a variety of undesirable legal and societal implications.”

Ratelband went to court last month, arguing that he didn’t feel 69 and saying his request was consistent with other forms of personal transformation which are gaining acceptance in the Netherlands and around the world, such as the ability to change one’s name or gender.

The court rejected that argument, saying that unlike in the case of a name or gender, Dutch law assigns rights and obligations based on age “such as the right to vote and the duty to attend school. If Mr. Ratelband’s request was allowed, those age requirements would become meaningless.”

Ratelband, perhaps unsurprisingly given his background as self-described advocate of positive thinking, was undeterred by the court’s rejection and vowed to appeal.

“This is great!” he said. “The rejection of (the) court is great ... because they give all kinds of angles where we can connect when we go in appeal.”

He said he was the first of “thousands of people who want to change their age.”

The court said it acknowledged “a trend in society for people to feel fit and healthy for longer, but did not regard that as a valid argument for amending a person’s date of birth.”

Ratelband also insisted his case did have parallels with requests for name and gender changes.

“I say it’s comparable because it has to do with my feeling, with respect about who I think ... I am, my identity,” he said.

The court said Ratelband failed to convince the judges that he suffers from age discrimination, adding that “there are other alternatives available for challenging age discrimination, rather than amending a person’s date of birth.”


A Spanish court on Tuesday rejected a request to extradite a former HSBC employee to serve a five-year prison sentence in Switzerland, where he was convicted for leaking a massive trove of bank data that led to tax evasion probes worldwide.

The ruling was the second time Spain's National Court refused to extradite Herve Falciani, a French-Italian computer expert who in 2008 disclosed tens of thousands of records of HSBC customers who allegedly used the bank's Swiss branch to avoid taxes. He was convicted in absentia of breaching financial secrecy laws in Switzerland in 2015.

A panel of three National Court judges ruled Tuesday that Falciani had already been cleared from extradition in 2013, when the same court ruled that "aggravated economic espionage" is not a crime in Spain.

The judges also say that Falciani didn't reveal any secrets because he only shared them with authorities who initiated investigations in dozens of countries, including in Spain.

Falciani, 46, was first arrested in Spain in 2012. He spent 170 days in prison before he was released. He was arrested again in Madrid in April, in a renewed effort by Swiss authorities to make him serve his prison time.

Falciani said he believed Spain's previous conservative administration arrested him in order to use him as "a bargaining chip" in requests to extradite pro-independence Catalan politicians in Switzerland.

In an interview with The Associated Press last week, he said the only explanation of why he was arrested again this year after a lull in his case was political.


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The International Criminal Court says it will continue to do its work "undeterred," despite National security adviser John Bolton's condemnation.

olton asserted Monday the court "threatens American sovereignty and U.S. national security interests."

The Netherlands-based court said in a statement Tuesday it was established by a treaty supported by 123 countries. It says it prosecuted cases only when those countries failed to do so or did not do so "genuinely."

The court pledges to "continue to do its work undeterred, in accordance with those principles and the overarching idea of the rule of law."

Bolton's speech came as an ICC judge was expected to soon announce a decision on a request from prosecutors to open an investigation into allegations of war crimes committed by Afghan national security forces, Taliban and Haqqani network militants and U.S. forces and intelligence in Afghanistan.

Iran's foreign minister is criticizing the United States for its opposition to the International Criminal Court.

Mohammad Javad Zarif said on his Twitter account Tuesday, "The US threatens to impose sanctions on the ICC & even prosecute its judges in American courts. Where is the outrage?"

He says, "The boorishness of this rogue US regime seems to know no bounds."

U.S. national security adviser John Bolton on Monday denounced the legitimacy of the Netherlands-based court, which was created in 2002 to prosecute war crimes.


Israel's Supreme Court has sentenced one of the country's most prominent businessmen to three years in prison for securities fraud.

The court ruled Wednesday that former IDB Holding Corp. controlling shareholder Nochi Dankner will begin serving his prison term on Oct. 2 for his role in carrying out millions of dollars' worth of fraudulent transactions in an attempt to influence the share price of the troubled company.

IDB took on millions of dollars in debt following a series of bad business deals. The courts wrested control of IDB from Dankner as a result.

Dankner, a favorite of Israel's business community, was often credited with helping rescue Israel's economy at the height of a Palestinian uprising. Under his leadership, IDB became Israel's largest holding company and Dankner became a celebrity.


Uber is beginning its court case to remain on the streets of London, arguing that the ride-hailing app has made significant changes since a regulator refused to renew the company's operating license last year.

Lawyers for the company are opening their case Monday at Westminster Magistrates Court in an effort to overturn Transport for London's ruling last September that Uber was not a "fit and proper" company after repeated lapses in corporate responsibility.

The regulator raised a number of concerns about Uber, including driver vetting, the way it reports serious criminal offences and the use of technology that allegedly helps the company evade law enforcement officials.

Uber has been allowed to continue operating pending appeal.



Russian billionaire and Chelsea soccer club owner Roman Abramovich has appeared in a Swiss court as part of a 19-year-old legal case aimed to wrest 46 million Swiss francs ($46 million) in debts allegedly owed by him and others to a European bank.

Abramovich was in Fribourg court as part of a lawsuit brought by the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development against Abramovich, Russian oil tycoon Eugene Shvidler, and the Russian energy company Gazprom Neft, a bank spokesman said Wednesday.

The suit aims to recover alleged debts left behind by Abramovich's now-defunct Runicom trading firm, which was based in Switzerland until its bankruptcy in 2003.

The initial amount sought by EBRD was $17.5 million, but the claim has grown to $46 million to include interest and costs.


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