News In Brief: Week of 2/13/15

Lille, France

The ex-head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has denied charges that he was involved in pimping, according to the BBC. He is being charged with obtaining prostitutes for several sex parties in multiple countries. Strauss-Kahn claims that he did not know the women were prostitutes. He also claims prosecution had exaggerated the frequency of these parties, claiming there were only twelve parties over the course of three years. “What I liked in swingers’ parties was the element of sport, or play,” said Strauss-Kahn, according to the Independent. “Having prostitutes there wouldn’t fit my sense of fun.”

Putrajaya, Malaysia

Anwar Ibrahim, a prominent leader of the Malaysian opposition, has been sentenced to five years in prison for sodomy, according to the Guardian. First charged with sodomizing an aide in 2008, Anwar was acquitted in 2012 — only to have the acquittal overturned. This latest appeal was heard by the Federal Court, the highest court in Malaysia, and so Anwar does not have any hope of appeal. The verdict was condemned by members of Anwar’s party, as well as international organizations — including the UN human rights office.

United States

The U.S. is considering charges against the bank HSBC after revelations that their Swiss branch helped clients illegally avoid paying taxes and may have manipulated currency rates, according to Reuters. Britain is also investigating the bank and its own former minister for trade an investment, Stephen Green. Before serving as minister and MP, Green was the executive chairman of HSBC. The information on tax evasion was leaked by a former IT employee of HSBC’s Swiss branch, Herve Falciani. Switzerland has charged him with violating national secrecy laws.

Buenos Aries, Argentina 

Unidentified DNA has been found in the apartment of Alberto Nisman, a special investigator found shot last month in his Buenos Aries apartment, according to the BBC. It is unclear whether he committed suicide or was murdered, but the fact that he died hours before testifying against the President, Cristina Fernandez, and left no note has raised suspicion in Argentina.  At the time of his death, Nisman was investigating the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center, which killed 85 people. The report he had written accused president Fernandez of negotiating with Iran to cover up their role in the attack.

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