Tag: trial

Samsung trial opens

The trial of Samsung’s supreme dalek on bribery, embezzlement and other offences in a corruption scan has opened in South Korea.

Jay Y. Lee, denies all charges against him which are connected to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye.

Lee, who is being detained at Seoul Detention Centre, did not attend court. A defendant does not have to turn up during a preparatory hearing, held to organize evidence and set dates for witness testimony.

Lee’s defence said that the special prosecution’s indictment cites conversations, evidence or witnesses the prosecution did not actually hear, investigate or interview according to the rules – or state opinions that are not facts.

Song Wu-cheol, defending Lee, told the court that it was unclear what kind of order Lee is supposed to have given.

“The indictment cannot have statements that can create prejudices in the court about the case,” Song told reporters as he left court.

The Samsung Group has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

Among the charges against Lee, 48, are pledging bribes to a company and organisations linked to a friend of President Park, Choi Soon-sil, the woman at the centre of the scandal, to cement his control of the smartphones-to-biopharmaceuticals business empire.

Defendants being tried with Lee include the former Samsung Group Vice Chairman Choi Gee-sung, former Samsung Group President Chang Choong-ki and former Samsung Electronics President Park Sang-jin. They are also denying everything.

Legislation appointing the special prosecutor states that the current lower court trial should be finished within three months of the indictment on February 28.


Grab popcorn for South Korea’s trial of the century

Samsung Group supreme dalek Jay Y. Lee will go on trial for bribery and embezzlement next week a court ruled in what will be the latest episode in a corruption scandal that has rocked South Korea and led to the impeachment of the president.

Lee, the 48 year old third generation leader of the country’s top conglomerate, was indicted on Tuesday on charges including pledging $37.24 million in payments to a confidant of President Park Geun-hye.

The trial is important on many levels. If Lee is found guilty there will be a question as to whether he will get away with it because he is the head of a very large corporation.

South Korea is rather soft on corporate leaders who can more or less do what they like. The country is not that happy about jailing people who are believed to be good for the economy.

Lee has been charged with bribery and embezzlement in a case that has dealt a blow to the standard bearer for Asia’s fourth largest economy.

Among the charges against Lee are pledging bribes to a company and organisations tied to Park’s confidant, Choi Soon-sil, the woman at the centre of the scandal, to cement his control of the business empire.

The funding also included Samsung’s sponsorship of the equestrian career of Choi’s daughter, prosecutors say. So it looked like Samsung literally backed the wrong horse.

Legislation appointing the special prosecutor states that the trial should be finished in three months.

President Parl was the daughter of a former military strongman, and has had her powers suspended since her impeachment by parliament in December.

Snowden will return if he can get a fair trial

snowden_2912545bUS Government whistleblower Edward Snowden said he would return to the US if the government would guarantee him a fair trial.

Speaking on Skype from Russia at the New Hampshire Liberty Forum, Snowden said that he has told the US government he would return if it  would guarantee a fair trial where he could make a public interest defence of why this was done and allow a jury to decide.

He said that he had had talked about making a plea deal with the government in the past and that former colleagues at the NSA and CIA agreed with him. Others believed that the “Constitution doesn’t really matter,” he said.

Of course it is pretty debatable. The US government is hardly going to allow him a “fair trail” as he is not a Wall Street Banker and it regards him as a spy rather than a whistle-blower. While Snowden’s actions did bring to an end the US government’s electronic spying sweeps, the government felt that he put agents’ lives and risk by exposing what he did.

Snowden could face up to 30 years in prison, if he is found guilty.

Judge rules NSA surveillance illegal

A federal judge has ruled that the National Security Agency’s phone record surveillance programme is likely to be unconstitutional.

US District Court Judge Richard Leon, ironically a George Bush appointee, said that the agency’s controversial programme appears to violate the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans against unreasonable searches and seizures.

The programme collects records of the time and phone numbers involved in every phone call made in the US, and allows that database to be queried for connections to suspected terrorists.

According to the Huffington Post, Leon could not imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying it and analyzing it without judicial approval.

He said that the author of the constitution, James Madison, the man who was anti-democracy and thought legislators should be “disinterested” and act against the wishes of constituents, would be aghast by the NSA’s antics.

His ruling came down after conservative activist Larry Klayman filed a lawsuit against Prism in June. The suit claimed that the NSA’s surveillance “violates the U.S. Constitution and also federal laws, including, but not limited to, the outrageous breach of privacy, freedom of speech, freedom of association, and the due process rights of American citizens”.

Leon ordered the government to stop collecting the phone records of Klayman and another plaintiff, and to destroy the records already collected. But he also stayed that order, giving the government another chance to argue the programme doesn’t violate the Constitution. 

Typeface leads to retrial

A convicted sex offender faces a retrial because a judge in the case did not like the fact he used Arial typeface on letters and said as much on Facebook.

According to the Technology and Workplace Blog, an unnamed sex offender [John Doe] was fighting the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board’s decision that he needed to register as a level three sex offender. As part of the normal administrative process, Doe’s case went to hearing examiner Tyson Lynch, who ruled against Doe.

However, Lynch made some huge mistakes by posting a lot of rubbish about the case on Facebook. The list was long, but one of the more memorable was the fact that he could not trust anyone who used the Arial typeface.

He ranted that the Arial font is “not appropriate for motions” followed up with “I might be biased. I think Arial is inappropriate for most things”.

Other mutterings were obviously worse such as the observation, posted during working hours that  “it’s always a mistake when people testify, because they get destroyed in cross examination”,

In another case, the hearing examiner also posted that he “hopes this guy doesn’t show up!!” which was followed up with “Tyson Lynch says yay!! He didn’t show up!”

Oh and don’t use the word ‘lascivious’ in Lynch’s court either, he does not like it.

His Facebook rants tend to dub sex offenders as pervs which another court thought was a bit on the nose.

When the appeal was heard and Lynch’s Facebook page shown, an appeal court said that the comments were “unquestionably inappropriate, unprofessional, troubling, and suggestive of a prejudicial predisposition”.

The remarks imply Lynch made unwarranted negative presumptions against the people he evaluated and was biased against Spanish speakers, and ruled based on the fonts used in written submissions rather than legal arguments.

Due to Lynch’s apparent bias, the court vacated the registry board’s ruling against Doe and granted Doe another hearing. Now every case that Lynch heard could be susceptible to similar claims of bias.

Fortunately, for the US Justice System, Lynch is not working any more according to Facebook Lynch muttered that he thought his agency has been the subject of too many news exposes and he might have to should seek alternative career plans. According to Linkedin, he is now selling  houses as an estate agent. 

Man arrested for tweeting name of Corrie star alleged sex victim

A 43 year old man was arrested on suspicion of tweeting the name of a girl who accused Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell of rape.

Phil Davies, from the Greater Manchester Police, said public identification of sex abuse victims – in particular child victims during court proceedings – can “cause both immediate and long term distress and harm, especially in cases as serious as this”.

Michael Le Vell, real name Michael Turner, denies 12 charges, including five of rape, the BBC reports. The actor played car mechanic Kevin Webster on Britain’s longest running TV soap.

Davies said disclosing names on social media is effectively the same as through the mainstream media.

“People may not understand that when they use social media they are required by the law to keep victims anonymous in exactly the same way as people who work in mainstream media,” Davies said.

The point about social media has surfaced again and again – Twitter is essentially a public domain, even if you have privacy restricted your account – and posting online can provide more unwanted exposure than shouting on the street. 

Oracle rushes out yet another Java patch

Oracle has rushed out a patch to Java amid reports that yet another vulnerability is being exploited in the wild.

The latest version of Oracle’s software is now Java 7, Update 17 and Java 6, Update 43. This is only a week or so after Oracle released an additional updates to another critical patch at the end of February. This followed another which was released at the beginning of that month.

None of these fixed two recent vulnerabilities. These were given the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures identifiers CVE-2013-1493 and CVE-2013-0809, with the former known to be abused by attackers.

Oracle’s director of software security assurance Eric Maurice wrote on the company’s security bog that reports of active exploitation of vulnerability CVE-2013-1493 were recently received and it was too late to be included in the February 19 release of the Critical Patch Update for Java SE.

After Oracle received reports of CVE-2013-1493 being exploited in the wild, it decided to immediately release another emergency patch rather than wait for the original 16 April Critical Patch Update for Java SE.

The vulnerability means that users who visit a malicious web page could leave their computers open to exploitation without the need for a username or password. The vulnerability only exists in Java applets.

Oracle is in one of those “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situations. If it does not release a patch quickly then the likes of Apple will claim that the operating system is insecure and should not be used. If it does release a patch it is seen as proof that the software is buggy and risky. 

Oracle loses Itanium appeal

A US court has rejected Oracle’s appeal against a ruling that meant that it could walk away from Itanium.

In August, a California superior court judge had ruled that Oracle had a binding contract with HP to continue supporting Itanium, even if the outfit did not think that the chip had a future.

Oracle wanted to stop porting its software to HP’s Itanium server platform, claiming that the whole thing was a waste of time. More cynical observers at the time thought that the whole court case was really about a spat about HP’s firing of Larry Ellison’s chum Mark Hurd, who now works for Oracle.

Oracle and HP had been the best of chums until Ellison decided to buy Sun Microsystems and enter the hardware world.

HP brought the case against Oracle and, in August, a California superior court judge ruled that Oracle had a binding contract with HP and ordered it to continue supporting Itanium.

Oracle filed its appeal of that ruling in October with California’s 6th District Court of Appeal, which rejected it on Thursday.

Details of the rejection have not been provided and Oracle and HP both refused to talk about it to Computerworld.

The case is scheduled to have a second phase that will focus on damages owed to HP. That phase is scheduled to begin in April, according to an HP spokesperson. 

Oracle promises strong sales growth

Oracle predicts that software sales growth will stay strong into the new year.
While the rest of the US is worried that there could be big tax hikes and US government spending cuts that could cause Oracle customers to stop buying, it does not seem that the company is too anxious.
Oracle President Safra Catz told investors that businesses were still looking to spend money already allocated to 2012 technology budgets, and this quarter’s results were above what Wall Street expected.
She said that Oracle customers were keen to close deals and there is no negative impact on pricing.
Oracle believes that software sales would grow three to 13 percent this quarter. However, it expected fiscal third-quarter hardware products sales to be flat to down 10 percent from a year ago.
Software sales and cloud software subscriptions rose 17 percent from a year earlier to $2.4 billion. It had predicted that new software sales would climb five to 15 percent from a year earlier, when it last reported earnings on September 20.
According to the San Francisco Gate, Oracle posted a second-quarter profit, excluding items, of 64 cents per share, beating the average analyst forecast of 61 cents.
Catz said Oracle’s customers are still spending on software and none of the fiscal cliff negotiations in Washington appears to be bothering them, at least for now.
Oracle’s troubled hardware division, which it acquired with its $5.6 billion purchase of Sun Microsystems in January 2010, is still not doing that well. The division’s revenue has fallen every quarter and this time sales fell 23 percent from a year earlier to $734 million. Oracle had thought that hardware sales would drop between 8 and 18 percent.
Chief Executive Larry Ellison insisted that hardware systems revenue will start growing in the fourth quarter which begins 1 March. 

Security expert takes half-hour to fix Java bug

An insecurity expert has blamed Oracle’s inactivity for Java’s problems.

Adam Gowdiak was furious that Oracle has been slow at issuing fixes for some important flaws. One, dubbed Issue 50, is not down to be fixed until next February.

Gowdiak said that Oracle was stupidly sticking to a quarterly patch release cycle which was not understandable.

He wrote in Full Disclosure that Oracle’s response was that its Critical Patch Updates have to go through an extensive integration testing with other products such as JRockit, Weblogic Server, and E-Business Suite.

If it fixed Issue 50 it would delay 139 fixes for applications integrating Java SE. However Gowdiak said it did not take four months to fix Issue 50, in fact it took him half an hour to write the code that would do it.

He conducted a small vulnerability fix experiment to see how hard it is to fix Issue 50 and what it took

Apparently the code only needed 25 characters to be changed. The fix does not seem to require any integration tests with other Oracle application software because the code logic is not changed and minor changes are applied to the code.

“We hope our quick experiment sufficiently challenges the company and that it leads to the verification of Oracle’s stance, especially the one relying on a need for four additional months to implement,” he wrote.