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August 31 - September 6 2011
μWorld News PAGES 15-17
μComment PAGES 18-21
μObituaries PAGES 22-23
μExpat Life PAGES 31-32
Judge goes public Top horse trainer ‘coached daughter to say father abused her’
Steve Jobs steps aside Markets back successor as Apple boss quits as chief executive
Jacqui Smith row Why prisoners painted former home secretary’s house
Storm around Sam Cam’s dad PM’s father-in-law opposes abattoir but backs windfarm
27 11 46 47 48 49 6 7 29 32 41 46
Bonus Ball 0
Bonus Ball 49
There were no winners of Saturday’s £4.6m jackpot and three winners of Wednesday’s £11.1m
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By Christopher Hope Whitehall Editor THE man suspected of killing WPc Yvonne Fletcher can be identified for the first time.
Scotland Yard believes he may have died, although this could be a pretence by officials in Libya to stop officers from questioning him.
The Telegraph can reveal that Abdulmagid Salah Ameri, a junior diplomat working at the Libyan embassy, was seen firing a machine gun from a window in April 1984.
Following the collapse of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, Scotland Yard, which has kept the case open, is planning to send officers to Libya in the hope of bringing the suspected killer and his alleged accomplices to justice.
Mr Ameri was identified by a witness in a 140-page secret review of evidence conducted at the request of the Metropolitan Police. The report, seen by The Telegraph, was written by a senior Canadian prosecutor and addressed to Sue Hemming, the head of counter-terrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service.
WPc Fletcher was killed by a single bullet that hit her in the abdomen. An 11-day armed siege followed, which ended when 30 Libyans from the embassy were deported. No one has ever been charged with killing the officer.
Queenie Fletcher, her mother, declined to comment but said last week that the turmoil in Libya offered the “best chance yet” of catching her daughter’s killer.
Abdulmagid Salah Ameri (left) has been named as the killer of WPc Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan Embassy in 1984
Foreign Office officials are already in discussions with Scotland Yard about detectives investigating the Fletcher case, who have made three trips to Libya in recent years, returning to the country. Officials said finding the killer of WPc Fletcher was a “priority” for ministers.
The secret CPS report contains detailed testimony from David Robertson, a painter and decorator who had a clear view of the embassy on the day of the shooting and watched a man open fire on a crowd of antiGaddafi protesters.
The report says: “The man was holding the stock of the gun in his right hand, while his left hand was near the trigger area, as if he was about to fire.
“There were other men with him, with one to his left and at least two others standing behind him.
“There was no grille behind the window, although it appeared to have a blue haze, which Mr Robertson thought might have been a curtain.
“Mr Robertson made a comment to someone to his left about the gun and, as he did so, he heard the gun being fired from the direction of the bureau, a ‘rapid rat-atat-tat’ lasting for two or three seconds.”
Mr Robertson subsequently identified Mr Ameri on television as he left the embassy after the siege. He believed that the man he had seen holding the gun was “second from the left” in a group of five Libyans.
Sources close to the investigation confirmed that the suspect identified by Mr Robertson was Mr Ameri.
The CPS report, whose existence was first disclosed nearly two years ago by The Daily Telegraph, concluded that there was enough evidence to prosecute two other Libyans, Abdelgader Mohammed Baghdadi and Matouk Mohammed Matouk, for conspiracy to cause WPc Fletcher’s death.
The report alleges that they “assumed leadership roles” inside the embassy, and Baghdadi in particular “advised that the demonstrators would be fired on, directed their positioning outside the bureau and gave instructions as to what they were to do when the firing stopped”. Graeme Cameron, the Canadian author of the report, declined to comment on his review last week but said that the current chaos in Libya presented “an opportunity for the Metropolitan Police” to gather more evidence.
He praised the police investigators for their “dogged” pursuit of the killers, despite being frequently frustrated by Gaddafi’s regime.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “Helping the Metropolitan Police Service conclude the investigation is a priority for this government.”
Continued from page 1
strikes during the morning, the rebels suddenly broke through the outer perimeter of Bab al-Aziziya soon after 3pm and routed the guards inside, who left their uniforms and weapons as they fled.
Just two hours later, the rebels were roaming through Gaddafi’s official residence, grabbing souvenirs including his trademark peaked cap and plundering his arms stores.
This gave way to the grim reality of a guerrilla battle for the suburbs of Tripoli that were still held by the despot’s supporters.
Throughout last Wednesday, fierce gun battles raged in Abu Salim, a mile-wide corridor to the south of Bab al-Aziziya which is a possible location of Gaddafi’s hideout.
While rebel fighters used Gaddafi’s compound as their new base, helping themselves to weapons left behind by his retreating soldiers, the loyalists took up positions in a wildlife park nearby and fired rockets and mortars into the compound. With snipers trying to pick off anyone using the ports and airports, aid agencies have been unable to deliver supplies of medicine, food or water, and hospitals in Tripoli have been overwhelmed with casualties.
Rosa Crestani, of the charity Medecins Sans Frontières, said: “The situation is very tough … it’s almost a catastrophe. There are clearly shortages of life-saving medication and equipment.”
There were also reports of gunfights in the maze of tunnels under Bab al-Aziziya through which Gaddafi is thought to have slipped away. The dictator continued to urge on his supporters, using a telephone interview with a loyalist television station to call for Tripoli to be “cleansed” of the “devils and traitors” who had captured it.
He also claimed to have toured Tripoli “incognito”, saying: “I saw youths ready to defend their city.”
His daughter, Aisha, told Libyans to “stand hand-inhand against Nato”, while Gaddafi’s spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim, boasted that loyalist forces had the capability to fight on “not just for months, for years”.
Rebel forces who were mopping up the last remnants of resistance in Tripoli last Saturday discovered a warehouse containing the charred skeletons of scores of prisoners who were killed and burnt as troops fled.
Residents living close to the site, near the southern Tripoli headquarters of Libya’s most feared military unit, the Khamis Brigade, say they heard shooting and explosions on Tuesday evening last week.
Last Friday night, rebel forces captured the base and drove out the remaining fighters. On the Saturday morning, residents and rebel forces went in and discovered the remains of at least 53 people.
Eight bodies, hands bound, had been left outside the shed. Inside, the remainder had been burned as they lay, the canisters of petrol still lying in the corners. The Telegraph was told by locals that up to 150 people were thought to have been killed there.
The horrific find could add to evidence in any future war crimes prosecution of the Libyan leader.
Gaddafi last week taunted his opponents by claiming in a television interview that he had secretly toured the streets of Tripoli without being spotted.
He said he would fight on “until victory or martyrdom”, while his spokesman said loyalist soldiers were well prepared to carry on the battle “for years”.
In other developments: ŠDozens of journalists who had been held against their will for five days in the Rixos hotel in Tripoli were freed without bloodshed; ŠAid agencies warned of a humanitarian “catastrophe” on the horizon as food, water and medical supplies started to run out in the capital; ŠAlmost £1billion in assets seized from the Gaddafi regime will be released to rebel leaders and aid groups after a UN agreement was struck last Thursday night; ŠThe Arab League recognised the NTC as the legitimate government of Libya by granting it a permanent seat. telegraph.co.uk/expat
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August 31 - September 6 2011
By Victoria Ward KATE WINSLET, the Oscarwinning actress, saved Sir Richard Branson’s mother as a fire ripped through the tycoon’s Caribbean home last week.
Winslet carried Eve Branson, 90, from the Great House on Necker Island after it was struck by lightning during a tropical storm at 4am last Monday.
All the guests escaped unharmed, including Sir Richard’s daughter, Holly, 29, Winslet’s children, Mia, 10, and Joe, seven, and the actress’s boyfriend.
Sir Richard praised the actress for her actions during the blaze, which Winslet described as like being on a film set waiting for the director to say “cut”.
The businessman said: “My mum is 90 and can walk but it was more just to speed the process up than anything else. But anyway, she [Winslet] was great. She swept her up into her arms and got them out of the house as fast as possible.
“Talking to her, she said it’s like being in a film set where you’re waiting for the words ‘cut’ but they just don’t come. So it was quite surreal for her to be in a real-life situation.”
Sir Richard, 61, who bought 74-acre Necker, in the British
From left: Kate Winslet rescued Eve Branson as fire tore through the Great House (top) on Necker Island; the villa as it was; and Richard Branson relaxing beside the pool
Virgin Islands, for about £200,000 in 1981 and began work on the Great House the following year, was staying at a neighbouring property with his wife, Joan, and son, Sam, 25.
Speaking immediately after the blaze, he said he would rebuild his home, which also housed his office. “It’s very much the Dunkirk spirit here. We want to rebuild the house as soon as we can. We have a wonderful staff here and we want them to stay in work,” he said.
He said winds of up to 90mph had lashed the island. “It was terrifying for me because my daughter and nephews, nieces, friends were all staying in the house so I just ran, naked, towards the house to try to see if I could, to make sure I could get people out.”
The Great House, built on Devil’s Hill, the island’s highest point, had eight bedrooms, each with a balcony. The master suite had an outdoor Jacuzzi and bathroom with views over Necker and neighbouring islands.
Sir Richard built the house for the use of family and friends, but also rented it out along with six shacks on the island from £33,000 a night for up to 28 guests.
Winslet, 35, who won an Oscar for her role in the 2008
film The Reader, has visited the island before and recently took part in a sailing race with her host on board his boat, the Necker Belle.
Last Wednesday, Winslet and Sir Richard’s mother returned to the scene of the fire and the actress wrapped her arms around Eve Branson.
As they surveyed the black and twisted remains of the Great House, made predominantly from wood, it was clear that they should be thankful to have escaped unharmed.
Sir Richard also surveyed the damage alongside his son and daughter.
Holding a slightly charredlooking tortoise, he tried to make light of the disaster by disclosing that as he had made his naked run to help evacuate the property, he had blundered into a cactus bush.
Sir Richard described the moment last Monday morning when the sun rose over the remains of the house as “surreal and haunting”.
The walls of the Great House, some of which were built using stone donated by Nelson Mandela, were reduced to ruins.
Sir Richard promised to rebuild it and make it “even more beautiful” than before.
Uppermost in his mind was his daughter’s wedding to Freddie Andrewes, which he said would go ahead in
Necker as planned in December, although he conceded that guests may not have the usual standard of accommodation.
“We would love to get the house rebuilt in time but we know there is so much work to be done,” he said.
“Simply put, we suspect that there may be slightly more tents for the wedding guests on the beach now but Holly and Freddie’s wedding will definitely still happen here.”
“I can’t imagine giving my daughter’s hand in marriage anywhere other than on Necker Island beach.”
It is the same private beach where he married Holly’s mother, Joan, in 1989.
By Ben Berkowitz and Dan Trotta
By James Orr and John-Paul Ford Rojas THE makers of Nurofen Plus recalled all packets of the painkiller last Friday night and called in police over fears that the packets had been sabotaged with antipsychotic drugs.
A Scotland Yard investigation was under way to determine who was behind the plot to put tablets of the prescription medicine Seroquel XL into the packets of the headache pills.
Strips of Seroquel, used for treating schizophrenia, had been deliberately cut to fit inside the packets of the painkiller tablet.
The recall means at least 250,000 packets of Nurofen Plus will have to be sent back.
A safety alert was sparked last week when Seroquel tablets were found inside three packs of Nurofen Plus in Boots stores around London, at Victoria, Beckenham and Bromley. Two capsules at the end of the strip had been removed.
In a statement, the manufacturer, Reckitt Benckiser, said: “The safety of our consumers is paramount. Even though there have been no serious health consequences to any consumer, we will not take any risk regarding the quality or safety of our products.
“Sabotage is suspected and we are working with the police on a formal investigation to find the person or persons responsible. Distribution of Nurofen Plus has been halted at this time.”
The issue is believed to have arisen at an unknown wholesaler.
HURRICANE IRENE battered New York with heavy winds and driving rain on Sunday, shutting down America’s financial capital and most populous city, halting mass transit and causing massive power blackouts as it churned slowly northward along the eastern seaboard.
New York City’s normally bustling streets were eerily quiet after authorities ordered tens of thousands of residents to evacuate low-lying areas, and shut down its subways, airports and bus networks.
Irene on Sunday morning was a menacing 480 milewide hurricane, enveloping towns and cities in the north east, hugging the Atlantic coast and threatening floods and surging tides.
At least 10 deaths were reported and two million residents were without power. Several million people were ordered to evacuate on the US East Coast.
Eight inches of rain fell on the Washington region, but the capital appeared to have avoided major damage. Some bridges were closed but airports remained open.
From the Carolinas to Maine, tens of millions of people were in the path of Irene, which came ashore in North Carolina on the Saturday, dumping torrential rain, felling trees and knocking out power.
“The edge of the hurricane has finally got upon us,” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told the more than eight million people who live in New York as he warned that tropical storm-force winds would hit the city.
Times Square was sparsely populated, mostly with visitors, as Irene rolled into the city with full force.
Broadway shows were cancelled, coffee was hard to come by, with Starbucks stores closed and burgers and fries were in short supply as McDonald’s outlets were shut.
“We just came to see how few people are in Times Square and then we’re going back,” said Cheryl Gibson, on holiday in the city.
Bloomberg warned New Yorkers that Irene was a lifethreatening storm and urged them to stay indoors to avoid flying debris, flooding or the risk of being electrocuted by downed power lines. “It is dangerous out there,” he said, adding later: “New York is the greatest city in the world and we will weather this storm.”
In midtown Manhattan, there was a substantial police presence on the streets but most people heeded Bloomberg’s warning to stay inside. Television reports said that local airports had recorded winds of over 60 miles per hour, but they were expected to get stronger.
About 370,000 New Yorkers were ordered to leave their homes in the low-lying areas, many of them in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.
Some were unwilling to go. Nicholas Vigliotti, 24, an auditor who lives in a highrise building along the Brooklyn waterfront, said he saw no point. “Even if there was a flood, I live on the fifth floor,” he said.
Flood waters forced officials in Hoboken, just across the Hudson River from Manhattan, to evacuate a storm shelter, the mayor of Hoboken, Dawn Zimmer, said on Twitter.
Holidaymakers fled beach towns and resort islands. More than a million people left the New Jersey shore, and glitzy Atlantic City casinos were dark and empty.
President Barack Obama, who cut short his holiday on the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard to return to the White House, was keeping a close eye on preparations for the hurricane.