Polish official charged for allowing former Jewish school building to be demolished

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — A Polish conservator is facing a prison term for allowing the demolition of a former Jewish school building in central Poland.

The Prosecutor’s Office in Konin this week charged the conservator, identified as Janusz T. in Polish news reports, for abuse of power by a public official. Janusz headed up a delegation from a Regional Office for the Protection of Monuments.

He reportedly could face up to three years in prison for permitting the razing of the former Talmudic school in Konin in July 2016. The building had been owned by the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, which in 2010 sold it to a private investor.

Konin residents protested the proposed demolition and asked the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage to intervene.

“The building was a special witness to the presence of Konin Jews, Polish citizens murdered by the German occupiers during the Second World War,” said then-Deputy Minister of Culture Magdalena Gawin. “The consequences will be taken against those whose actions consciously led to the demolition of the building.”

In August, Janusz T. lost his job as conservator in Konin, after which the Prosecutor’s Office  conducted an investigation into the case. Janusz maintains he is not guilty.


Ku Klux Klan leader shot in Missouri; wife and stepson charged with murder

Leadwood, Mo. — The wife and stepson of a Ku Klux Klan leader found dead over the weekend have been charged with his murder, according to USA Today.

The man, Frank Ancona, was shot in the head between 2 and 3 a.m. on Thursday, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. His wife, Malissa Ancona, and her son, Edward Jinkerson, were later charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, tampering with evidence and abandonment of a corpse.

Jinkerson shot his sleeping stepfather in the bedroom of the man’s home in Leadwood, Missouri, about an hour south of St. Louis. The body was then dumped near a river.

This undated family photo provided by Carolyn Ancona shows Frank Ancona.
This undated family photo provided by Carolyn Ancona shows Frank Ancona.  (Carolyn Ancona via AP)

Ancona referred to himself as an imperial wizard of a KKK group near St. Louis, according to ABC News.

Police began looking for Ancona on Friday after his employer reported him missing, according to the Daily Journal in Park Hills, Missouri. His body was later found by a family out fishing.

An autopsy confirmed that Ancona died of gunshot to the head.

When investigators searched Ancona’s home on Saturday, they found “extensive blood evidence,” the Post-Dispatch said. Malissa Ancona told police Jinkerson shot her husband.

She said she helped clean up the blood and tried to cover up the crime, according to the Post-Dispatch.

It’s possible Ancona was shot because he had told his wife he wanted a divorce, the Post-Dispatch said.

“It may have been marital issue,” Prosecutor Jarrod Mahurin said, according to the paper.

Malissa Ancona and Jinkerson are being held without bail.

A neighbor described Ancona as a good man who was working to change attitudes about the Klan, the Post-Dispatch said.

Jerry Sandusky’s son Jeffrey charged with child sexual abuse

One of Jerry Sandusky’s sons was charged Monday with sex crimes involving two girls, more than five years after the former Penn State assistant coach was himself first arrested on child molestation charges.

Jeffrey S. Sandusky, 41, was charged by state police and arraigned by a district judge in Bellefonte on 14 counts. He was jailed on $200,000 bail.

Sandusky was a stalwart supporter of his father and accompanied his mother, Dottie, to many of his court proceedings. On Monday, Dottie accompanied Jeffrey Sandusky to his.

Police accused him of soliciting nude photos from a then-16-year-old girl last year and seeking oral sex in 2013 from her then-15-year-old sister.

His defense lawyer, Lance Marshall, declined to comment on the allegations.

“All children have a right to be safe,” said Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller. “We will prosecute this case as aggressively as we do all child abuse cases.”

Miller said Sandusky talked to investigators. “He made statements,” Miller said. “I wouldn’t classify them necessarily as directly inculpatory, but I don’t think they helped him much.”

Sandusky was charged with solicitation of statutory sexual assault, solicitation of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, six counts of unlawful contact with a minor and two counts each of solicitation to photograph or depict sexual acts, sexual abuse of children and corruption of minors.

A state trooper said in the arrest affidavit that on Nov. 21, the alleged victims’ father turned over to investigators text messages from Sandusky in which he asked one of the girls for nude photographs.

The affidavit said Sandusky told the alleged victim in texts in March that “it’s not weird because he studied medicine” and instructed her “to not show these texts to anyone.”

The girl’s mother told investigators that when she confronted Sandusky, he told her “he knows it was wrong and inappropriate,” police said.

“The victims’ mother advised that Jeffrey Sandusky had advised her that he was trying to help her daughter by getting naked pictures of her off the internet and needed naked pictures of her to do it and to ‘role play,” the affidavit said.

The girl, called “Victim 1” in the affidavit, told police the texts made her uncomfortable and that “he kept pressuring me and asked me multiple times not to show the texts to anyone,” police said.

Prosecutors allege Jeffrey Sandusky sought oral sex from a second girl, “Victim 2,” in 2013. She was 15 years old at the time.

“Victim 2” told investigators that Jeffrey Sandusky told her in March: “I can’t even say anything except I’m sorry.”

Jerry Sandusky, who adopted Jeffrey Sandusky and five other children, is serving a lengthy prison sentence for sexual abuse of 10 boys.

Jeffrey Sandusky has not made any public allegations of abuse by Jerry Sandusky, but one of his siblings, Matt Sandusky, alleged during their father’s 2012 criminal trial that he had been abused by him. Matt Sandusky was not called as a witness, and Jerry Sandusky has never been charged with those allegations.

The state Corrections Department said that because of the charges, Jeffrey Sandusky was suspended without pay Monday from employment as a corrections officer at Rockview State Prison, near State College. He had been hired in August 2015.

Jean-Marie Le Pen charged with inciting hatred for anti-Semitic statements

French far-right party Front National founder and honorary president Jean-Marie Le Pen looking on at the foot of a statue of Joan of Arc during the party’s annual rally in honor of Joan of Arc in Paris, May 1, 2015. (Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of France’s far-right National Front party, has been charged with inciting hatred for anti-Semitic statements he made in 2014.

His lawyer announced the charges on Saturday, the French news agency AFP reported. Attorney Frederic Joachim said Le Pen’s comments had been cut during editing and misinterpreted.

Le Pen, 88, said in a video posted on the party website in June 2014 that “next time we will put him in an oven” when asked about French singer Patrick Bruel’s criticisms of the party. Bruel is Jewish. In the video, Le Pen attacked a number of critics of the party.

Le Pen reportedly had used similar wordplay in the past,” using the word “fournee” for “batch,” evoking the word “four,” which means “oven.”

He has a history of convictions for “inciting racial hatred” and Holocaust denial. He once described the gas chambers in Nazi death camps as a historical “detail.”

Le Pen’s daughter, Marine, currently heads the party and is running for French president. Marine Le Pen has sought to gain mainstream acceptance for the National Front by distancing herself and the anti-immigrant party from her father’s anti-Semitic rhetoric. In May 2015 Jean-Marie Le Pen was suspended from the party, and later expelled for his Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic speech. A court in November said the party must allow him to retain the title of honorary president, however. Jean-Marie Le Pen has since disowned his daughter.

Quebec ‘Terrorist Attack’: College Student Alexandre Bissonnette Charged



A 27-year-old college student was charged Monday with the shooting at a Canadian mosque that the prime minister declared “a despicable act of terrorism.”

Alexandre Bissonnette, described as a loner with anti-immigrant views, was expected to appear in court to face six counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder.

A second man who was detained after the attack on the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Center, where six people were killed and 17 others were injured, is considered a witness and not a suspect. Police said they are confident there was only one shooter.

Image: Alexandre Bissonette
Alexandre Bissonette poses in a photo posted on his Facebook page. via Facebook

Police have said one of the two men was arrested after he called 911 to say he was in his car on a bridge near Île d’Orléans, an island in the Saint Lawrence River, and was armed and ready to surrender, officials said.

More than 50 people were in the mosque at the time of the attack. Laval University, where Bissonnette was a student, identified one of the victims as an agriculture professor, Khaled Belkacemi, 60. The others were Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42; Abdelkrim Hassane, 41; Aboubaker Thabti, 44; Azzeddine Soufiane, 57; and Ibrahima Barry, 39.

“This was a group of innocents targeted for practicing their faith,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the House of Commons on Monday afternoon.

“Make no mistake: This was a terrorist attack.”

Image: Khaled Belkacemi
Professor Khaled Belkacemi was killed in the mosque shooting. via INAF

No more information has been released about the motive. In June, a pig’s head was left on the doorstep of the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Center, but it was not known whether the incident was related in any way.

A former classmate of Bissonnette’s told NBC News that he was shocked by the arrest but said that the suspect was known to troll Facebook pages dealing with immigration issues and that he had seen him comment on pages linked to a far-right, nationalist, anti-immigration movement. A local refugee group said in a Facebook post that Bissonnette was known to it for anti-immigrant and anti-feminist stances.

“His online life was full of hate, but in real life he was calm and his chess game was on point,” said Antoine Cabanac, a former classmate.

Bissonnette’s Facebook page said he had studied political science and anthropology at Laval University. There were photos of him at a party, with family, in a Halloween costume and posing in front of a chessboard. He had liked pages for heavy metal bands, video games and public figures ranging from far-right French politician Marine Le Pen and U.S. President Donald Trump to chess grandmaster Anatoly Karpov and Pope John Paul II.

Among the posts he had liked in recent months: a June posting on another person’s page that read: “We live in a world where Christianity is demonized over cake and Islam is defended despite 50 dead at a gay club. Amazing.”

A neighbor, Regern Bessière, told NBC News that Bissonnette liked to play with guns in the woods behind his house and talked about violent videos he watched.

“He wasn’t sociable,” he said. “He kept to himself.”

Image: Fatal shooting at Quebec Islamic Cultural Center
Police patrol the scene of a fatal shooting at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Center in Quebec City. Mathieu Belanger / Reuters

Trudeau, who received a condolence call from Trump, issued a call for unity.

“Such senseless violence has no place in Canadian society,” he said. “Canada has long been a diverse and accepting nation. We are kind. We are generous. We embrace one another not in spite of our differences but because of them.

“Canadians will not be broken by this violence,” he said.