National Roundup

Grandfather of Aurora victim begs for photos 

DENVER (AP) — The grandfather of a 6-year-old girl killed during the Aurora theater shootings wants a thief to return the last photos of the girl, which were stolen from the home in a burglary.
Robert Sullivan, grandfather of Veronica Moser-Sullivan, says four cameras were stolen Tuesday, including one that had a memory card with photos of the girl.
Sullivan says he still has a well-known photo of the girl licking an ice cream cone, but the rest of the photos are gone.
Moser-Sullivan was the youngest person slain in the July 20 shooting. Former University of Colorado-Denver graduate student James Holmes is accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58 others in the attack.

FBI offers reward for location of terror suspect

BOSTON (AP) — A $50,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of a Massachusetts man facing terrorism charges, the FBI announced Wednesday.
The FBI’s Boston office said it is seeking the public’s help in locating Ahmad Abousamra, a U.S. citizen from Mansfield who left the United States in 2006 and may be living in Aleppo, Syria, with at least one child, a daughter, and extended family. He uses several aliases.
Abousamra, now 31, was indicted in 2009 after taking trips to Pakistan and Yemen where he allegedly attempted to obtain military training for the purpose of killing American soldiers overseas. He also traveled to Iraq.
A federal arrest warrant was issued in November 2009 after he was charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, providing material support to terrorists, conspiracy to kill in a foreign country and other charges.
The FBI says Abousamra is an associate of Tarek Mehanna, the Sudbury man convicted on four terrorism charges and sentenced this year to 17? years in prison.
The FBI is releasing photos, a video, voice clip, “wanted” posters in English, French and Arabic, along with other media items in a publicity campaign aimed at generating tips about Abousamra’s whereabouts.
Abousamra is of Syrian descent and has dual citizenship in the United States and Syria.

New York
Appeals court orders bail for philanthropist

NEW YORK (AP) — An opera-loving philanthropist convicted of a multimillion-dollar fraud will soon be freed from prison on bail after a federal appeals court signaled on Tuesday he might be succeeding in proving his case deserves a second look.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a one-page order requiring that Alberto Vilar and a co-defendant, Gary Alan Tanaka, be released before it issues its opinion on the legality of their convictions.
Attorney Vivian Shevitz, who represents the men on appeal, said she was “very gratified” by the decision.
“It means we have a substantial issue likely to result in reversal,” she said.
A spokeswoman for federal prosecutors declined to comment.
Vilar, 71, was accused of cheating investors of $40 million through his San Francisco-based company, Amerindo Investment Advisors Inc. He was convicted at trial in November 2008 of conspiracy fraud and has been imprisoned since shortly afterward, serving a nine-year prison sentence. He was projected to be released in September 2016.
Vilar’s defense team says he received poor legal help, there was insufficient evidence of certain crimes of which he was accused and the judge at trial didn’t instruct the jury properly.
The appeals court, which heard oral arguments in August, instructed a lower court judge to set bail for the men. Tanaka, 69, has two years remaining on his five-year prison term. He was convicted of conspiracy along with securities and investment adviser fraud, but he was acquitted on nine other counts.
The Cuban-born Vilar was described by Forbes magazine as worth about $950 million after he earned hundreds of millions of dollars on investments in the stock boom of the 1990s. He spent some of the money making donations of as much as $225 million to opera houses.
Largely abandoned by his affluent and powerful friends after his arrest, he could do nothing as the Metropolitan Opera took his name off its grand tier, the Royal Opera at Covent Garden in London removed his surname from its Floral Hall and the Salzburg Festival in Austria stripped his picture from its programs.
Witnesses against Vilar at trial included Lily Cates, the mother of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” actress Phoebe Cates, who said he improperly spent $5 million of her money.

State appeals ruling on inmate sex change case 

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts has filed an appeal of a judge’s decision to grant a convicted murderer’s request for a taxpayer-funded sex reassignment surgery.
The Boston Globe reports that in papers filed Tuesday, lawyers for the state Department of Correction’s commissioner asked for a stay of the order granting a sex change for Michelle Kosilek, until a federal appeals court can rule.
The state says it believes the medical care the 63-year-old Kosilek is receiving is adequate and that the court didn’t address what it says are legitimate safety concerns of protecting her in prison.
U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ruled last month that the surgery is the only adequate treatment for Kosilek’s gender-identity disorder.
Kosilek was named Robert when convicted of killing his wife, Cheryl, in 1990.

Inmate’s appeal over shy bladder malady rejected

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A federal appeals court has rejected an appeal filed by a Nebraska inmate who had sued for a private cell to accommodate his shy bladder syndrome.
The Lincoln Journal Star reports that Robert Hunt sued prison officials in 2011, saying they violated his rights by denying him a single cell. Hunt’s lawsuit said his shy bladder syndrome was documented during his military service and dated back to 1975.
A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit in May, saying he believed the lawsuit was simply an attempt to get a private cell. The judge said prison staff had provided Hunt with treatment for his urination anxiety.
Hunt appealed the dismissal to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. On Monday, the appeals court upheld the dismissal.