Lawyer: Court grants Islamic scholar bail amid rape inquiry

Lawyer Interviews

A lawyer representing one of two women who have accused Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan of raping them in France says a court has approved Ramadan's release from jail.

Lawyer Francis Szpiner said a French court granted the 56-year-old Oxford University professor's release Thursday on condition he pay 300,000 euros ($340,000) bail, surrender his Swiss passport and remain in France.

Ramadan, a Swiss citizen, was jailed in February and handed preliminary rape charges 9 1/2 months ago over two alleged assaults in France, one in 2009 and another in 2012. A third woman filed a rape complaint against him in March.

The outspoken scholar denies any wrongdoing and filed a lawsuit claiming the allegations are false. The allegations surfaced as the #Metoo movement took hold in France.

Nebraska high court rejects Omaha killer's latest appeal

The Nebraska Supreme Court has rejected the latest appeal by a man convicted of killing a University of Nebraska at Omaha student whose body has never been found.

The high court Friday upheld a lower court's denial of Christopher Edwards' second motion for post-conviction relief. The court found that Edwards' appeal saying the lower court should have held an evidentiary hearing on his claim that his attorney was ineffective was filed too late.

Edwards was convicted of second-degree murder in the 2006 disappearance of 19-year-old Jessica O'Grady, whose body was never found. Edwards was sentenced to 100 years to life.

The high court rejected Edwards' first post-conviction relief motion in 2012. In that motion, Edwards argued that a corrupt Douglas County crime scene investigator planted blood evidence to frame him.

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USCIS Adjusting Premium Processing Fee

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today it is adjusting the premium processing fee for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers beginning on Oct. 1, 2018 to more effectively adjudicate petitions and maintain effective service to petitioners.

The premium processing fee will increase to $1,410, a 14.92 percent increase (after rounding) from the current fee of $1,225. This increase, which is done in accordance with the Immigration and Nationality Act, represents the percentage change in inflation since the fee was last increased in 2010 based on the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers.

“Because premium processing fees have not been adjusted since 2010, our ability to improve the adjudications and service processes for all petitioners has been hindered as we’ve experienced significantly higher demand for immigration benefits. Ultimately, adjusting the premium processing fee will allow us to continue making necessary investments in staff and technology to administer various immigration benefit requests more effectively and efficiently,” said Chief Financial Officer Joseph Moore. “USCIS will continue adjudicating all petitions on a case-by-case basis to determine if they meet all standards required under applicable law, policies, and regulations.”

Premium processing is an optional service that is currently authorized for certain petitioners filing Forms I-129 or I-140. The system allows petitioners to request 15-day processing of certain employment-based immigration benefit requests if they pay an extra fee. The premium processing fee is paid in addition to the base filing fee and any other applicable fees, which cannot be waived.