Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Hempstead Town Clerk Mark BonillaHempstead Town Clerk Mark Bonilla was painted as both the manipulator of a woman who accused him of sexual harassment and an honest politician Monday during opening statements of his misconduct trial.Bonilla opted for a bench trial before Judge Sharon Gianelli instead of a jury trial after pleading not guilty last fall to charges of coercion, attempted coercion official misconduct and petit larceny.“Most cases seem complex, then become simpler,” Assistant District Attorney Jed Painter told the court in his opening. “This is the opposite, looking simple and then grows like a weed.”Mineola-based defense attorney Adrian DiLuzio asked the judge keep an open and questioned the accuracy of the prosecutor.“A public official doesn’t commit a crime when their acting as regular people,” DiLuzio said in court.Bonilla, who had refused calls from fellow Republicans to step down after his arrest, allegedly asked the ex-boyfriend of his accuser—both of whom worked in the clerk’s office at the time—for intimate photos of the woman in order to get her to drop the complaint.Painter said after Bonilla learned of the allegations, the clerk held a meeting to tell his staff that his accuser “has nothing on me.”The accuser testified Monday afternoon that Bonilla told her she would half to prove her loyalty to him if she wanted the clerk to undo her transfer from his office.The woman recorded the meeting—a recording that is one of the key pieces of evidence in the case, although attempts to play it in court were stumped by technical difficulties.She is expected to take the stand again when the trial resumes Tuesday at First District Court in Hempstead.
“Law No. 1/2018 on the Red Cross requires the organization to assist displaced persons in times of peace and conflict by taking into account the principles of humanity, equality, neutrality, independence, volunteerism, universality and others,” Emanuel said in the statement.Read also: Papua residents flee homes over fears of armed criminal group: PoliceThousands of Papuans have been displaced from their homes following a series of armed conflicts between the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the TPNPB.The TNI’s approach of aggressively hunting down pro-independence fighters in residential areas has been criticized as counterproductive, as it has resulted in the deaths of civilians rather than of the targets themselves.Military personnel allegedly shot randomly in villages in their search for the rebels, causing the deaths of dozens.Various civil society organizations have demanded the government withdraw the troops. The military campaign, however, marches on. (vny)Topics : The Papua Legal Aid Institute (LBH Papua) has urged the government to deploy Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) personnel to restive areas of Papua to provide assistance to tens of thousands internally displaced people forced to flee their homes due to conflicts between the military and the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB).LBH Papua director Emanuel Gobay said in a statement on Thursday that 57,819 Papuans were currently living at evacuation camps in three regions of Nduga, Intan Jaya and Tembagapura due to the ongoing conflicts since 2018.At least 241 people reportedly died as a result of poor living conditions in their shelters, which were mostly located in forests. The displaced residents had minimum access to healthy food, clean water and medicine.