INTRIGUING DOCUMENTARY INSIGHT INTO THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE NOTORIOUS KRAYS

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RONNIE AND REGGIE KRAY

Kray twins

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kray Twins:
Ronald & Reginald Kray

The Kray twins, Reginald (left) and Ronald (right), photographed by David Bailey
Born 24 October 1933 (both)
Hoxton, London, England
Died Ronnie:
17 March 1995 (aged 61)
Broadmoor Hospital, Slough, England
Reggie:
1 October 2000 (aged 66)
Norwich, Norfolk, England
Alias(es) Ronnie & Reggie
Charge(s) Murders of George Cornell and Jack “The Hat” McVitie
Penalty In 1969 both were sentenced to life imprisonment, with a non-parole period of thirty years.
Status Both deceased
Occupation Gangsters and club owners
Spouse Reggie:
Frances Shea (m. 1965–1967)
(her death)
Roberta Jones (m. 1997–2000)
(his death)[1][2]
Ronnie:
Elaine Mildener (m. 1985–1989)
(divorced)[3]
Kate Howard (m. 1989–1994)
(divorced)[4]
Parents Charles Kray and Violet Lee-Kray

Reginald “Reggie” Kray (24 October 1933 – 1 October 2000) and his twin brother Ronald “Ronnie” Kray (24 October 1933 – 17 March 1995) were the foremost perpetrators of organised crime in London’s East End during the 1950s and 1960s. Ronald, commonly referred to as Ron or Ronnie, most likely suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.[5] The Krays were involved in armed robberies, arson, protection rackets, violent assaults including tortureand the murders of Jack “The Hat” McVitie and George Cornell. As West End nightclub owners, they mixed with prominent entertainers including Diana DorsFrank SinatraJudy Garland and politicians. The Krays were highly feared within their social environment, and in the 1960s they became celebrities in their own right, being photographed by David Bailey and interviewed on television. They were arrested on 9 May 1968 and convicted in 1969 by the efforts of a squad of detectives led by Detective Superintendent Leonard “Nipper” Read, and were both sentenced to life imprisonment.

Ronnie remained in Broadmoor Hospital until his death on 17 March 1995, but Reggie was released from prison on compassionate grounds in August 2000, eight weeks before his death in October from cancer.

Ronnie and Reggie Kray were born on 24 October 1933 in Hoxton, East London, to Charles David “Charlie” Kray, Sr, (10 March 1907 – 8 March 1983), a scrap gold dealer, and Violet Lee (5 August 1909 – 4 August 1982).[6] Reggie was born roughly 10 minutes before twin Ronnie. Charlie and Violet already had a six-year old son, Charlie Jr, (9 July 1926 – 4 Apr 2000).[7] A sister, Violet, born 1929, died in infancy. When the twins were three years old, they were struck down with diphtheria and recovered. Ron almost died from a head injury suffered in a fight with his twin brother in 1942.[edit]Early life

In 1938, having previously lived in Stene Street, Hoxton, the Kray family moved to 178 Vallance Road, Bethnal Green. At the start of the Second World War, Charlie Kray Senior was called up into the army, but went into hiding travelling the country as a trader and avoiding the law.

The twins first attended Wood Close School in Brick Lane and then Daniel Street School.[8] They were always trouble; people who knew them were too scared to say anything.

The influence of their grandfather, Jimmy “Cannonball” Lee,[9] led both boys into amateur boxing, which was at that time a popular pursuit for working-class boys in the East End. An element of rivalry between them spurred them on, and they achieved some success. They are said never to have lost a bout before turning professional at the age of 19.

[edit]National Service

The Kray twins became famous locally for their gang and the mayhem they caused. They narrowly avoided prison several times and in early 1952 they were called up for National Service with the Royal Fusiliers. They deserted several times, each time being recaptured.

While absent without leave, the twins assaulted a police officer who had spotted them and was trying to arrest them. They were initially held at the Tower of London (they were among the very last prisoners ever kept there) before being sent to Shepton Mallet military prison in Somerset and gaoled for a month awaiting court-martial. They ended up being gaoled in the Home Counties Brigade Depot gaol in Canterbury, Kent. Their behaviour there was so bad that in the end they were given a dishonourable discharge from the service; for the last few weeks of their imprisonment, when their fate was a certainty anyway, they tried to dominate the exercise area immediately outside their one man cells. They threw tantrums, upended their latrine bucket over a sergeant, similarly dumped a dixie (a large camp kettle[10]) full of hot tea on a guard, handcuffed another guard to the prison bars with a pair of stolen cuffs, and burned their bedding. Eventually they were discharged, but not before escaping from the guardhouse and being recaptured by the army one last time. The escape was executed when they were moved from a one man cell to a communal cell and they assaulted their guard with a china vase. Still, once recaptured and while awaiting transfer to civilian authority for crimes committed during their most recent period at large, they spent their last night in Canterbury drinking cider, eating crisps, and smoking cigarillos courtesy of the young National Servicemen who were acting as their guards.

[edit]Criminal careers

[edit]Nightclub owners

Their criminal record and dishonourable discharge ended their boxing careers. As a result, the twins turned to crime. They bought a run down local snooker club in Bethnal Green, where they started several protection rackets. By the end of the 1950s, the Krays were involved in hijackingarmed robbery and arson, through which they acquired a few clubs and other properties. In 1960 Ronnie Kray was incarcerated for 18 months on charges of running a protection racket and related threats, and while he was in prison, Peter Rachman, the head of a violent landlord operation, gave Reggie the Esmeralda’s Barn, a nightclub in Knightsbridge. This increased the Krays’ influence in the West End of London, with celebrities and famous people rather than East End criminals. They were assisted by banker Alan Cooper who wanted protection from the Krays’ rivals, the Richardsons, who were based in South London.[11]

The twins then had a turf war with Islington’s then infamous criminal twins, Brendan and Daniel Gallagher.

[edit]Celebrity status

In the 1960s, they were widely seen as prosperous and charming celebrity nightclub owners and were part of the Swinging London scene. A large part of their fame was due to their non-criminal activities as popular figures on the celebrity circuit, being photographed by David Bailey on more than one occasion; and socialised with lordsMPs, socialites and show business characters such as the actors George RaftJudy GarlandDiana DorsBarbara Windsor and singer Frank Sinatra.

“They were the best years of our lives. They called them the swinging sixties. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones were rulers of pop music, Carnaby Street ruled the fashion world… and me and my brother ruled London. We were fucking untouchable…” – Ronnie Kray, in his autobiographical book, My Story.[12]

[edit]Lord Boothby and Tom Driberg

The Krays also came into the public eye when an exposé in the tabloid newspaper Sunday Mirror alleged that Ron had had a sexual relationship with Lord Boothby, a UK Conservative Partypolitician.[13] Although no names were printed, Boothby threatened to sue, the newspaper backed down, sacked its editor, apologised, and paid Boothby £40,000 in an out of court settlement.[14] As a result, other newspapers were less willing to uncover the Krays’ connections and criminal activities.

The police investigated the Krays on several occasions, but the twins’ reputation for violence meant witnesses were afraid to come forward to testify. There was also a political problem for both main parties. It was neither in the interests of the Conservative Party to press the police to end the Krays’ power lest the Boothby connection was again publicised and demonstrated, or those of the Labour Party because their MP Tom Driberg was also rumoured to have had a relationship with Ronnie.[15]

[edit]Frank Mitchell

The Blind Beggar pub in 2005

On 12 December 1966 the Krays assisted Frank Mitchell (nicknamed “The Mad Axeman”)[16] (not to be confused with Frankie Fraser – known as “Mad” Frankie Fraser, and contemporaneous, but allied with the rival Richardson gang) in escaping from Dartmoor Prison. Ronnie Kray had befriended Mitchell while they served time together in Wandsworth prison. Mitchell felt the authorities should review his case for parole, so Ronnie felt he would be doing him a favour by getting him out ofDartmoor, highlighting his case in the media and forcing the authorities to act. Once Mitchell was out of Dartmoor, the Krays held him at a friend’s flat in Barking Road. However, as a large man with a mental disorder, he was difficult to deal with and the only course of action was to get rid of him. His body has never been found and the Krays were acquitted of his murder.[16] Freddie Foreman, a former member of The Firm, in his autobiography Respect claimed that Mitchell was shot and the body disposed of at sea.

[edit]George Cornell

Ronnie Kray shot and killed George Cornell in the Blind Beggar pub in Whitechapel on 9 March 1966. Ronnie was drinking in another pub when he heard that Cornell was in the Blind Beggar. Taking Reggie’s driver John “Scotch Jack” Dickson and Ian Barrie, his right-hand man, he then killed Cornell. Just before Cornell died, he remarked “Well look who’s here.” There had been a confrontation at Christmas 1965 between the Krays and the Richardsons at the Astor Club, when Cornell, an associate of the Richardsons, referred to Ronnie as a “fat poof“. However, Ronnie denied this and said that the reason for the killing was because he gave him and Reggie threats. The result was a gang war between the two, and Kray associate Richard Hart was murdered at Mr. Smith’s Club in Catford on 8 March 1966. Ronnie avenged Hart’s death by shooting Cornell. “Mad” Frankie Fraser was taken to court for Hart’s murder but was found not guilty. A member of the Richardsons claimed that he saw him kicking Hart. Cornell was the only one to escape from the brawl in top condition so it is likely that Ronnie thought that he was involved in the murder. Owing to intimidation, witnesses would not co-operate with the police.[17]

[edit]Jack “the Hat” McVitie

The Krays’ criminal activities continued hidden behind their celebrity status and “legitimate” businesses. In October 1967, four months after the suicide of his wife Frances, Reggie was alleged to have been encouraged by his brother to kill Jack “the Hat” McVitie, a minor member of the Kray gang who had failed to fulfil a £1,500 contract paid to him in advance by the Krays to kill Leslie Payne. McVitie was lured to a basement flat in Evering Road, Stoke Newington on the pretence of a party. As he entered, Reggie Kray pointed a handgun at his head and pulled the trigger twice, but the gun failed to discharge. Ronnie Kray then held McVitie in a bearhug and Reggie Kray was handed a carving knife. He stabbed McVitie in the face and stomach, driving it deep into his neck, twisting the blade, continuing as McVitie lay on the floor dying.[18] Several other members of The Firm including the Lambrianou brothers (Tony and Chris) were convicted of this. In Tony’s biography, he claims that when Reggie was stabbing Jack, his liver came out and he had to flush it down the toilet. McVitie’s body has never been recovered.

[edit]Arrest and trial

When Inspector Leonard “Nipper” Read of Scotland Yard was promoted to the Murder Squad, his first assignment was to bring down the Kray twins. It was not his first involvement with Reg and Ron; during the first half of 1964 Read had been investigating their activities, but publicity and official denials surrounding allegations of Ron’s relationship with Boothby had made the evidence he collected useless. Read tackled the problem of convicting the twins with renewed activity in 1967, but frequently came up against the East End “wall of silence”, which discouraged anyone from providing information to the police.[citation needed]

Nevertheless, by the end of 1967 Read had built up evidence against the Krays. There were witness statements incriminating them, as well as other evidence, but none added up to a convincing case on any one charge.

Early in 1968 the twins used a man named Alan Bruce Cooper who hired and sent Paul Elvey to Glasgow to buy explosives for rigging a car bomb. Elvey was the radio engineer who put Radio Sutch, later renamed Radio City on the air in 1964. Police detained him in Scotland and he confessed he had been involved in three botched murder attempts. However, this evidence was weakened by Cooper, who claimed to be an agent for the United States Treasury Department investigating links between the American mafia and the Kray gang. The botched murders were his work, in an attempt to pin something on the Krays. Read tried using Cooper, who was also being employed as a source by one of Read’s superior officers, as a trap for Ron and Reg, but they stayed away from him. See pages 215–222 and pages 250 and 279 of ‘Nipper Read, the man who Nicked the Krays’, by Leonard Read with James Morton. Time-Warner paperbacks, London, 1992. ISBN 0-7515-3175-8.

[edit]Conviction and imprisonment

Eventually, a Scotland Yard conference decided to arrest the Krays on the evidence already collected, in the hope that other witnesses would be forthcoming once the Krays were in custody. On 8 May 1968,[19] the Krays and 15 other members of their “firm” were arrested. Many witnesses came forward now that the Krays’ reign of intimidation was over, and it was relatively easy to gain a conviction. The Krays and 14 others were convicted, with one member of the firm being acquitted. One of the firm members that provided a lot of the information to the police was arrested yet only for a short period. Out of the 17 official firm members, 16 were arrested and convicted. The twins’ defence, under their counsel John Platts-MillsQC, consisted of flat denials of all charges and the discrediting of witnesses by pointing out their criminal past. The judge, Mr Justice Melford Stevenson said: “In my view, society has earned a rest from your activities.”[20] Both were sentenced to life imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 30 years for the murders of Cornell and McVitie, the longest sentences ever passed at the Old Bailey (Central Criminal Court, London) for murder.[21] Their brother Charlie was jailed for 10 years for his part in the murders.

[edit]Imprisonment

On 11 August 1982, under tight security, Ronnie and Reggie Kray were allowed to attend the funeral of their mother Violet, who had died of cancer the week before, but they were not allowed to attend the graveside service at Chingford Mount cemetery in East London where their mother was interred in the Kray family plot. The service was attended by celebrities including Diana Dors and underworld figures known to the Krays.[22] The twins did not ask to attend their father’s funeral when he died seven months later in March 1983: this was to avoid the publicity that had surrounded their mother’s funeral.

Ronnie was eventually once more certified insane and lived the remainder of his life in Broadmoor HospitalCrowthorne, dying on 17 March 1995 of a massive heart attack, aged 61. His funeral on 29 March 1995 was a huge event with people lining the streets.

Reggie Kray was a Category A prisoner, denied almost all liberties and not allowed to mix with other prisoners. However, in his later years, he was downgraded to Category C and transferred toNorfolk‘s Wayland Prison.

In 1985, officials at Broadmoor Hospital discovered a business card of Ron’s, which prompted an investigation that revealed the twins – incarcerated at separate institutions – along with their older brother, Charlie, and another accomplice who was not in prison, were operating a “lucrative bodyguard and ‘protection’ business for Hollywood stars”. Documents released under Freedom of Information laws revealed that officials were concerned about this operation, called Krayleigh Enterprises, but believed there was no legal basis to shut it down. Documentation of the investigation reveals Frank Sinatra hired 18 bodyguards from Krayleigh Enterprises in 1985.[23]

During incarceration, Reggie became a born again Christian. After serving more than the recommended 30 years he was sentenced to in March 1969, he was finally freed from Wayland on 26 August 2000, at almost 67-years-old. He was released on compassionate grounds as a result of having inoperable bladder cancer.[24] The final weeks of his life were spent with his wife Roberta, whom he had married while in Maidstone prison in July 1997, in a suite at the Townhouse Hotel at Norwich, having left Norwich hospital on 22 September 2000. On 1 October 2000, Reggie Kray died in his sleep. Ten days later, he was buried alongside his brother Ronnie, in Chingford cemetery.

Elder brother Charlie Kray was released in 1975 after serving seven years, but returned to prison in 1997 for conspiracy to smuggle cocaine worth £69m in an undercover drugs sting. He died of natural causes in prison on 4 April 2000, six months before Reggie’s death.[25]

[edit]Personal lives

Despite negative cultural attitudes of the time, Ronnie was openly bisexual, evidenced by his book My Story and a confession to writer Robin McGibbon on The Kray Tapes where he states, “I’m bisexual, not gay. Bisexual.” He also planned on marrying a lady called Monica in the 1960s but was arrested before he had the chance. This is mentioned in Reggie’s book Born Fighter.[26] Reggie once had a one night stand with Barbara Windsor,[27][28] whose EastEnders character Peggy Mitchell was reputedly based on Violet Kray (e.g. her matriarchy over two thuggish sons)[citation needed].

In an interview with author John Pearson, Ronnie indicated a strong identification with Gordon of Khartoum, explaining: “Gordon was like me, ‘omosexual, and he met his death like a man. When it’s time for me to go, I hope I do the same.”[29]

[edit]Controversies

This section contains weasel words: vague phrasing that often accompanies biased or unverifiable information. Such statements should be clarified or removed(January 2011)

Some[who?] believe the Krays’ sentences were harsher than deserved and that they were made an example of.[30] The Kray twins were tried as separate, responsible adults, although it was argued[by whom?] that Ronnie dominated his brother and was a paranoid schizophrenic.[5]

There was a long-running campaign, with some minor celebrity support, to have the twins released from prison, but successive Home Secretaries vetoed the idea, largely on the grounds that the Krays’ prison records were both marred by violence towards other inmates. The campaign gathered momentum after the release of a film based on their lives called The Krays in 1990. Produced by Ray Burdis, it starred ex-members of Spandau Ballet brothers Martin Kemp, who played the role of Reggie, and Gary Kemp, who played Ronnie.

Some[who?] argue that Reggie’s several attempted murders, and the murder of Jack McVitie, were carried out as a result of Ronnie’s prompting, and to show that he was equal to Ronnie’s earlier murders. Reggie wrote: “I seem to have walked a double path most of my life. Perhaps an extra step in one of those directions might have seen me celebrated rather than notorious.”[31] Others, however, point to Reggie’s violent prison record when he was being detained separately from Ronnie and argue that in reality, the twins’ temperaments were little different.

Reggie’s marriage to Frances Shea in 1965 lasted eight weeks, although the marriage was never formally dissolved. An inquest came to the conclusion that she committed suicide in 1967,[32] but in 2002 an ex lover of Reggie Kray came forward to allege that Frances was actually murdered by a jealous Ronnie. Bradley Allardyce spent three years in Maidstone prison with Reggie and explained, “I was sitting in my cell with Reg and it was one of those nights where we turned the lights down low and put some nice music on and sometimes he would reminisce. He would get really deep and open up to me. He suddenly broke down and said ‘I’m going to tell you something I’ve only ever told two people and something I’ve carried around with me’ – something that had been a black hole since the day he found out. He put his head on my shoulder and told me Ronnie killed Frances. He told Reggie what he had done two days after.”[33]

When Ronnie spent three years in prison, Reggie is said to have turned the “firm” around, putting it on a sound financial footing, and removing many of the more violent and less appealing aspects, if not actually turning it legal. Some[who?] speculate that without his brother, Reggie could have turned the “firm” into one of the largest and most successful criminal organisations in Europe; however, the Kray business was always built on their reputation for savage violence, and it was Ronnie who was principally responsible. The twins were never able to cope well apart.[citation needed]

In 2009 a British television documentary, the Gangster and the Pervert Peer, was aired which revealed that Ronnie Kray was in fact a male rapist (commonly referred to in criminal circles as a “nonce case”). The programme also went on to detail his relationship with Tory Lord Bob Boothby as well as an ongoing Daily Mirror investigation into Lord Boothby’s dealings with the Kray brothers. [2]

[edit]In popular culture

This “In popular culture” section may contain minor or trivial references. Please reorganize this content to explain the subject’s impact on popular culture rather than simply listing appearances, and remove trivial references. (August 2011)

[edit]In film

  • Performance (1970), directed by Nicolas Roeg, featured a London gangster named Harry Flowers (played by Johnny Shannon) who surrounded himself with muscle magazines and rent boys; the character and his milieu were inspired by Ronnie Kray.
  • Villain (1971) starred Richard Burton as sadistic, homosexual London gang leader Vic Dakin, a character modelled on Ronnie Kray.
  • The Long Good Friday (1980) used the Kray Twins as inspiration for the protagonist Harold ShandBob Hoskins, who played Shand, reportedly received a letter from the Krays in prison congratulating him on his presentation of a London gangster in the film.

[edit]In literature

Many books address the Kray brothers’ reign including several written by one or both twins. Those most critically acclaimed include:

[edit]Books by the Kray brothers

[edit]Books by other authors

  • The Kray twins are mentioned frequently in Jake Arnott‘s first novel, The Long Firm (1999), wherein the main character, Harry Starks, is a fictional homosexual East End gangster in the 1960s who has a criminal career similar to the Krays’.
  • Carol Ann Duffy has written a poem entitled “The Kray Sisters”, in which she changes the story of the Kray twins into a women’s format. There are clear links to the original story, with characters in the poem such as “Cannonball Vi”, a clear mix of the twins’ grandfather and mother.
  • The Balvak Twins, who like the Krays, run organised crime in the West End, are recurring antagonists for Detective Sergeant Suzie Mountford in a series of police procedural novels by John Gardner. However, the Balvaks’ activities take place during World War II rather than the 1960s.
  • The Kray twins are mentioned in the second part of Tu Rostro Mañana, a novel by Javier Marías. One of the characters refers to them in order to explain why he carries a sword in his overcoat.
  • The Cult of Violence: The Untold Story of the Krays, by John Pearson (2002) – ISBN 0752847-94-5
  • The Profession of Violence: Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins, by John Pearson – First published in 1972 by Weidenfeld and Nicolson
  • In J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter series, the main villain, Lord Voldemort is so feared that most wizards and witches refer to him as “You-Know-Who” or “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named”. According to Rowling, this was inspired by the Kray twins’ very names being taboo.[35]
  • The Kray twins feature many times in Addict by Stephen Smith, a book about Smith’s struggle with drugs.
  • Charlie Bronson, “Britain’s Most Violent Prisoner”, became a trusted friend of the Kray twins in prison and wrote The Krays and Me: Blood, Honour and Respect. Doing Porridge With the Krays. He also included a poem about the Krays on the last page of his workout book Solitary Fitness.
  • Ghoul by Michael Slade makes many references to the Kray twins as British police officers struggle to solve a slew of homocides in London.

[edit]In music

A number of artists mention the Kray twins in songs:

[edit]In radio

  • In episode 3 of the sixth series of Old Harry’s Game, titled “Murderers”, the Kray twins are part of a symposium of murderers called together by Satan in order to get some insight into a murderer’s mindset. In an unwise moment of anger, Thomas Crimp calls Ronnie a “big Cockney poof”, which begins an attack on Crimp by the Krays and turns into a free-for-all fight forcing Satan to call for back-up.

[edit]In television

  • Ronnie Kray had a mention in series 2, episode 6 of The Armstrong and Miller Show in the song, “When You’re Gay”.
  • The Comic Strip team did their take on the Krays with Alexei Sayle in the role of both twins as the Moss Brothers, Carl and Sterling, in Didn’t You Kill My Brother?
  • The long-running TV drama EastEnders has featured a gangland organisation called The Firm. The characters Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell are modelled on The Krays, hence their names. As Reggie is a male name, it was changed to Roxy for the EastEnders role of one of the Mitchell sisters.
  • Kate Kray – the ex-wife of Ronnie Kray – showed the glamorous yet restricted lives of women who married gangsters in the documentary Gangsters’ Wives.
  • The time-travelling hero of Goodnight Sweetheart has several passing encounters with the Kray twins as children in East-End London of the 1940s.
  • In episode 3 of the second series of the BBC programme Monkey Dust, a minor character who frequently marries criminals, has her surnames read out in a marriage ceremony to Ivan Dobsky. Two of these surnames are “Kray” (among surnames of other infamous criminals).
  • The Krays were the inspiration behind the Monty Python “Piranha Brothers” sketch. This sketch was rooted in fact; even the tale of nailing someone to the floor is based on the murder of Jack “the Hat” McVitie, who was pinned to the floor with a long knife. Inspector Leonard “Nipper” Read became “Superintendent Harry ‘Snapper’ Organs”.
  • In the TV series Top Gear, during a challenge to decide the best van, each presenter was timed to see how long he would take to be caught by a police car driven by The Stig. Here, James Maywas called James Kray in light of the comical criminal challenge.
  • The British TV series, Waking the Dead, featured a two-parter called “Deathwatch” in which the cold-case detectives investigated a murder related to a pair of East-End gangster brothers from the early 60s called the Suttons, who were clearly based on the Krays: one was described as psychotic and the photos used to depict them were similar to those of the Krays.
  • In 1991, a children’s TV puppet show called The Winjin Pom featured two crow siblings called Ronnie and Reggie (the “Crows”) who were always after the goodies to steal their magical camper van named after the show title, but always failed.
  • Association with (or former association with) the Krays is also seen as a sign of prestige in many social circles, or an indication of Cockney authenticity. This attitude was spoofed in the British television series The Young Ones with Robbie Coltrane as a bouncer claiming “…and I was at Violet’s funeral”, a reference to the twins’ mother.
  • Whitechapel II, a 2010 ITV drama series in which supposed descendants of the Kray twins copy their crimes.[38]
  • Hale and Pace, a UK comedy double act, regularly performs as ‘The Management’ where they dress in the black suit and tie style of bouncers. Their conversations are delivered in a monotone stereotypical East London gangster accent. Throughout the dialogue they both refer to each other as ‘Ron’.
  • On the Final episode of The Inbetweeners, Jay tells simon that his dad is playing Poker with Danny Dyer and The Krays, which Will says Aren’t The Krays dead.
  • Reginald Kray was mentioned in “Russell Brand’s Ponderland S02E03 Education” in a joke as comparison to a school truant’s mother.
  • In Only Fools And Horses the Driscall brothers are portraited as the Kray twins.

[edit]In theatre

  • Peter Straughan‘s play, Bones, features a character who claims to be Reggie Kray and begins to heavily influence the actions of the other characters.

[edit]In video games

  • In The Getaway, a gangster named Charlie Jolson says that he used to run London “with real men like Ronnie and Reggie”.
  • In The Getaway: Black Monday Danny introduces Arthur, the cleaner of the operation, saying “He used to work for the Krays ya know.”
  • Grand Theft Auto Mission Pack #1: London, 1969 features a pair of twin gangsters named Albert and Archie Crisp who are a reference to the Kray twins.
  • Privateer 2: The Darkening features a mission in which the player has to deal with a pair of gangsters named the Bray Twins.

[edit]In science and engineering

For many years the British Met Office in Bracknell ran a pair of Cray-1 supercomputers named Ronnie and Reggie.[39]

FOR GOODNESS SAKE …LET MICHAEL JACKSON REST IN PEACE

MICHAEL JACKSON BEING RUSHED FROM HIS RESIDENCE TO HOSPITAL  ON JUNE 25TH 2009 AFTER COLLAPSING

He didn’t even have time to close his eyes: The final indignity for Jacko as jury at doctor’s trial sees shocking deathbed picture

 

  • Jackson’s personal physician Dr Conrad Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter
  • Prosecutor shows jury photo of singer on gurney after his death and plays disturbing audio of him slurring a month before death
  • Accuses Dr Murray of delaying call to 911 as he tries to revive Jackson
  • Defence claims that Jackson killed himself
  • First witness, choreographer Kenny Ortega, says Jackson ‘wasn’t right’ during rehearsals
  • Tour manager Paul Gongaware says Dr Murray initially demanded $5million a year to care for performer
  • Jackson’s parents and siblings Janet, La Toya, Tito, Randy and Jermaine in court
  • Woman stopped as she rushes towards Dr Murray in courthouse corridor
  • Millions around the world expected to watch trial

 

 

The highly anticipated trial into the death of Michael Jackson opened with an extraordinary moment yesterday as the prosecutor started his opening remarks by displaying a photo of the singer’s dead body.

As Dr Conrad Murray appeared before the jury charged with involuntary manslaughter over Jackson’s death more than two years ago, deputy district attorney David Walgren displayed the picture that appeared to show tape or tubing over Jackson’s face.

But the doctor’s attorney Ed Chernoff told the jury it was the singer who caused his own death by swallowing a ‘perfect storm’ of drugs.

‘He died so fast he did not even have time to close his eyes.’ he said.

Outside the Los Angeles courthouse, fans of the King of Pop faced supporters of Dr Murray waving placards and banners at each other and passers-by. Inside, the whole Jackson family made their way into court for what has been billed as the trial of the century.

 

This photo of Michael Jackson stretched out on a gurney was shown to the jury on the opening day of the trial. His personal physician, Dr Conrad Murray, is charged with involuntary manslaughter

This photo of Michael Jackson stretched out on a gurney was shown to the jury on the opening day of the trial. His personal physician, Dr Conrad Murray, is charged with involuntary manslaughter

Landmark trial: Dr Conrad Murray, right, is charged with the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson
Landmark trial: Dr Conrad Murray, right, is charged with the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson

The trial of Dr Murray, right, will be followed by millions around the globe and TV bosses are expecting the biggest ever ratings for a court hearing

Later, the prosecution played a tape of a healthy-looking Jackson giving his last ever performance – a rehearsal of his hit Earth Song – recorded a day before he died.

The lights in the courtroom were turned off and the singer was shown on a screen performing the track at rehearsals at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, just hours before he passed away.

Jackson’s mother appeared to be in tears watching the clip.

 

‘Michael Jackson’s death was a homicide,’ Los Angeles deputy district attorney David Walgren told the jury in opening statements.

‘The evidence will show that Michael Jackson literally put his life in the hands of Conrad Murray… Michael Jackson trusted his life to the medical skills of Conrad Murray.

‘The evidence will show that misplaced trust had far too high a price to pay… it cost Michael Jackson his life.’

But Dr Murray’s defence attorney Mr Chernoff told the jury that the singer caused his own death.

Dr Murray wiped tears from his eyes as Mr Chernoff said that the evidence will show that the singer swallowed eight, 2mg pills of Lorazepam and injected himself with a dose of propofol.

This ‘created a perfect storm in his body that killed him instantly,’ Mr Chernoff said.

Mr Chernoff said that Jackson, who was frustrated because he could not sleep and frustrated because his doctor refused to give him a drug that he wanted, ‘did an act that caused his own death’.

Emotional: The prosecution showed the court Jackson's last performance, a rehearsal of Earth Song, which appeared to bring his mother to tearsEmotional: The prosecution showed the court Jackson’s last performance, a rehearsal of Earth Song, which appeared to bring his mother to tears

Comparison: Prosecutors showed pictures of the singer before and after his death on June 25 2009Comparison: Prosecutors showed pictures of the singer before and after his death on June 25 2009

Visibly upset: Dr Murray breaks down and has to wipe away tears with a tissue as his defence attorney speaksVisibly upset: Dr Murray breaks down and has to wipe away tears with a tissue as his defence attorney speaks

Hearing: Dr Murray sits in the courtroom as he hears evidence in his involuntary manslaughter trial
Hearing: Dr Murray sits in the courtroom as he hears evidence in his involuntary manslaughter trial

Hearing: Dr Murray sits in the courtroom as he hears the evidence put forward in his trial

Disturbing audio: The prosecutor played Michael Jackson slurring and rambling over a month before his deathDisturbing audio: The prosecutor played a recording taken from Dr Murray’s iPhone of the singer slurring and rambling over a month before his death

DR MURRAY’S DEFENCE MISSPELL MICHAEL JACKSON’S NAME

Enlarge Michael JacksonAs Dr Murray’s defence attorney presented his opening statement, he put up a poster board with Michael Jackson’s name misspelt.

‘How did Micheal Jackson get to this point?’ read the first question on the chart shown behind Ed Chernoff.

The prosecution also made their own spelling mistake on the opening day of the trial. On a slide the word ‘pronounced’ was spelt without the second ‘n’.

‘He died so fast he did not even have time to close his eyes.’ Mr Chernoff said.

Jackson’s parents, his siblings Janet, La Toya, Tito, Randy and Jermaine were all at the courthouse in LA for the opening statements in the trial of the singer’s personal physician, who was the last person to see him alive.

In the prosecution’s opening statements, Mr Walgren insisted that the evidence will show that the ‘acts and omissions of Michael Jackson’s personal doctor Conrad Murray directly led to his premature death at the age of 50’.

Murray ‘repeatedly acted with gross negilience, repeatedly denied appropriate care to his patient Michael Jackson and that is was Dr Murray’s repeated incompetent and unskilled acts that led to Michael Jackson’s death on June 25, 2009,’ Mr Walgren said.

The prosecutor played disturbing audio recorded on Dr Murray’s iPhone of Jackson apparently under the influence of propofol a month before his death.

On the tape, Jackson sounded slurred and confused as he mumbled: ‘We have to be phenomenal… When people leave this show, when people leave my show, I want them to say, “I’ve never seen nothing like this in my life. Go. Go.”‘

Mr Walgren said the audio was evidence that Dr Murray knew what was happening to Jackson and should have discontinued ordering propofol.

Resting place: The bed where the singer was found deadResting place: The bed where the singer was found dead

Protests: Demonstrators gather outside Los Angeles Superior Court during the opening day of Dr Conrad Murray's trial in the death of pop star Michael JacksonProtests: Demonstrators gather outside Los Angeles Superior Court during the opening day of Dr Murray’s trial in the death of the pop star

Mr Walgren attempted to paint a picture of the days leading up to the singer’s death.

On June 19 ‘Michael showed up for his rehearsal and he was not in good shape, he was not in good shape at all,’ Mr Walgren said.

‘He had chills, he was trembling… he was rambling.’

Kenny Ortega, the choreographer of Jackson’s proposed This Is It tour, expressed concerns about Jackson, but Dr Murray allegedly told him and others that Jackson was ‘physically and emotionally fine’.

‘Don’t let it be your concern, I am the doctor,’ Dr Murray allegedly said.

The prosecutor also laid out the order of events from inside Jackson’s house on the night that he died.

Mr Walgren accused Dr Murray of failing to call 911 as soon as he realised that there was something wrong with Jackson.

Dr Murray listens intently as his trial gets under wayDr Murray listens intently as his trial gets under way

He said that an emergency call was not made until 12:20pm, at least 24 minutes after Dr Murray is believed to have discovered Jackson unconscious.

The prosecutors claimed that phone records showed that Jackson was left unattended for too long.

‘It will be clear that Conrad Murray abandoned Michael when he needed help,’ Mr Walgren said.

‘It was Conrad Murray’s gross negligence, it was Conrad Murray’s unskilled hands and his desire to obtain this lucrative contract of $150,000 a month that led Dr Murray to not only abandon his patient, but to abandon all principles of medical care.’

Singer Janet Jackson and Randy Jackson arrive at the courthouse holding handsSinger Janet Jackson and Randy Jackson arrive at the courthouse holding hands

On trial: Conrad Murray arrives at court in Los Angeles for the first day of his manslaughter trialOn trial: Dr Murray arriving for the first day of the LA hearing

MEDIC WAS ‘ADORED BY JACKSON CHILDREN PRINCE AND PARIS’

He is the man accused of neglecting and killing their father. But Prince Michael and Paris Jackson actually thought that Conrad Murray was a ‘godsend’ who really cared for him, it has been claimed.

It is thought Prince could be called to the stand to give evidence. Sources quoted by U.S. gossip website RadarOnline said the 14 and 13 year-old had a high opinion of Murray before he alleged killed Michael Jackson.

Only later did they change their mind and come to the conclusion he was a bad man. If there is evidence to back this up it could hamper the testimony that the boys reportedly want to give.

‘Prince and Paris adored Murray and thought he was a godsend for their father,’ the source said. ‘It was only after their father’s death that they formed a subsequent opinion of him. Both Prince and Paris could take the stand and wind up providing evidence which supports the doctor.’

Should Prince give evidence he will tell the jury of the moment he saw his father lying dead on his bed as Murray tried to revive him. But he will also be open to cross examination by the doctor’s defence team who could seek to look back at instances in the past where they got on.

Mr Walgren also showed images of Jackson’s bedroom to show how medical monitoring devices typically used when someone is under anesthesia were not there or appeared unused.

A blood pressure cuff was still in a box and an oxygen tank had no oxygen, Mr Walgren said.

But as the defence made their opening statements, Murray wiped away tears as Mr Chernoff described the doctor and Jackson as ‘friends first’.

‘Dr Murray is no celebrity doctor. He is a cardiologist. He literally saves lives. That’s who he is,’ Mr Chernoff said.

He said that on the day he died, Jackson had told Murray that he not slept for 10 hours and that if he did not sleep he would not be able to rehearse and would disappoint his fans.

Dr Murray agreed to give him a 25 mg injection of propofol mixed with lidocaine.

Mr Chernoff said that such a small dose would ‘dissipate in ten minutes’.

He said that the amount found in Jackson’s body, more than 100 mgs, was consistent with major invasive surgery and was administered by Jackson himself.

Jackson ‘self-administered an additional dose of propofol and it killed him like that, there was no way to save him,’ said Mr Chernoff.

His death was a tragedy, he added, but Murray is not responsible. Murray is ‘not perfect… but in this criminal court, we believe he is not guilty,’ he added.

The evidence:

  • Choreographer Kenny Ortega says Jackson ‘wasn’t right’ at rehearsals
'Not stable': Choreographer Kenny Ortega said Jackson was not right physically or mentally‘Not stable’: Choreographer Kenny Ortega told the court Jackson was not right physically or mentally a week before his death

Jackson’s choreographer and friend Kenny Ortega, the first witness called, testified that the singer was in bad shape physically and mentally less than a week before his death.

He said he sent an email to Randy Phillips, producer of the ‘This Is It’ concert, telling him that Jackson was ill, should probably have a psychological evaluation and was not ready to perform.

‘It’s important for everyone to know he really wants this,’ he wrote. ‘It would shatter him, break his heart if we pulled the plug. He’s terribly frightened it’s all going to go away.’

In response to the email, said Ortega, a meeting was called at Jackson’s house where Ortega clashed with Murray, who told him to stop playing amateur psychiatrist and doctor.

‘He [Murray] said Michael was physically and emotionally capable of handling all his responsibilities for the show,’ said Ortega. ‘I was shocked. Michael didn’t seem to be physically or emotionally stable.’

Within a few days, he said, Jackson had recouped his energy and was full of enthusiasm for the show.

On June 25, Ortega received a phone call from producer Paul Gongaware saying an ambulance had taken Michael to the hospital.

Gongaware called later and told Ortega: ‘We lost him.’

  • Dr Murray demanded $5million a year to be Jackson’s physician

Paul Gongaware, who was managing Jackson’s This Is It tour, said Dr Murray initially demanded $5million a year to be the singer’s personal physician.

Gongaware, who worked with Jackson on his Dangerous and History tours, told prosecutors the singer made the specific request to have Dr Murray brought on board.

‘He wanted to hire Dr Murray,’ said Gongaware who is AEG Live’s Co-CEO, adding that Jackson called his body a ‘machine’ that needed to be taken care of.

Demands: Tour manager Paul Gongaware said Dr Murray initially wanted $5m to be Jackson's physicianDemands: Tour manager Paul Gongaware said Dr Murray initially wanted $5m to be Jackson’s physician

Gongaware told the court: ‘I didn’t know Dr Murray at all – and we were going to London. My preference would have been to hire someone who was licensed there. Who knew what was going on.

‘I called Dr Murray – to try to make a deal with him. He wanted to do it. I asked him what he wanted. He said that he had four clinics that he had to close, in Houston, Las Vegas, San Diego and Hawaii; that he would have to lay off people – so he said he needed $5million a year to do that.

‘I told him there was no way that was going to happen. Michael couldn’t afford it. I ended the negotiations.’

Jackson then brought up the issue again. His assistant, Michael Amir Williams, called Gongaware to tell him.

‘I heard Michael Jackson in the car saying, “Offer him 150, offer him 150.”‘ Gongaware took that to mean $150,000 a month.

‘I called Dr Murray. I said to him I’m authorised to offer you 150 a month,’ Gongaware said. ‘He said, “No I really couldn’t do it for that”. I cut him off mid-sentence and said, “That offer comes directly from the artist.” Without missing a beat he said, “I’ll take it.”‘

Gongaware also revealed that there were so many fans clamouring for O2 tickets that Jackson could have sold out his 50-concerts in London twice over.

Gongaware said Jackson was initially contracted to play 31 dates at the arena, a number chosen because of his long-time rivalry with the artist Prince.

‘Prince did 21 shows at the O2 and Michael wanted to do ten more,’ said Gongaware.

He said 10 shows were initially put on sale and they ‘sold out instantly.’ The number of concerts was eventually re-contracted for 50.

‘More than  250,000 people were still in the queue after the 50 shows sold out. That would have been enough to sell out another 50 shows.’

  • Tape of Jackson’s slurred and confused words

Prosecutors played an audio recording of the pop superstar slurring his words and talking about his upcoming concerts.

Prosecutor David Walgren told jurors the audio from May 10 2009, over a month before Jackson’s death, was retrieved from Dr Conrad Murray’s cell phone.

Jackson’s voice was unrecognisable on the recording. He was speaking slowly and Walgren described the singer as highly under the influence during the conversation.

It was the first time the audio was disclosed or played in public.

‘We have to be phenomenal… When people leave this show, when people leave my show, I want them to say, “I’ve never seen nothing like this in my life. Go. Go,”‘ Jackson is heard saying.

‘”It’s amazing. He’s the greatest entertainer in the world. I’m taking the money, a million children, children’s hospital, the biggest in the world, Michael Jackson’s Children’s Hospital,”‘ the singer is heard rambling.

Walgren used the audio to bolster his point that Murray should have known better than to continue giving Jackson the powerful anaesthetic propofol, which was cited as a cause of Jackson’s death.

  • Propofol: ‘The drug that killed Jacko’

Central to the prosecution’s case is that Dr Conrad Murray administered a lethal dose of the drug propofol to Michael Jackson on the night he died and then left the room, during which time the singer stopped breathing.

They charge that Murray gave the star a lethal dose of the sedative, which the singer frequently used as a sleeping aid, calling it his ‘milk’ which he needed for his nightly battle with insomnia. But prosecutor David Walgren told the jury that propofol is ‘not a sleep aid or a sleep agent, it is a general anaesthetic’.

He continued: ‘It’s a wonderful drug if used by someone who knows what he is doing, who knows the dangers as well as the benefits.’ It should under no circumstances be given outside a hospital setting.

Dr Conrad Murray did not mention propofol to emergency room doctors at UCLA Medical Centre when asked what pop star Michael Jackson had been given, according to the prosecution.

Drug: Dr Conrad Murray today starts his trial for the wrongful death of Michael Jackson who died of Acute Propofol intoxicationProsecutors allege that Murray gave the star a lethal dose of the sedative, which the singer frequently used as a sleeping aid, calling it his ¿milk¿ which he needed for his nightly battle with insomnia

In his opening statement, Mr Walgren told the jury that between 6 April, 2009, and the day of Jackson’s death on June 25, Murray ordered enough propofol to give Jackson 1,937 milligrams a day.

The prosecution then focused on the uses and settings for which propoful should be used, noting that it is an ‘improper treatment of insomnia’. Mr Walgren mentions the correct equipment that should be utilised when administering propofol – which is done intravenously – and the complications that can arise when this does not happen.

Testimony: District deputy attorney David Walgren gives his opening statement for the prosecutionDistrict deputy attorney David Walgren gives his opening statement for the prosecution

Defence lawyers claim Murray had been trying to wean Jackson off propofol and gave him only a minimal dosage.

They claim the singer, desperate for sleep, swallowed an additional dose of the drug when his doctor was out of the room.

Their theory is based on evidence that a trace amount of propofol was found in Jackson’s stomach.

Medical witnesses may be asked to explain how it could have been found in his stomach, as ingesting it orally is almost unheard of.

The drug is used to reduce anxiety and tension, and promotes relaxation and sleep or loss of consciousness. Propofol provides loss of awareness for short diagnostic tests and surgical procedures, sleep at the beginning of surgery, and supplements other types of general anaesthetics. Long-term use of the drug can result in addiction. The steep dose-response curve of the drug makes potential misuse very dangerous without proper monitoring.

Side effects of the drug include: difficulty breathing, wheezing, fast heartbeat, palpitations, seizures, uncontrollable muscle spasm and swelling or extreme pain at the injection site.

  • Jackson’s final hours

Prosecutors say that Murray made a number of phone calls between 10:20 and 11:51am the morning of Jackson’s death. He is believed to have discovered the star unconscious at about 11.56am but he did not tell anyone to call 911 until 12.20pm.

During his last phone call – to a cocktail waitress who Murray regarded as his girlfriend – he suddenly became silent and the phone went dead.

‘This is likely the time Conrad Murray first noticed Michael Jackson’s lifeless body,’ prosecutor David Walgren said.

The cocktail waitress made a statement that Murray stopped responding to her and then five minutes later the phone went dead.

Revealed: The court was shown pictures from inside Jackson's home. The centre images shows the last jacket he wore on his bathroom floorThe court was shown pictures from inside Jackson’s home. The central image shows the last jacket he wore lying on his bathroom floor

It was not until 12.12pm that Murray called Jackson’s personal assistant Michael Williams and left a message saying: ‘Call me right away, please. Please call me right away. Thank you.’ When Mr Williams immediately called Murray back he told him: ‘Get here right away Mr Jackson had a bad reaction, he had a bad reaction’, according to prosecutors.

He had yet to call 911 at this point.

Mr Williams then called security guard Albert Alvarez to go and investigate and he said that when he entered Jackson’s room, he was lying on the bed and Dr Murray was administering CPR.

According to the prosecution, Murray then ordered the security guard to grab a bag while he started grabbing vials and a saline bag hanging from the IV stand to put inside the bag.

That bag was later found inside Jackson’s home.

The rented Los Angeles home where the singer was found unconsciousThe rented Los Angeles home where the singer was found unconscious

Prosecutors also say the doctor ordered someone to clean up signs that Jackson had been receiving a variety of medications, including propofol, and that he improperly monitored Jackson’s vital signs, performed inadequate CPR and did not inform emergency medical personnel that he had given the singer propofol.

A recorded conversation that Murray had two days after Jackson’s death was played where Murray can be heard saying that he gave his patient a small dose of propofol and then left him for 15 minutes to go to the bathroom.

‘Then I came back to his bedside and was shocked because he wasn’t breathing,’ he says in the audio recorded on June 27. Prosecutors allege that he was gone for a lot longer.

At 12.30, paramedics arrived at his home and treated Jackson for 42 minutes before transporting him to nearby Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

He arrived at 1.14pm and a team of doctors tried for more than an hour to resuscitate him. He was declared dead at 2.26pm with members of his family by his side.

  • Jackson ‘killed himself after doctor tried to wean him off drugs’
Accusation: Dr Murray's attorney said that Jackson had given himself the propofol that killed him (file picture)Dr Murray’s attorney alleges that Jackson had given himself the propofol that killed him

Dr Murray’s defence attorney said that Michael Jackson gave himself the drugs that killed him because the doctor refused.

Ed Chernoff told the jury that Jackson did not die because of Murray’s treatment, but because ‘Dr Murray stopped’ giving him the drugs he demanded.

He said that when Murray started working for Jackson, the singer was already using propofol and said he could only sleep if he was given it.

Jackson said he had always taken what he called ‘his milk’ while on tour.

The defence attorney said that Murray had administered the drug because he was concerned about the drug and believed that the singer would find a way to get it anyway.

He said that Murray was trying to wean Jackson off propofol at the time of he death and that he had refused to give it to the singer on the day he died because it was the third day of the weaning off process.

Mr Chernoff said that Jackson swallowed 8, 2 mg pills of Lorazepam and injected himself with a dose of propofol, while Murray was out of the room.

This ‘created a perfect storm in his body that killed him instantly,’ Mr Chernoff said.

Outside court: People both for and against Dr Murray gathered by the courthouse in Los Angeles
Outside court: People both for and against Dr Murray gathered by the courthouse in Los Angeles

Outside court: People both for and against Dr Murray gathered by the courthouse in Los Angeles

Fans: Michael Jackson impersonator Goward Horton poses for the media outside the courthouseFans: Michael Jackson impersonator Goward Horton poses for the media outside the courthouse

Millions of people around the world are expected to watch as the trial gives a glimpse into final days of the King of Pop.

Crowds of people gathered at the Los Angeles Superior Court where there was a lottery drawn for seats for the opening statements.

Supporters of both Dr Murray, 57, and Jackson are outside the courthouse with signs including, ‘Fair trial for Dr Murray’ and ‘Doctors are expected to heal not kill’.

A woman had to be stopped by court officers as she rushed towards Dr Murray as he walked in a courthouse corridor. She reportedly said she just wanted to speak to the doctor, it is not clear if she has been detained.

The list of potential witnesses includes his eldest children Prince Michael and Paris, who have reportedly said that they want to take to the stand to testify.

Sister: La Toya Jackson arrives with a sunflower during the opening day of Dr Conrad Murray's trial

Sister: La Toya Jackson arrives with a sunflower during the opening day of Dr Conrad Murray’s trial

Relatives: The Jackson Family, including mother Katherine Jackson and father Joe Jackson, arrive at the Criminal Courts Building in Downtown Los Angeles
In court: Michael Jackson's father Joe arrives for opening statements in the trial

Relatives: The Jackson Family, including mother Katherine Jackson and father Joe Jackson, arrive at the Criminal Courts Building in Downtown Los Angeles

Brother: Jermaine Jackson arrives during the opening day of Dr Conrad Murray's trialBrother: Jermaine Jackson arrives during the opening day of Dr Conrad Murray’s trial

RATINGS WINNER: MILLIONS TO WATCH TRIAL ACROSS GLOBE

People around the world are expected to watch as the public hears for the first time from Dr Murray what happened in the events leading to Michael Jackson’s death.

The trial is expected to be attended by Jackson’s high-profile family, including his parents and sisters Janet and La Toya, and stars such as High School Musical choreographer Kenny Ortega, who is expected to be the first witness to be called.

Cable news networks are hoping that the court proceedings will be a repeat of the Casey Anthony trial, which proved a ratings success.

News network HLN, which saw record ratings during the trial of the Florida mother, is planning similarly exhaustive coverage of the case, including analysis from Nancy Grace, who has been thrust into the spotlight.

Medical examiners have determined Jackson’s death at the age of 50 on June 25 2009, at his rented Los Angeles mansion was due to an overdose of the powerful anaesthetic propofol and sedatives.

Prosecutors say Murray caused Jackson’s death by giving him propofol as a sleep aid, and failing to monitor him properly.

Murray denies the charge of involuntary manslaughter but faces a prison sentence of up to four years if convicted.

His defence team is expected to argue that Jackson was addicted to various painkillers and sedatives and gave himself the fatal dose of propofol, possibly by swallowing it.

Ed Chernoff, the lead attorney for Murray, said in closed-door arguments on Monday that Jackson, 50, was ‘desperate’ around the time of his death.

‘We think that Michael Jackson was involved in certain acts that ended his own life,’ Chernoff said, according to a court transcript.

The trial is expected to hear testimony from the paramedics who transported Jackson to the hospital, medical experts, Jackson’s choreographer and Murray’s girlfriends.

Celebrity attorney Mark Geragos, who once represented Jackson and has closely watched the criminal case against Murray, said that Jackson’s 13-year-old daughter Paris might also be called to testify, in what would likely be one of the most dramatic moments of the trial.

Defence: Dr Conrad Murray's attorney J Michael Flannigan arrives at the Los Angeles Superior Court during the opening day of Murray's trialDefence: Dr Conrad Murray’s attorney J Michael Flannigan arrives at the Los Angeles Superior Court during the opening day of Murray’s trial

Their say: Paris and Prince Jackson, pictured with younger brother Blanket at their father's memorial service, want to give their account of the day their father diedTheir say: Paris and Prince Jackson, pictured with younger brother Blanket at their father’s memorial service, want to give their account of the day their father died

Trial: Supporters at the late pop star Michael Jackson hold signs outside Los Angeles Superior CourtTrial: Supporters at the late pop star Michael Jackson hold signs outside Los Angeles Superior Court

WHO IS DR CONRAD MURRAY?

Dr Conrad MurrayThe 57-year old physician, who was the last person to see Michael Jackson alive, has been charged with the involuntary manslaughter of the singer on June 25 2009.

The doctor was hired by Jackson for a reported fee of $150,000 as he prepared for his 50 date concert series in London.

The Grenada-born cardiologist, who was educated in the U.S., first met Jackson in 2006 when he treated one of the singer’s children in Las Vegas.

In May 2009, he took leave from his practice and wrote a letter to his patients saying he was leaving ‘because of a once in a lifetime opportunity’.

Murray declined to offer public comment following the death of Jackson, but in August last year posted a YouTube video in which he said ‘truth will prevail’.

‘She not only has things to say, but she can say it in a compelling way,’ Mr Geragos said. Paris Jackson was at the house when the singer stopped breathing.

Jackson’s children, Prince Michael, 14, and Paris, 13, have both reportedly told their grandmother Katherine of their desire to want to testify.

But a source close to the Jackson family revealed to RadarOnline that the children have warm recollections of the medic, which could help the jury clear the doctor.

They wrote: ‘Prince and Paris adored Dr Murray and thought he was a godsend for their father.

‘It was only after their father’s death that they formed a subsequent opinion of him. Both Prince and Paris could take the stand and wind up providing evidence which supports the doctor.’

What could be even more damaging to prosecutors, however, is if the children are cross-examined about their father’s long-term drug use.

‘Prince and Paris knew their dad relied on Dr Murray to survive and knew their father adored him,’ the source said.

‘Their comments could save him from jail because it would work well in the eyes of a jury.’

The insider told RadarOnline that Prince, if he testifies, will tell the court what he saw when he walked into his father’s bedroom in the middle of his doctor’s doomed attempts to revive him.

Worldwide interest: Journalists position themselves outside the courthouse as the trial begins in Los AngelesWorldwide interest: Journalists position themselves outside the courthouse as the trial begins in Los Angeles

Crowds: Demonstrators for and against make their case as the involuntary manslaughter trial for Dr Conrad MurrayCrowds: Demonstrators for and against make their case as the involuntary manslaughter trial for Dr Conrad Murray

Murray has insisted Prince Michael and Paris were bundled from the room after the star’s daughter burst into tears and screamed ‘Daddy’.

Their aunt LaToya, who believes her brother was unlawfully killed, has said it would be good for the children to, ‘Get what is inside them, out of them.’

‘She feels it is a way for them to release the hurt,’ the source told RadarOnline. ‘She believes her brother was murdered and what Prince Michael and Paris could tell the jury, would inevitably help convict the doctor.’

Prince Michael, Paris and Blanket were all included on a potential witness list passed out to the jurors in an attempt to ascertain their familiarity with the family.

Death: Jackson was preparing for a 50 date concert at the O2 in London when he diedDeath: Jackson was preparing for a 50 date concert at the O2 in London when he died

Home: Jackson went into cardiac arrest at this rented house in LAHome: Jackson went into cardiac arrest at this rented house in LA

First on the stand: High School Musical director Kenny Ortega, who was choreographing Jackson's 'This is it' tour is expected to be called todayFirst on the stand: High School Musical director Kenny Ortega, who was choreographing Jackson’s ‘This is it’ tour is expected to be called today

Also listed were siblings Janet, LaToya, Jermaine, Marlon, Rebbie, Tito and Randy as well as parents Katherine and Joe Jackson.

The case is one of a small but growing number of U.S. criminal prosecutions of doctors for alleged malpractice.

Mr Geragos said he believes prosecutors could have a difficult time winning a conviction – and that a hung jury with no conviction or acquittal is more likely.

‘Jurors are loathe to convict doctors in this type of a situation,’ Mr Geragos said, adding that many times jurors don’t want to second-guess doctors.

The responses of the 12-person jury to written questionnaires made public last week shows that none of them reported having a negative experience with doctors.

At the time of his death, Jackson was readying himself for 50 planned shows in London called ‘This Is It.’

The first prosecution witness is expected to be High School Musical director Kenny Ortega, the choreographer who was hired to stage the London shows and who was conducting rehearsals with Jackson in Los Angeles.

THE 12 PEOPLE THAT WILL DECIDE WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO JACKSON

Juror No. 1: Mexican male, 51, U.S. Postal Service letter carrier, married father-of-five. A Michael Jackson fan who said he finds law enforcement officers, firefighters and doctors ‘always believable’.

Juror No. 2: Spanish female, 57, unemployed. Has served on five previous juries and closely followed the O.J. Simpson trial but said it did not affect her opinion of the criminal justice system. She does not consider herself a Jackson fan.

Juror No. 3: American male, 45, a partner in a management consulting firm. His wife is a former registered nurse, and both his brother-in-law and cousin are physicians. He has served on two previous juries, including a murder case in 1994.

Juror No. 4: American male, 32,  part-time bookseller and cashier. He served as a U.S. Army National Guard specialist as a telecom operator. His primary source of news is the Internet.

Juror No. 5: American female, 48, paralegal.  She watched the Casey Anthony murder trial ‘on and off’ because family members were interested was very interested but said it did not affect her opinion of the criminal justice system.

Juror No. 6: Cuban/Mexican male, 39, associate director of product management. He is an occasional reader of various Internet news and gossip sites. He considers himself a Jackson fan and owns various Michael Jackson, Jackson 5 and Janet Jackson CDs.

Juror No. 7: Mexican American female, 57, relocation representative in office management/customer service. She followed the Casey Anthony case and believes people of wealth or fame are treated differently in the court system.

Juror No. 8: Mexican male, 42, school bus driver. He believes Hollywood celebrities get away with crimes because of their status. He does not consider himself a fan of Michael Jackson but has a positive opinion of him.

Juror  No. 9: African American male, 54, television technical director. A Michael Jackson fan, he has served on two criminal juries and one civil jury.

Juror No. 10: English female, 43, international marketer but previously worked as a pathology/medical technician in a biochemistry lab.

Juror No. 11: Hispanic female, 36, customer service representative. She reads People magazine and TMZ.com and watches reality television. She was shot in a drive-by shooting in 1993.

Juror No. 12: American male, 54, retired animator now working as a teacher. He considers Michael Jackson a ‘gifted performer’ and has owned Jackson CDs and albums since he was a teenager.

Key players: The figures at the centre of the trial

Landmark trial: Dr Conrad Murray, right, is charged with the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson

Dr Conrad Murray, defendant

A 58 year-old cardiologist who practiced in Las Vegas and Houston, Murray was hired as Jackson’s $150,000 a month personal physician roughly a month before the pop superstar’s death in June 2009.

Authorities contend Murray, who had financial difficulties before the singer’s death, administered a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol mixed with other sedatives.

The doctor, who was never paid, has pleaded not guilty and faces up to four years in prison and will lose his medical license if convicted.

Chernoff

Ed Chernoff, defence attorney

A Houston-based defense attorney working his first high-profile case, Chernoff has been Murray’s primary defense attorney since shortly after Jackson’s death. He represented the doctor during a meeting with police during which Murray disclosed that he had given Jackson propofol. Prosecutors plan to use the statements against Murray during trial.

Chernoff has maintained that Murray did not administer anything to Jackson that should have killed him.

Walgren

David Walgren, prosecutor

A deputy district attorney in the major crimes division, Walgren is the lead prosecutor in the Murray case.

He has painted Murray as an incompetent doctor who initially tried to conceal that he had been giving the singer the anesthetic propofol without proper lifesaving equipment.

He was previously responsible for the district attorney’s effort to return director Roman Polanski to Los Angeles for sentencing in a three-decades old rape case. Switzerland eventually refused to extradite Polanski, which placed the case on hold.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

Jackson’s death at age 50 in June 2009 stunned the world and gave the entertainer, posthumously, what he wanted – a comeback.

Hundreds of millions of dollars in debt at the time of his death and his reputation still tarnished by unproven child molestation accusations, Jackson’s estate has gone on to earn more than $310 million.

Jurors won’t hear about his shaky finances or references to his alleged drug abuse, but they will see footage of some of the singer’s final rehearsals and hear from some of the people were with him in his final days.

Flanagan

J Michael Flanagan, defence attorney

A Los Angeles criminal defence attorney who specialises in drunk driving cases, Flanagan also has the distinction of winning an acquittal for a nurse accused of improperly giving propofol to a patient who died.

He represented Britney Spears in a driver’s license case that was dropped after a jury deadlocked on the case, and has dealt with numerous scientific and testing issues related to Murray’s defense.

Pastor

Judge Michael Pastor

A well-respected Los Angeles Superior Court Judge since 1983, Pastor is one of several judges who presides over the most serious criminal cases in Los Angeles.

He has previously handled a drunken driving case against actor Jason Priestly and a case against a man accused of stalking Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson.

He has consistently that Murray’s trial will focus on Jackson’s final days and hours and has prohibited the doctor’s lawyers from introducing evidence about the singer’s addiction or financial woes.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2042463/Conrad-Murray-trial-Michael-Jackson-dead-body-picture-shown-jury.html#ixzz1ZFG5hoGp

WIGAN CASINO AND NORTHERN SOUL REVISITED HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL

NEW ADDITIONS TO OUR UPCOMING WIGAN CASINO, NORTHERN SOUL & 1960’S REVISITED EXHIBITION HERE DOWN SOUTH AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL IN THE ROYAL FOREST OF DEAN , GLOUCESTERSHIRE

HERE BELOW ARE SOME PERSONALLY SIGNED  CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE STAR OF THE SOULBOY FILM…. MARTIN COMPSTON , KINDLY SENT CARE OF AJ (ANDY JONES ) AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL TO BE DISPLAYED ALONG WITH OTHER WIGAN CASINO AND NORTHERN SOUL EXHIBIT MATERIAL HOUSED IN ALONGSIDE THE QUADROPHENIA COLLECTION


ORIGINAL VINTAGE 1974 WIGAN CASINO REVERE COLLARED TEE SHIRT ON DISPLAY ALONGSIDE THE UK’S ONLY QUADROPHENIA COLLECTION HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL 

For once words just fail me – is this the most outrageous example of genuine “Wigan Casino” memorabilia ever to come to market? Absolutely perfect for framing and perhaps the last surviving example of this garment. Made in 1974 and all most likely discarded by 1975. The front is an artists impression of the Casino complete with balcony, a crammed hall, clearly depicting all those “dance-moves” with one “soulie” performing a back-drop. It’s wild, it’s crazy and the coolest piece Casino-kitsch you could ever possibly own. A beyond-rare Retro-Northern Soul conversation…

ORIGINAL COLOURFUL ARTWORK FROM ARTISIT NEIL THOMPSON OF WIGAN CASINO ENTITLED -” WHERE IT’S AT” …. HERE ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL’S…….. QUADROPHENIA COLLECTION 
ORIGINAL VERY COLOURFUL WIGAN CASINO ARTWORK FROM ARTIST NEIL THOMPSON ENTITLED “I’M ON MY WAY ”  ON DISPLAY HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL’S QUADROPHENIA COLLECTION 

ABOUT THE ARTIST NEIL THOMPSON – WHOSE ORIGINAL WIGAN CASINO ARTWORK CAN NOW BE SEEN ON DISPLAY HERE AT THE JAIL ALONG WITH THE UK’S ONLY  QUADROPHENIA COLLECTION, WHICH ALSO INCLUDES REVISITING THE 1960’S, NORTHERN SOUL, SKA, TWO-TONE AND  MUCH MORE 
NOT FORGETTING OF COURSE THE MODS AND ROCKERS !!
 
Neil has been a professional artist for over 30 years. He was born and brought up in Lancaster, and first discovered soul music in the many pubs and clubs of his home city. He first visited Wigan Casino in 1973. Like many, his life changed at that point. The images on this website reflect the Northern Soul Scene – the first underground music scene ever in this country.
 
Some experiences are so essential they are always part of who you are. That’s it with Northern Soul, whether it was the Casino, the Wheel, the Mecca, the Torch or any of the other great soul clubs.
 
Why Cool Dude Art?? Easy, the music was cool, the fashions were cool, the people were cool, and the art is cool!
 
Neil’s work has been highlighted in a range of publications from the soul music magazine “Mojo” to Spain’s “Go” magazine.
 
Some of Neil’s work is on exhibit at the Grand Arcade Shopping Centre in Wigan, built on the exact site of Wigan Casino.
 
For the first time, Neil has decided to publish his many paintings and drawings online.
 Neil presenting “Something Keeps Calling Me Back” to the late, great Edwin Starr.

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Wigan Casino

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Wigan Casino was a nightclub in WiganLancashireEngland. Operating between 1973 and 1981, it was known as a primary venue for northern soul music. It carried forward the legacy created by clubs such as the Twisted Wheel in Manchester and the Golden Torch in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent. It remains one of the most famous clubs in Northern England.[1]

This England, a TV documentary about the venue, was filmed in 1977. In 1978, the American music magazine Billboard voted Wigan Casino “The Best Disco in the World”, ahead of New York City‘sStudio 54.[2] Russ Winstanley and Dave Nowell wrote a history of the club, Soul Survivors, The Wigan Casino Story, which was published in 1996. A stage play by Urban Expansions, produced and directed by Paul Sadot about the Wigan Casino years, Once upon a time in Wigan, debuted in February 2003 at the Contact Theatre in Manchester, and has since toured nationally.

Wigan Casino was the name of the last incarnation of a Wigan ballroom called the Empress. Russ Winstanley approached Wigan Casino manager and leaseowner Gerry Marshall to run Allnighters there. Walker brought Winstanley from the rugby club to the Casino Club, and Wigan Casino opened in September 1973, with Winstanley as the DJ. Many famous soul performers performed there, including Jackie WilsonEdwin Starr and Junior Walker.[edit]History

Young people from all over the UK regularly made the trek to Wigan Casino to hear the latest northern soul artists and to dance. Queues to get in were sometimes five or six people deep, and stretched quite a way up the road. The second dance floor, called Mr. M’s, stayed open until 6am and played oldies songs from a variety of DJs. Every all-nighter traditionally ended with three songs that became known as the 3 before 8: “Time Will Pass You By” by Tobi Legend, “Long After Tonight Is Over” by Jimmy Radcliffe, and “I’m On My Way” by Dean Parrish. Parrish is still active on the northern soul circuit. Over Four Million people attended the Soul Sessions which also had early sessions every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Wigan Council owned the building and wanted to extend the nearby Civic Centre, but due to running out of cash,it never went ahead.[citation needed] The Club was closed December 6, 1981; that final night of Wigan Casino in its northern soul state was DJed by Winstanley, and the 3 before 8 were played three times consecutively at the end of the night. The crowd refused to leave, so according to Winstanley, to “break this spell of hysteria” he picked a 7″ at random from his box and played that. This final Wigan Casino song became one of the most famous northern soul songs of all time, Frank Wilson‘s “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)”. Annual reunions are held in Wigan and hosted by the original DJs.

The site, as of 2009, is occupied by the Grand Arcade shopping centre.

PC 190 DAVID RATHBAND SHOT AND BLINDED BY GUNMAN RAUL MOAT

CLOSE-UP OF PC DAVID RATHBAND AT THE TIME OF SHOOTING 03RD JULY 2010
PERSONALLY SIGNED PHOTOGRAPH OF PC DAVID RATHBAND ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL
CLOSE-UP OF HANDWRITING AND SIGNATURE OF PC DAVID RATHBANDPC DAVID RATHBAND BIOGRAPHY PERSONALLY HAND SIGNED PHOTOGRAPH OF PC DAVID RATHBAND ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAILCLOSE-UP OF HANDWRITING AND SIGNATURE OF PC DAVID RATHBAND 

PC David Rathband relives shooting in new book

PC David Rathband

BLINDED PC David Rathband relives the horrifying moment he was shot by gunman Raoul Moat in his new book.

PC Rathband’s life-changing experience is told in graphic detail in his new autobiography, Tango 190, which is set to hit stores soon.

He also tells of the moment he watched Moat’s pals, Karl Ness and Qhuram Awan, jailed for life for helping the bouncer become Britain’s biggest fugitive. PC Rathband was gunned down in Newcastle, in the early hours of Sunday July 4 last year, just 24 hours after Moat shot his ex-partner Samantha Stobbart, 22, and killed her new lover Chris Brown, 29, in Birtley, Gateshead.

He lost his sight after he was shot twice in the face by Moat as his patrol car was parked up on an A1 roundabout.

The autobiography also tells of PC Rathband’s courageous battle to rebuild his life, with the help of his family, in the wake of his terrible injuries suffered in the line of duty.

PC Rathband said: “This is my story told in full and in my own words for the first time. For the past nine months I’ve said what needed to be said, conscious that the legal process had to take its course. Now, for the first time, I can tell the whole truth from the start to finish. The story begins long before July 4, and for me there can never be an end.”

 

 

PC DAVID RATHBAND SHOT AT POINT BLANK AND BLINDED BY GUNMAN RAOUL MOAT ON JULY 4TH 2010

HERE AT THE CRIME THROUGH TIME COLLECTION , LITTLEDEAN JAIL WE FEATURE HEROINES AND HERO’S OF OUR BRITISH POLICE FORCE , UK SPECIAL FORCES , EMERGENCY SERVICES AND BEYOND . HOPEFULLY PROVIDING VISITORS WITH A HISTORICALLY INTRIGUING AND EDUCATIONAL INSIGHT INTO THOSE THAT SEEK TO PROTECT OUR COUNTRY .

PERSONALLY SIGNED PHOTOGRAPH OF BLINDED PC DAVID RATHBAND  ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAILCLOSE-UP OF HANDWRITING AND SIGNATURE OF PC DAVID RATHBAND 

PERSONALLY SIGNED PICTURE OF BLINDED PC DAVID RATHBAND ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL
CLOSE-UP OF HANDWRITING AND SIGNATURE OF PC DAVID RATHBANDCLOSE-UP OF PC DAVID RATHBAND AFTER BEING SHOT BY RAUL MOAT ON THE 03RD JULY 2010

‘He got two shots… he was a bit of a mess’: Killer Raoul Moat’s sick boast after shooting Pc in the face

Callous killer Raoul Moat bragged how he left policeman David Rathband looking ‘a bit of a mess’ and then threatened to start killing innocent members of the public, his inquest has heard.

Moat, 37, shot and blinded Pc Rathband, 43, after blasting him twice from point-blank range with a sawn-off shotgun as the defenceless officer sat in his traffic car at a roundabout.

In a series of chilling Dictaphone recordings, later recovered by police from the makeshift camp he set up in the Northumberland countryside, Moat recalls the shooting of Pc Rathband.

‘I’m not fussed about not killing him,’ he says. ‘I didn’t think I had killed him anyway. I was going to go along and finish him off but that’s not the point. He got two shots.

‘At the end of the day he’s looking a bit of a mess.’

Pc David Rathband
Raoul Moat, from Fenham, shot himself in the head and was fired at twice during the stand-off by officers armed with shotgun Tasers

Attack: Callous gunman Raoul Moat, right, described victim Pc Rathband’s face as a ‘bit of a mess’, left

A handout video still issued by Northumbria Police of Raoul Moat during his stand-off with police in Rothbury, Northumberland, in July 2010A handout video still issued by Northumbria Police of Raoul Moat during his stand-off with police in Rothbury, Northumberland, in July 2010

Moat acknowledged the Pc was not one of the officers he accused of ‘pushing’ him.

‘The officers know who they are, some of the officers have gone into hiding,’ he claimed in the tape.

Moat also said he would ‘take the shoot-out’ rather than go back to jail, an inquest heard today.

The gunman was on the run from police following the shootings of karate instructor Chris Brown, his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart and Pc David Rathband when he made the vow.

In the message, the 37-year-old said he had lost the only two people who mattered to him – his grandmother and Miss Stobbart.

He said if he returned to jail he would have ‘nothing to come out to’ and that a shoot-out would mean ‘everybody’s happy’.

Raoul Moat, who died last year following a shooting spree in which he killed Chris Brown, and shot his former partner Samantha Stobbart and PC David Rathband
Former girlfriend of gunman Raoul Moat Samantha Stobbart

Conversation: Jurors listened to a recording of a telephone conversation Raoul Moat, left, had from Durham Prison to girlfriend Samantha Stobbart, pictured right today, on June 10 last year where she told him: ‘It’s over.’

Police officers photographed negotiating with fugitive Raoul Moat, circled, shortly before his death in Rothbury, West YorkshirePolice officers photographed negotiating with fugitive Raoul Moat, circled, shortly before his death in Rothbury, Northumberland
Police attempting to negotiate with Raoul Moat who shot himself in the head after a six-hour stand off Armed police attempting to negotiate with Raoul Moat who shot himself in the head after a six-hour stand off

The message was read out to the inquest at Newcastle Crown Court by Superintendent Jim Napier, the Northumbria Police officer in charge of the criminal investigation into Moat’s rampage.

He told John Beggs, cross-examining for Northumbria Police, that the recordings revealed Moat considered himself to have lost the only two adults he cared about.

In the message, Moat said: ‘If I went to jail now, I could hack it because I have lost everything and I have nothing to come out to.

‘I have come out and got my vengeance. I have set Sam up for life, financially at least. But it is not really what I want.

Raoul Moat, from Fenham, shot himself in the head and was fired at twice during the stand-off by officers armed with shotgun Tasers
Samantha Stobbart

Moat, left, killed his love rival Chris Brown, 29, in Birtley, Gateshead, in July last year, then blasted his ex-lover Samantha Stobbart, 22, right, leaving her in a critical condition

‘IT’S OVER’: THE CONVERSATION WHICH TRIGGERED MOAT’S RAMPAGE

Durham Prison

Moat had this conversation from Durham Prison, pictured right, with Samantha Stobbart

He is heard asking her ‘what’s wrong?’

‘It’s over’, she replies.

‘Over what?’, he asks her.

‘I’ve had enough,’ she replies.

‘Of what?’, Moat asks.

‘Everything,’ she replied.

Moat adds: ‘We had one argument the other day. Let’s not get all silly about it.’

He complains that ‘everybody is getting on my case’ and that he is being ‘picked on’.

The conversation ends with the phone being abruptly slammed down.

‘It would be a waste of a life and a waste of the taxpayer’s money. Just take the shoot-out and everybody’s happy.’

Mr Napier said he took the message as an indication that Moat was contemplating provoking a shoot-out with police.

He said this knowledge informed the police reaction to the gunman when he was cornered.

Nowhere in the messages was there any mention of Moat’s ‘estranged’ family – specifically his tax inspector brother Angus or uncle Charlie Alexander, a former artilleryman, both of whom were at the inquest today.

The killer’s best friend also told the inquest today that Raoul Moat’s ex-lover deliberately wound him up hours before he launched his murderous rampage.

In a phone call Samantha Stobbart told the 37-year-old she was seeing her new boyfriend that night, that she had a new hair-do for the date and asked if he was jealous about it, Anthony Wright told the hearing.

Coroner David Mitford asked: ‘Was she deliberately trying to wind him up?’

Mr Wright, who knew Moat for 14 years from working as doormen together in Newcastle, replied: ‘Oh yes, without a shadow of a doubt.’

Moat had heard while in prison that his relationship with Ms Stobbart was over, and she had told him her new man was younger and could knock him out.

Mr Wright told the hearing: ‘It was almost inevitable that when he got out of prison he was going to look for a straightener with this man.

‘If you knew Raoul it was like a red rag to a bull. I couldn’t work out why she was saying it.’

Barristers for the Moat family, the chief constable of Northumbria Police, West Yorkshire Police officers, and Pro-Tec Limited, the firm that supplied new shotgun Taser weapons, were in court.

The inquest, which is expected to last five weeks, will focus on the events in Rothbury on July 9 and 10 when Moat was found, the coroner said.

There will be questions about weapons used, how police managed the incident, how officers dealt with the dead man and how he acted, the jury was told.

Yesterday the inquest heard how Moat said he was ‘full of beans’ after shooting dead Mr Brown and injuring Miss Stobbart.

Jurors were also played a recording of a phone calls made by Moat from Durham prison in which he was told by Miss Stobbart: ‘It’s over’.

The hearing continues.

love letter from the gun maniac
Moat hid in this storm water drain just yards from villager's homes when he was trying to evade capture from the policeMoat hid in this storm water drain just yards from villagers’ homes when he was trying to evade capture by the police
Steroid addict Raoul Moat shot and blinded Northumbria Police traffic officer PC David Rathband
Chris Brown who was killed by Raul Moat

Steroid addict Raoul Moat shot and blinded Northumbria Police traffic officer PC David Rathband, left, and killed his love rival Chris Brown, right. He also critically injured Samantha Stobbart

Police officers from Northumberland Police Marine Unit search drains near to the scene where gunman Raoul Moat took his own life
Forensic staff at the scene of Raoul Moat's suicide at the riverside in Rothbury after evading capture for a week

Investigation: Police officers from Northumberland Police Marine Unit search drains near to the scene where gunman Raoul Moat took his own life, left, and forensic staff examine evidence at the scene of the suicide

RAOUL MOAT: TIMELINE

Thursday, July 1: Moat is released from Durham prison after serving 18 weeks for assault

Friday, July 2: Prison staff warn police Moat may want to harm Samantha Stobbart

Saturday, July 3: Moat shoots dead Miss Stobbart’s new boyfriend Chris Brown outside her home in Birtley, Gateshead and also injures her. Manhunt is launched for Moat

Sunday, July 4: Pc David Rathband is shot in his patrol car and critically injured. Moat rings officers claiming Miss Stobbart was having an affair with a police officer

Monday, July 5: Manhunt for Moat continues

Tuesday, July 6: Moat’s car is discovered in Rothbury, Northumberland and police flood the area setting up a two-mile exclusion zone. A letter written by Moat reveals his intentions to declare war on the police

Wednesday, July 7: Officers find a tent where Moat had been sleeping and another letter from him

Thursday, July 8: Police say Moat had made threats to the general public and two men were arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender and bailed

Friday, July 9: At 7pm Moat comes out from his hiding place and reporters watch as he lies on the ground with a gun threatening to kill himself. Police try to negotiate with him for six hours

Saturday, July 10: A gunshot is heard at 1.10am and Moat is declared dead after being rushed to hospital. Police said Moat appeared to have killed himself

Armed police stopped hundreds of motorists when they stood guard on the edge of Rothbury during the search for MoatArmed police stopped hundreds of motorists when they stood guard on the edge of Rothbury during the search for Moat
Police officers scoured the countryside for days in the hunt for missing Raoul Moat who went on the run after shooting dead karate instructor Chris Brown, 29, and maiming Moat's ex-girlfriend Samantha StobbartPolice officers scour the countryside in the hunt for Moat after he went missing following the shootings of Chris Brown and Samantha Stobbart
The man-hunt for Moat stretched for miles and went on for days and involved hundreds of police officers The man-hunt for Moat went on for days covering large swathes of the countryside around Rothbury and involved hundreds of police officers

MOAT: ‘I’M NOT COMING IN ALIVE’

The coroner said there would be questions about weapons used and how police managed the incident during the inquestThe coroner said there would be questions about weapons used and how police, pictured trying to negotiate with Moat, managed the incident

The inquest jury heard a recording of a telephone call Moat made in which he threatened to kill Northumbria Police officers.

In the five-minute conversation, made to a police call handler shortly before Moat blasted Northumbria Police traffic officer Pc David Rathband, the gunman said he was ‘not coming in alive’.

He said he had taken two hostages and would kill them and any police officer that approached him.

He said he was sorry he had injured his ex-girlfriend Samantha Stobbart, leaving her in a critical condition in hospital, but blamed police for ‘stitching him up’ and triggering his rampage.

He said he believed karate instructor Chris Brown was a Northumbria Police officer.

He says in the recording: ‘Hello there, this is the gunman from Birtley last night.

‘What I’m phoning about is, is to tell you exactly why I have done what I have done, right?

‘Now, my girlfriend has been having an affair behind my back with one of your officers.

‘This gentleman that I shot last night, the karate instructor, right, now I…

‘Youse bastards have been on to me, right, for years.

‘Youse have hassled us, harassed us, youse just won’t leave us alone.

‘I went straight six years ago when I met her and I have tried my best to have a normal life and you just won’t let up.

‘Youse won’t leave us alone for five minutes.

‘I can’t drive down the street without the blue lights flashing.

‘Youse have stitched us up for years; you have been in court, stitching us up, so the fact of the matter is, right…

‘She has had an affair with one of your officers.

‘If he had not been a police officer, I would not have shot him.’

Talking about his relationship with Miss Stobbart, he said: ‘I have had nothing but grief… But I have had a genuine relationship with her for six years, which is why we have stayed together, and I have gone straight.

‘I have had a totally legit life with her, I have opened a business, and I have been shafted.

‘You police have took too much off me over the years.’

‘Youse won’t leave us alone.

‘And now youse think you can take me missus.’

The call continues: ‘But the fact of the matter is I’m not coming in alive. Youse have hassled me for so many years. If you come anywhere near me I’ll kill youse. I have got two hostages at the moment, right – come anywhere near me and I’ll kill them as well.

‘I’m coming to get youse.
‘I’m not on the run.
‘I’m coming to get you.’

He continues by saying Miss Stobbart had changed while he was in jail.

The call ends: ‘Right. Now I have had enough. I have had enough of youse.
‘That jail made us unwell. I came out a different kid, y’knaa what I mean?

‘I lost everything through youse, right?
‘Youse just won’t leave us alone, right?
‘So at the end of the day, youse killed me and him before that trigger was ever pulled.’

Call handler: ‘Right.’
Moat: ‘Y’knaa what I mean?’
CH: ‘OK.’
Moat: ‘Youse are…’
CH: ‘We are trying to help you.’

Moat: ‘You’re not trying to help us, you’re not trying. Youse wanted me to do myself in and I was going to do it till I found out about him properly and what was going on – and as soon as I found out he was one of your officers I thought, ‘nah, youse have had too much from me’.

‘You will get your chance to kill us, right, you will get your chance to kill us.’

CH: ‘Right, we don’t want to do that, we don’t want to do that.’

Moat: ‘Aye, youse wanted me to kill myself but I’m gonna give youse a chance cos I’m hunting for officers now, right?’

CH: ‘No. Please don’t do that.
‘We don’t want any more killing, all right?’

Moat then hangs up.

SHERIFF OF GLOUCESTER MAKES RACIAL SLUR ON THE FOREST OF DEAN

HAVING READ THE COMMENT PAMELA TRACEY RECENTLY MADE TOWARDS THE FOREST OF DEAN PEOPLE

 (Coun Tracey (Con, Westgate)(pictured above))  commented: “We built the river so we could keep them out!”)

WE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL ,ROYAL FOREST OF DEAN , GLOUCESTERSHIRE  SAY …..

“SHAME ON YOU PAMELA ….. YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER (SURELY)

HOW DISGRACEFUL THAT SUCH A  DEFAMATORY AND OFFENSIVE  STATEMENT  BE MADE BY SUCH A HIGH RANKING MEMBER OF GLOUCESTERSHIRE COUNCIL (PAMELA IS THE SHERIFF OF GLOUCESTER AND ALSO DEPUTY MAYOR) .

CERTAINLY A RACIAL SLUR ON THE PEOPLE OF THE FOREST OF DEAN ,  A BEAUTIFUL PART OF THE COUNTRY, GREAT LANDSCAPE AND GREAT TOURIST ATTRACTIONS THAT GLOUCESTERSHIRE COUNCIL SURELY HAVE A DUTY TO MARKET AND SUPPORT

PAMELA TRACEY SHOULD MAKE A FORMAL PUBLIC APOLOGY AND POSSIBLY COME TO THE JAIL ….. SIT IN THE STOCKS AND PILLORY HERE AND ALLOW THE PROUD PEOPLE OF THE FOREST TO THROW ROTTEN FRUIT AT HER FOR THE DAY IN PROTEST TOWARDS HER SLANDEROUS REMARKS .

WE BELIEVE THIS WOULD GO SOME CONSIDERABLE WAY IN MAKING A TRUCE AND KEEPING THE PEACE WITH THE FORESTERS.

SEE BELOW FOR A COPY OF THE ARTICLE AS REPORTED IN THE FORESTER NEWSPAPER

as reported by The Forester journalist Janet Hughes

A major row has erupted over plans to move the historic heart of Gloucester into the Forest.

The recommendation by the Boundary Commission has been described as “barking” and “ridiculous” in both the city and the Dean.

But it is the comments by Gloucester Sheriff and Deputy Mayor Pamela Tracey which have sparked the biggest furore.

Coun Tracey (Con, Westgate) commented: “We built the river so we could keep them out!”

Lydney businessmen Brian Cook is among those who say some of the debate reflects longstanding prejudices against the Dean.

Cinderford councillors are so outraged they are making an official complaint to the county and city councils.

Labour spokesman and Cinderford town councillor Di Martin said: “We all think the proposals are ludicrous but we have no problem with Gloucester people. Who does Pam Tracey mean by “they”? This seems to insinuate that we are a different race.

“People feel very strongly about this and an apology might go some way to towards healing the wound.”

Councillor Tracey issued a statement through the city council saying: “No offence was intended in relation to my comments about people from the Forest of Dean. The debate about the Parliamentary boundary changes has evoked strong feelings. I was simply trying to express the desire of Gloucester people to protect and preserve their identity.”

Under the proposals designed to cut the number of MPs from 650 to 600 by the next General Election, many Gloucester City landmarks would be included in the Forest of Dean constituency.

Constituency boundaries for the six MPs are being redrawn because the Forest is considered too small and Gloucester too large.

It would mean Forest MP Mark Harper taking over responsibility for an area that includes Gloucester Cathedral, the Docks and the Shire Hall.

Gloucester’s Conservative MP Richard Graham says Gloucester losing Westgate would be like Hamlet without a Prince.

But Mark Harper said: “These are initial proposals from the Boundary Commission for England. There is now a 12-week period of consultation where members of the public are able to give their views.”

Brian Cook, of Whitehouse Press, said: “I’m not a racist, but what has been said about Foresters, and the Over Bridge was wrong. Pam came over in a way that said they were better than us.

“As far as I’m aware, that was a racial comment. I would not be allowed to say that about a person in Gloucester.”

Don Burgess of the Freeminers Brewery, Cinderford, said: “I’m pretty appalled about Councillor Tracey’s comments on this.

“If Pam says Gloucester people want nothing to do with this, what does she think we think about them? They’re nothing better than urban airheads.”

Forest historian John Belcher said: “It’s absolutely crazy. It’s as though they’ve drawn the plans on the back of an envelope, just drawing 20 miles in each direction. It doesn’t include the Severn estuary.

“The comments made are divisive, and have upset people. Why should we just sit back and let this happen?”

Cinderford building boss Keith Bell, said: “I don’t see how this could make sense to anyone; they are different areas with totally different people.”

THE BRUTAL REGIME OF ROBERT MUGABE – PRESIDENT OF ZIMBABWE

ROBERT MUGABE 

TORTURE VICTIM IN ZIMBABWE 

Robert Mugabe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Robert mugabe)
“Mugabe” redirects here. For other uses, see Mugabe (disambiguation).
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Robert Mugabe
2nd President of Zimbabwe
Incumbent
Assumed office
31 December 1987
23 years, 249 days
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
Vice President Joice Mujuru
Simon Muzenda
John Nkomo
Preceded by Canaan Banana
1st Prime Minister of Zimbabwe
In office
18 April 1980 – 31 December 1987
President Canaan Banana
Preceded by Abel Muzorewa (Zimbabwe Rhodesia)
Succeeded by Post abolished
Morgan Tsvangirai (2009)
10th Secretary-General of the Non-Aligned Movement
In office
6 September 1986 – 7 September 1989
Preceded by Zail Singh
Succeeded by Janez Drnovšek
Personal details
Born 21 February 1924 (age 87)
KutamaSouthern Rhodesia
Political party ZANU-PF (1987–present)
ZANU 1963–1987)
ZAPU (1961–1963)
NDP (1960–1961)
Spouse(s) Sally Hayfron (Deceased)
Grace Marufu
Children 4
Alma mater University of Fort Hare
University of South Africa
University of London
Religion Roman Catholicism
Signature

Robert Gabriel Mugabe (Shona pronunciation: [muɡaɓe],[needs tone] English: /muːˈɡɑːbiː/ moo-gah-bee; born 21 February 1924) is the President of Zimbabwe. As one of the leaders of the liberation movement against white-minority rule, he was elected into power in 1980. He served as Prime Minister from 1980 to 1987, and as the first executive head of state since 1987.[1]

Mugabe rose to prominence in the 1960s as the Secretary General of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) during the conflict against the white-minority rule government of Ian Smith. Mugabe was a political prisoner in Rhodesia for more than 10 years between 1964 and 1974.[2] Upon release withEdgar Tekere, Mugabe left Rhodesia in 1975 to re-join the Zimbabwe Liberation Struggle (Rhodesian Bush War) from bases in Mozambique.

At the end of the war in 1979, Mugabe emerged as a hero in the minds of many Africans.[3][4] He won the general elections of 1980, the second in which the majority of black Africans participated in large numbers (though the electoral system in Rhodesia had allowed black participation based on qualified franchise). Mugabe then became the first Prime Minister after calling for reconciliation between formerly warring parties, including white Rhodesians and rival political groups.

The years following Zimbabwe’s independence saw a split between the two key belligerents who had fought alongside each other during the 1970s against the government of Rhodesia. An armed conflict between Mugabe’s Government and dissident followers of Joshua Nkomo‘s pro-Marxist ZAPU erupted. Following the deaths of thousands, neither warring faction able to defeat the other, the heads of the opposing movements reached a landmark agreement, whence was created a new ruling party, ZANU PF, as a merger between the two former rivals.[5]

In 1998, Mugabe’s government supported the Southern African Development Community‘s intervention in the Second Congo War by sending Zimbabwean troops to assist the Kabila government.[citation needed]

Since 2000, the Mugabe-led government embarked on a controversial fast-track land reform program intended to correct the inequitable land distribution created by colonial rule.[6] The period has been marked by the deterioration of the Zimbabwean economic situation. Mugabe’s policies have been condemned in some quarters at home and abroad, especially receiving harsh criticism from the British and American governments arguing they amount to an often violent land seizure. Eventually a wide range of sanctions[7][8][9] was imposed by the US government and European Union against the person of Mugabe, individuals, private companies, parastatals and the government of Zimbabwe. In 2008, his party suffered a tight defeat in national parliamentary elections, but after disputed presidential elections, Mugabe retained presidential power with the signing of a power-sharing deal with opposition leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara of the MDC-T and MDC-M opposition party.[10]

Robert Gabriel Mugabe was born near Kutama Jesuit Mission in the Zvimba District northwest of Salisbury in Southern Rhodesia to a Malawian father Gabriel Matibili and a Shona mother Bona, both Roman Catholic. He was the third of six children. He had two older brothers, and one of them, Michael, was very popular in the village. Both his older brothers died when he was young, leaving Robert and his younger brother, Donato.[11] His father, Gabriel Matibili, a carpenter,[12] abandoned the Mugabe family in 1934 after Michael died, in search of work in Bulawayo.[13]Early life

Mugabe was raised as a Roman Catholic, studying in Marist Brothers and Jesuit schools, including the exclusive Kutama College, headed by an Irish priest, Father Jerome O’Hea, who took him under his wing. Through his youth, Mugabe was never socially popular nor physically active and spent most of his time with the priests or his mother when he was not reading in the school’s libraries. He was described as never playing with other children but enjoying his own company.[12] According to his brother Donato his only friends were his books[14]

He qualified as a teacher, but left to study at Fort Hare in South Africa graduating in 1951, while meeting contemporaries such as Julius NyerereHerbert ChitepoRobert Sobukwe and Kenneth Kaunda. He then studied at Salisbury (1953), Gwelo (1954), and Tanzania (1955–1957). Originally graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Fort Hare in 1951, Mugabe subsequently earned six further degrees through distance learning including a Bachelor of Administration and Bachelor of Education from the University of South Africa and a Bachelor of Science,Bachelor of LawsMaster of Science, and Master of Laws, all from the University of London External Programme.[15] The two Law degrees were earned while he was in prison, the Master of Science degree earned during his premiership of Zimbabwe.[16]

After graduating, Mugabe lectured at Chalimbana Teacher Training College, in Zambia from 1955–1958, thereafter he taught at Apowa Secondary School at Takoradi, in the Western region of Ghanaafter completing his local certification at Achimota School (1958–1960), where he met Sally Hayfron, whom he married in April 1961.[17] During his stay in Ghana, he was influenced and inspired by Ghana’s then Prime Minister, Kwame Nkrumah. In addition, Mugabe and some of his Zimbabwe African National Union party cadres received instruction at the Kwame Nkrumah Ideological Institute, then at Winneba in southern Ghana.[18][19]

Early political career

Main article: History of Zimbabwe

Mugabe returned to Southern Rhodesia and joined the National Democratic Party (NDP) in 1960.[20] The administration of Prime Minister Ian Smith banned the NDP when it later became Joshua Nkomo‘s Zimbabwe African Peoples Union (ZAPU). Mugabe left ZAPU in 1963 to join the rival Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) which had been formed in 1963 by the Reverend Ndabaningi SitholeEdgar TekereEdson ZvobgoEnos Nkala and lawyer Herbert Chitepo.

ZANU was influenced by the Africanist ideas of the Pan Africanist Congress in South Africa[21] and influenced by Maoism while ZAPU was an ally of the African National Congress and was a supporter of a more orthodox pro-Soviet line on national liberation. Similar divisions can also be seen in the liberation movement in Angola between the MPLA and UNITA. It would have been easy for the party to split along tribal lines between the Ndebele and Mugabe’s own Shona tribe, but cross-tribal representation was maintained by his partners. ZANU leader Sithole nominated Robert Mugabe as his Secretary General.

In 1964 Mugabe was arrested for “subversive speech” and spent the next 11 years in Salisbury prison. During that period he earned three degrees, including a law degree from London and a bachelor of administration from the University of South Africa by correspondence courses. When Mugabe’s four-year-old son died, he was refused permission by Smith’s government to leave prison to attend the funeral.[12]

In 1974, while still in prison, Mugabe was elected—with the powerful influence of Edgar Tekere—to take over the reins of ZANU after a no-confidence vote was passed on Ndabaningi Sithole[22] – Mugabe himself abstained from voting. His time in prison burnished his reputation and helped his cause.[12] Following a South African détente initiative, Mugabe was released from prison in November 1974 along with other Nationalist leaders and having initially travelled to Zambia, where he was ignored by Kenneth Kaunda, returned then left once again in April 1975 for Mozambique assisted by a Dominican nun, where he was later placed in temporary protective custody by President Samora Machel. According to Eddie Cross who participated in interviews of the leadership at that time to determine their views on the “longer term future”, Mugabe’s political viewpoint was that “a new ‘progressive’ society could not be constructed on the foundations of the past [and] that they would have to destroy most of what had been built up after 1900 before a new society, based on subsistence and peasant values could be constructed”.[23][24][25]

Mugabe unilaterally assumed control of ZANU after the death of Herbert Chitepo on 18 March 1975. Later that year, after squabbling with Ndabaningi Sithole, Mugabe formed a militant ZANU faction, leaving Sithole to lead the moderate Zanu (Ndonga) party. Many opposition leaders mysteriously died during this time (Including one who allegedly died in a car crash, although the car was rumoured to have been riddled with bullet holes at the scene of the accident).[12] Additionally, an opposing newspaper’s printing press was bombed and its journalists tortured.[12]

Lancaster House Agreement

Prime Minister Mugabe departs Andrews Air Force Base after a state visit to the United States in 1983

Persuasion from B. J. Vorster, himself under pressure from Henry Kissinger, forced Ian Smith, the sitting prime minister at the time, to accept in principle that white minority rule could not continue indefinitely. On 3 March 1978 Bishop Abel MuzorewaNdabaningi Sithole and other moderate leaders signed an agreement at the Governor’s Lodge in Salisbury, which paved the way for an interim power-sharing government, in preparation for elections. The elections were won by the United African National Council under Bishop Abel Muzorewa, but international recognition did not follow and sanctions were not lifted. The two ‘Patriotic Front’ groups under Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo refused to participate and continued the war.

The incoming government did accept an invitation to talks at Lancaster House in September 1979. A ceasefire was negotiated for the talks, which were attended by Smith, Mugabe, Nkomo, Zvobgo and others. Eventually the parties to the talks agreed on a new constitution for a new Republic of Zimbabwe with elections in February 1980. The Lancaster Agreement saw Mugabe make two important and contentious concessions. First, he allowed 20 seats to be reserved for whites in the new Parliament, and second, he agreed to a ten year moratorium on constitutional amendments. His return to Zimbabwe in December 1979, following the completion of the Lancaster House Agreement, was greeted with enormous supportive crowds.

Prime Minister

President Robert Mugabe

After a campaign marked by intimidation from all sides, mistrust from security forces and reports of full ballot boxes found on the road, the Shonamajority was decisive in electing Mugabe to head the first government as prime minister on 4 March 1980. ZANU won 57 out of 80 Common Roll seats in the new parliament, with the 20 white seats all going to the Rhodesian Front.[citation needed]

Mugabe, whose political support came from his Shona-speaking homeland in the north, attempted to build Zimbabwe on a basis of an uneasy coalition with his ZAPU rivals, whose support came from the Ndebele-speaking south, and with the white minority. Mugabe sought to incorporate ZAPU into his ZANU led government and ZAPU’s military wing into the army. ZAPU’s leader, Joshua Nkomo, was given a series of cabinet positions in Mugabe’s government. However, Mugabe was torn between this objective and pressures to meet the expectations of his own ZANU followers for a faster pace of social change.

In 1983, Mugabe fired Nkomo from his cabinet, triggering bitter fighting between ZAPU supporters in the Ndebele-speaking region of the country and the ruling ZANU. Mugabe accused the Ndebele tribe of plotting to overthrow him after sacking Nkomo. Between 1982 and 1985, the military crushed armed resistance from Ndebele groups in the provinces of Matabeleland and the Midlands, leaving Mugabe’s rule secure. Mugabe has been accused by the BBC’s Panorama programme of committing mass murder during this period of his rule, after the show investigated claims made by political activist Gary Jones that Mugabe had been instrumental in removing him and his family from his farmland.[26] A peace accord was negotiated in 1987.[27] ZAPU merged into the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) on 22 December 1988.[28] Mugabe brought Nkomo into the government once again as a vice-president.[citation needed]

President

In 1987, the position of Prime Minister was abolished and Mugabe assumed the new office of executive President of Zimbabwe gaining additional powers in the process. He was re-elected in 1990 and 1996, and in 2002 amid claims of widespread vote-rigging and intimidation. Mugabe’s term of office expired at the end of March 2008, but he was re-elected later in 2008 in another election marred by allegations of election fraud and intimidation.

Mugabe has been the Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe since Parliament passed the University of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill in November 1990.[29]

Gukurahundi

Main article: Gukurahundi

There were major outbreaks of violence between ZIPRA and ZANLA awaiting integration into the National Army. ZAPU was believed to have been planning an armed revolt to make up for ZAPU’s poor showing in the 1980 elections.[5]

Major arms caches were discovered in early 1982, and this caused a final rift between ZANU and ZAPU. Some believe that this was engineered by South African agents. South Africa’s policy of destabilising Zimbabwe by military means, while blaming ZAPU for the actions of South African agents, helped to escalate the breakdown between ZAPU and ZANU in the early 1980s. This in turn led Zimbabwe to retain a state of emergency throughout the 1980s.[5]

According to a report by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe’s Fifth Brigade killed between 3,000 and 3,750 people.[5]

Economy

Main article: Economy of Zimbabwe

During the 1980s Mugabe’s policies were largely socialist in orientation. In 1980 and 1981 the Zimbabwean economy showed strong growth of the GDP with 10.6% and 12.5%. From 1982–1989 economic growth averaged just 2.7% (1980–1989 average 4.47%). The white minority government maintained (with economic sanctions) from 1966–1972 a 6.7% average growth rate and overall from 1966 till 1979 a 3.8% average growth rate.[30]

Unsuccessful market reform attempts were started in the 1990s and the economy stagnated in this time. Since 2000, GDP has declined by roughly 40% in part due to land reform and hyperinflation.

On November 2010, the IMF described the Zimbabwean economy as “completing its second year of buoyant economic growth”.[31][32]

Social programs

According to a 1995 World Bank report, after independence, “Zimbabwe gave priority to human resource investments and support for smallholder agriculture,” and as a result, “smallholder agriculture expanded rapidly during the first half of the 1980s and social indicators improved quickly.” From 1980 to 1990 infant mortality decreased from 86 to 49 per 1000 live births, under five mortality was reduced from 128 to 58 per 1000 live births, and immunisation increased from 25% to 80% of the population. Also, “child malnutrition fell from 22% to 12% and life expectancy increased from 56 to 64. By 1990, Zimbabwe had a lower infant mortality rate, higher adult literacy and higher school enrolment rate than average for developing countries”.[33]

In 1991, the government of Zimbabwe, short on hard currency and under international pressure, embarked on an austerity program. The World Bank’s 1995 report explained that such reforms were required because Zimbabwe was unable to absorb into its labour market the many graduates from its impressive education system and that it needed to attract additional foreign investments. The reforms, however, undermined the livelihoods of Zimbabwe’s poor majority; the report noted “large segments of the population, including most smallholder farmers and small scale enterprises, find themselves in a vulnerable position with limited capacity to respond to evolving market opportunities. This is due to their limited access to natural, technical and financial resources, to the contraction of many public services for smallholder agriculture, and to their still nascent links with larger scale enterprises.”

Moreover, these people were forced to live on marginal lands as Zimbabwe’s best lands were reserved for mainly white landlords growing cash crops for export, a sector of the economy favoured by the IMF’s plan. For the poor on the communal lands, “existing levels of production in these areas are now threatened by the environmental fragility of the natural resource base and the unsustainability of existing farming practices”.[33] The International Monetary Fund later suspended aid, saying reforms were “not on track.”

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), life expectancy at birth for Zimbabwean men has since become 37 years and is 34 years for women, the lowest such figures for any nation.[34] The World Bank’s 1995 report predicted this decline in life expectancy from its 1990 height of 64 years when, commenting on health care system cuts mandated by the IMF structural adjustment programme, it stated that “The decline in resources is creating strains and threatening the sustainability of health sector achievements”.[33]

While Zimbabwe has suffered in many other measures under Mugabe, as a former schoolteacher he has been well known for his commitment to education.[12] As of 2008, Zimbabwe had a literacy rateof 90%, the highest in Africa.[35] However, Catholic Archbishop of Zimbabwe Pius Ncube decried the educational situation in the country, saying, among other scathing indictments of Mugabe, “We had the best education in Africa and now our schools are closing”.[36]

Prior to its suspension in 2009, the Zimbabwe dollar had suffered from the second-highest hyperinflation rate of any currency in modern times.[37]

Racism

A number of people have accused Mugabe of having a racist attitude towards white people. John Sentamu, a Uganda-born Archbishop of York in the United Kingdom, calls Mugabe “the worst kind of racist dictator,” for having “targeted the whites for their apparent riches”.[38] Almost thirty years after ending white-minority rule in Zimbabwe, Mugabe accuses the United Kingdom and the United States of promoting white imperialism and regularly accuses opposition figures to his government of being allies of white imperialism.[39][40]

When the United Kingdom once condemned Mugabe’s authoritarian policies and alleged racist attitudes as being comparable to those of German Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, Mugabe responded with an extremely controversial remark, mocking the UK’s claims by saying about himself and his policies that “I am still the Hitler of the time. This Hitler has only one objective, justice for his own people, sovereignty for his people, recognition of the independence of his people, and their right to their resources. If that is Hitler, then let me be a Hitler tenfold.”[41]

Views on homosexuality

Mugabe has been uncompromising in his opposition to homosexuality. In September 1995, Zimbabwe’s parliament introduced legislation banning homosexual acts.[42] In 1997, a court found Canaan Banana, Mugabe’s predecessor and the first President of Zimbabwe, guilty of 11 counts of sodomy and indecent assault.[43]

Second Congo War

Mugabe was blamed for Zimbabwe’s participation in the Second Congo War in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At a time when the Zimbabwean economy was struggling, Zimbabwe responded to a call by the Southern African Development Community to help the struggling regime in Kinshasa. The Democratic Republic of the Congo had been invaded by Rwanda and Uganda, both of which claimed that their civilians, and regional stability, were under constant threat of attack by Rwandan Hutu militiamen based in the Congo.[44]

However, the Congolese government, as well as international commentators, charged that the motive for the invasion was to grab the rich mineral resources of eastern Congo.[45][46] The war raised accusations of corruption, with officials alleged to be plundering the Congo’s mineral reserves. Mugabe’s defence minister Moven Mahachi said, “Instead of our army in the DRC burdening the treasury for more resources, which are not available, it embarks on viable projects for the sake of generating the necessary revenue”.[47]

Land reform

When Zimbabwe gained independence, 46.5% of the country’s arable land was owned by around 6,000 commercial farmers[48] and white farmers, who made up less than 1% of the population, owned 70% of the best farming land.[49] Mugabe accepted a “willing buyer, willing seller” plan as part of the Lancaster House Agreement of 1979, among other concessions to the white minority.[50] As part of this agreement, land redistribution was blocked for a period of 10 years.[51]

In 1997, the new British government led by Tony Blair unilaterally stopped funding the “willing buyer, willing seller” land reform programme on the basis that the initial £44 million allocated under theThatcher government was used to purchase land for members of the ruling elite rather than landless peasants. Furthermore, Britain’s ruling Labour Party felt no obligation to continue paying white farmers compensation, or in minister Clare Short‘s words, “I should make it clear that we do not accept that Britain has a special responsibility to meet the costs of land purchase in Zimbabwe. We are a new Government from diverse backgrounds without links to former colonial interests. My own origins are Irish and as you know we were colonised not colonisers”.[52]

Some commentators, such as Matthew Sweet in The Independent, hold Cecil Rhodes ultimately responsible:

… It was Cecil Rhodes who originated the racist ‘land grabs’ to which Zimbabwe’s current miseries can ultimately be traced. It was Rhodes who in 1887 told the House Of Assembly in Cape Town, South Africa that ‘the native is to be treated as a child and denied the franchise. We must adopt a system of despotism in our relations with the barbarians of Southern Africa’.[53]

According to Sweet, “In less oratorical moments, he put it even more bluntly: ‘I prefer land to niggers.'”

From 12 to 13 February 2000, a referendum on constitutional amendments was held. The proposed amendments would have limited future presidents to two terms, but as it was not retroactive, Mugabe could have stood for another two terms. It also would have made his government and military officials immune from prosecution for any illegal acts committed while in office. In addition, it allowed the government to confiscate white-owned land for redistribution to black farmers without compensation. The motion failed with 55% of participants against the referendum.[54]

The referendum had a 20% turnout fuelled by an effective SMS campaign. Mugabe declared that he would “abide by the will of the people”. The vote was a surprise to ZANU-PF, and an embarrassment before parliamentary elections due in mid-April. Almost immediately, self-styled “war veterans”, led by Chenjerai ‘Hitler’ Hunzvi, began invading white-owned farms. Those who did not leave voluntarily were often tortured and sometimes killed. One was forced to drink diesel fuel as a form of torture.[55] On 6 April 2000, Parliament pushed through an amendment, taken word for word from the draft constitution that was rejected by voters, allowing the seizure of white-owned farmlands without due reimbursement or payment.[56]

On 8 December 2003, in protest against a further 18 months of suspension from the Commonwealth of Nations (thereby cutting foreign aid to Zimbabwe), Mugabe withdrew his country from the Commonwealth. Mugabe informed the leaders of Jamaica, Nigeria and South Africa of his decision when they telephoned him to discuss the situation. Zimbabwe’s government said the President did not accept the Commonwealth’s position, and was leaving the group.[57]

The United Nations provoked anger when its Food and Agriculture Organisation invited Mugabe to speak at a celebration of its 60th anniversary in Rome. Critics of the move argued that since Mugabe could not feed his own people without the UN’s support, he was an inappropriate speaker for the group, which has a mission statement of “helping to build a world without hunger”.[58]

In 2005, Mugabe ordered a raid conducted on what the government termed “illegal shelters” in Harare, resulting in 10,000 urban poor being left homeless from “Operation Murambatsvina (English: Operation Drive Out the Rubbish).” The authorities themselves had moved the poor inhabitants to the area in 1992, telling them not to build permanent homes and that their new homes were temporary, leading the inhabitants to build their own temporary shelters out of cardboard and wood.[59] Since the inhabitants of the shantytowns overwhelmingly supported the Movement for Democratic Change opposition party in the previous election, many alleged that the mass bulldozing was politically motivated.[59] The UK’s Daily Telegraph noted that Mugabe’s “latest palace,” in the style of a pagoda, was located a mile from the destroyed shelters.[59] The UN released a report stating that the actions of Mugabe resulted in the loss of home or livelihood for more than 700,000 Zimbabweans and negatively affected 2.4 million more.[58]

As of September 2006, Mugabe’s family owns three farms: Highfield Estate in Norton, 45 km west of HarareIron Mask Estate in Mazowe, about 40 km from Harare, and Foyle Farm in Mazowe, formerly owned by Ian Webster and adjacent to Iron Mask Farm, renamed to Gushungo Farm after Mugabe’s own clan name.[60] These farms were seized forcibly from their previous owners.[61]

Mugabe blames the food shortages on drought and the cumulative effect of sanctions imposed against the country.

In November 2010 the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University in England released a comprehensive study on the effects of Zimbabwean land reform. The study suggested that the consequences were mixed but that previous claims that the reform was a failure, that its primary recipients were political “cronies” or that it caused rural collapse were unfounded. One of the study’s authors, Professor Ian Scoones, stated: “What comes through from our research is the complexity, the differences in experience, almost farm by farm; there is no single, simple story of the Zimbabwe land reform as sometimes assumed by press reports, political commentators, or indeed much academic study”.[62]

Elections

In April 1979, 64% of the black citizens of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) lined up at the polls to vote in the first democratic election in the history of that southern African nation. Two-thirds of them supported Abel Muzorewa, a bishop in the United Methodist Church. He was the first black prime minister of a country only 4% white. Muzorewa’s victory put an end to the 14-year political odyssey of outgoing prime minister Ian Smith, who had infamously announced in 1976, “I do not believe in black majority rule—not in a thousand years.”

Less than a year after Muzorewa’s victory, however, in February 1980, another election was held in Zimbabwe. This time, Robert Mugabe, the Marxist who had fought a seven-year guerilla war against Rhodesia’s white-led government, won 64% of the vote, after a campaign marked by widespread intimidation, outright violence, and Mugabe’s threat to continue the civil war if he lost. Mugabe became prime minister and was toasted by the international community and media as a new sort of African leader.

Mugabe has continued to win elections, although frequently these have been criticised by outsiders for violating various electoral procedures.

Mugabe faced Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in presidential elections in March 2002.[63] Mugabe defeated Tsvangirai by 56.2% to 41.9% amid violence and the prevention of large numbers of citizens in urban areas from voting. The conduct of the elections was widely viewed internationally as having been manipulated.[64][65] Many groups, such as the United Kingdom, the European Union, the United States, and Tsvangirai’s party, assert that the result was rigged.[63]

Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party won the 2005 parliamentary elections with an increased majority. The elections were said by (again) South African observers to “reflect the free will of the people of Zimbabwe”, despite accusations of widespread fraud from the MDC.[66]

On 6 February 2007, Mugabe orchestrated a cabinet reshuffle, ousting ministers including five-year veteran finance minister Herbert Murerwa.[67]

On 11 March 2007, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was arrested and beaten following a prayer meeting in the Harare suburb of Highfields. Another member of the Movement for Democratic Change was killed while other protesters were injured.[68] Mugabe claimed that “Tsvangirai deserved his beating-up by police because he was not allowed to attend a banned rally” on 30 March 2007.[69]

General elections 2008

Mugabe launched his election campaign on his birthday in Beitbridge, a small town on the border with South Africa on 23 February 2008 by denouncing both the opposition MDC and Simba Makoni‘s candidacy. He was quoted in the state media as saying: “Dr Makoni lacked majority support while Mr Tsvangirai was in the presidential race simply to please his Western backers in exchange for money”.[70] These are the charges he has used in the past to describe the leader of the opposition.[citation needed]

In the week Dr. Makoni launched his campaign for the presidency, he accused Mugabe of buying votes from the electorate. This was a few hours after Dumiso Dabengwa had come out and endorsedDr. Makoni‘s candidature.[71]

First-round defeat and the campaign of violence

The presidential elections were conducted on 29 March 2008, together with the parliamentary elections. On 2 April 2008, the Zimbabwe Election Commission confirmed that Mugabe and his party, known as ZANU-PF, had lost control of Parliament to the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change. This was confirmed when the results were released.[72] Both the opposition and his party challenged the results in some constituencies.[73] According to unofficial polling, Zanu-PF took 94 seats, and the main opposition party MDC took 96 seats.[74] On 3 April 2008 Zimbabwean government forces began cracking down on the main opposition party and arrested at least two foreign journalists, who were covering the disputed presidential election, including a correspondent for the New York Times.[75][76]

On 30 March 2008, Mugabe convened a meeting with his top security officials to discuss his defeat in the elections. According to the Washington Post, he was prepared to concede, but was advised by Zimbabwe’s military chief Gen. Constantine Chiwenga to remain in the race, with the senior military officers “supervising a military-style campaign against the opposition”.[77] The first phase of the plan started a week later, involving the building of 2,000 party compounds across Zimbabwe, to serve as bases for the party militias.[77] On an 8 April 2008 meeting, the military plan was given the code name of “CIBD”, which stood for: “Coercion. Intimidation. Beating. Displacement.”[77]

The official results for the presidential elections would be delayed for five weeks. When British Prime Minister Gordon Brown attempted to intervene into the election controversy, Mugabe dismissed him as “a little tiny dot on this planet”.[78]

When the official results for the presidential elections were finally published by the Zimbabwe election commission on 2 May 2008, they showed that Mr. Mugabe had lost in the first round, getting 1,079,730 votes (43.2%) against 1,195,562 (47.9%) collected by Mr. Tsvangirai. Therefore no candidate secured the final win in the first round, and a presidential run-off will be needed. The opposition called the results “scandalous daylight robbery”, claiming an outright victory in the first round with 50.3% of the votes.[79] However, closer analysis of the opposition MDC’s own figures, as published on the party’s website at time, showed they had secured 49.1% of the vote and not the claimed requiste of +50% to avoid a run-off election.[80]

Mugabe’s run-off campaign was managed by Emerson Mnangagwa, a former security chief of the conflict of Gukurahundi.[77] The Washington Post asserts that the campaign of violence was bringing results to the ruling party, by crushing the opposition party MDC and coercion of its supporters. By 20 June 2008, the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights had “recorded 85 deaths in political violence since the first round of voting”.[81] News organizations report that, by the date of the second-round election, more than 80 opposition supporters had been killed, hundreds more were missing, in addition to thousands injured, and hundreds of thousands driven from their homes.[77]

Zimbabwean officials alleged that activists of the MDC, disguised as ZANU-PF members, had perpetrated violence against the population, mimicking the tactics of the Selous Scouts during the liberation struggle. They alleged that there was a “predominance” of Selous Scouts in the MDC.[82] The Sunday Mail published an article which claimed that former Selous Scouts were training MDC youth activists in violent tactics, at locations near Tswane (Pretoria) and Pietermaritzburg in South Africa.[83]

In addition, at least 100 officials and polling officers of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission were arrested after the first round election.[84][85]

Tsvangirai initially agreed to a presidential run-off with Robert Mugabe,[86] but later withdrew (on 22 June 2008), citing violence targeted at his campaign. He complained that the elections were pointless, as the outcome would be determined by Mugabe himself.[87]

The outcome of the run-off election

The run-off election was held on 27 June 2008, and Zimbabwe’s Electoral Commission released the results two days later. The official results showed that Mugabe had managed to double his votes since the first round, to 2,150,269 votes (85.5%), while his opponent Tsvangirai obtained only 233,000 (9.3%).[88] However Tsvangirai had pulled out previously because of widespread violence from the ZANU-PF’s forces. The violence includes beating, rape and others. Many voted because if they did not they could face violence against them. Although witnesses and election monitors had reported a low turnout in many areas of the country,[89] the official tally showed that the total vote had increased, from 2,497,265 votes in the first round[90] to 2,514,750 votes in the second round.[88]

Two legal opinions commissioned by the Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC)[91] declared the run-off election illegal because it occurred outside the 21 day period within which it had to take place under Zimbabwean law. Under item 3(1)(b) of the Second Schedule of the Electoral Act, if no second election is held within 21 days of the first election, the candidate with the highest number of votes in the first election has been duly elected as President and must be declared as such. According to the figures released by Zimbabwe’s Electoral Commission, that would mean that Morgan Tsvangirai is the de jure President.

Mugabe’s inauguration to his sixth presidential term of office was a hastily arranged ceremony, convened barely an hour after the electoral commission declared his victory on 29 June 2008.[92] None of his fellow African heads of state were present at his inauguration; there were only family members, ministers, and security chiefs in the guests’ tent.[93]

The Zimbabwean military, and not President Robert Mugabe, is now running the troubled country, in the opinion of a South Africa-based NGO called the Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum (ZSF) – 10 Jul 2008.[94]

The United Kingdom announced a policy of seizing foreign assets belonging to Mugabe. Mugabe replied that he has no foreign assets to seize. HSBC proceeded to seize the bank account of Sam Mugabe, a 23-year-old British subject of Zimbabwean origin, no relation to Robert Mugabe. The HSBC bank which carried out the seizure of her account subsequently apologised.[95][96][97]

On 20 December, despite increased criticism and pressure to resign, Mugabe averred during ZANU-PF’s tenth annual conference in Bindura, some eighty kilometres north of Harare, that he would brook no such thing.[98]

Criticism and opposition

Example of foreign criticism: a demonstration against Mugabe’s regime next to the Zimbabwe embassy in London (Summer 2006).

Since 1998 Mugabe’s policies have increasingly elicited domestic and international denunciation. They have been denounced as racist againstZimbabwe’s white minority[99][100][101] Mugabe has described his critics as “born again colonialists”,[102][103] and both he and his supporters claim that Zimbabwe’s problems are the legacy of imperialism,[104] aggravated by Western economic meddling. According to The Herald, a Zimbabwean newspaper owned by the government, the U.K. is pursuing a policy of regime change.[95]

Mugabe’s critics accuse him of conducting a “reign of terror”[59][105] and being an “extremely poor role model” for the continent, whose “transgressions are unpardonable”.[106] In solidarity with the April 2007 general strike called by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), British Trades Union Congress General Secretary Brendan Barber said of Mugabe’s regime: ‘Zimbabwe’s people are suffering from Mugabe’s appalling economic mismanagement, corruption, and brutal repression. They are standing up for their rights, and we must stand with them.” Lela Kogbara, Chair of ACTSA (Action for Southern Africa) similarly has said: “As with every oppressive regime women and workers are left bearing the brunt. Please join us as we stand in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe in their struggle for peace, justice and freedom”.[107]

Robert Guest, the Africa editor for The Economist for seven years, argues that Mugabe is to blame for Zimbabwe’s economic freefall. “In 1980, the average annual income in Zimbabwe was US$950, and a Zimbabwean dollar was worth more than an American one. By 2003, the average income was less than US$400, and the Zimbabwean economy was in freefall.[108] “Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe for nearly three decades and has led it, in that time, from impressive success to the most dramatic peacetime collapse of any country since Weimar Germany“.[12]

In The Daily Telegraph, Mugabe was criticised for comparing himself to Hitler. Mugabe was quoted as saying “This Hitler has only one objective: justice for his people, sovereignty for his people, recognition of the independence of his people and their rights over their resources. If that is Hitler, then let me be a Hitler tenfold”.[109]

In recent years, Western governments have condemned Mugabe’s government. On 9 March 2003, U.S. President George W. Bush approved measures for economic sanctions to be levelled against Mugabe and other high-ranking Zimbabwe politicians, freezing their assets and barring Americans from engaging in any transactions or dealings with them. Justifying the move, Bush’s spokesman stated that the President and Congress believe that “the situation in Zimbabwe endangers the southern African region and threatens to undermine efforts to foster good governance and respect for the rule of law throughout the continent.” The bill was known as the Zimbabwe Democracy Act.[110]

In reaction to human rights violations in Zimbabwe, students at universities from which Mugabe has honorary doctorates have sought to get the degrees revoked. So far, the University of Edinburgh andUniversity of Massachusetts have stripped Mugabe of his honorary degree[111] after two years of campaigning from Edinburgh University Students’ Association. In addition, the student body at Michigan State University (ASMSU) unanimously passed a resolution calling for this. The issue is now being considered by the university.[112]

Mugabe’s office forbade the screening of the 2005 movie The Interpreter, claiming that it was propaganda by the CIA and fearing that it could incite hostility towards him.[113] In 2007, Parade magazine ranked Mugabe the 7th worst dictator in the world.[114] The same magazine ranked him worst dictator of the year 2009 two years later. [115]

An official from Chatham House suggested that Mugabe was unlikely to leave Zimbabwe, but that if he were to leave, he might go to Malaysia, where some believe that he has “stashed much of his wealth”.[116]

In response to Mugabe’s critics, former Zambian leader Kenneth Kaunda was quoted blaming not Mugabe for Zimbabwe’s troubles, but successive British governments.[117] He wrote in June 2007 that “leaders in the West say Robert Mugabe is a demon, that he has destroyed Zimbabwe and he must be got rid of– but this demonising is made by people who may not understand what Robert Gabriel Mugabe and his fellow freedom fighters went through”.[3] Similarly, Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, responded to his critics by saying that Zimbabwe’s problems are the legacy ofcolonialism.[118]

Mugabe’s supporters characterise him as a true Pan-Africanist and a dedicated anti-imperialist who stands strong against forces of imperialism in Africa. According to Mugabe’s supporters, the Western media are not objectively reporting on Zimbabwe, but are peddling falsehoods. Mugabe’s supporters accuse certain western governments of trying to eradicate pan-Africanism in order to deny real independence to African countries by imposing client regimes.[119]

The Times charged that on 12 June 2008, Mugabe’s Militia murdered Dadirai Chipiro, the wife of Mugabe’s political opponent, Patson Chipiro, by burning her alive with a petrol bomb after severing her hands and feet.[120]

Sanctions

After the start of the Fast Track land reform program in 2000, the US Senate put a credit freeze on the government of Zimbabwe, through the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001. Signed into law on 21 December 2001, ZDERA froze the Zimbabwean government’s lines of credit at international financial institutions through Section 4C, titled Multilateral Financing Restriction. This credit freeze forced the Zimbabwean government to operate on a cash only basis, and caused high inflation in 2001 to turn into hyperinflation in 2002 and beyond. It caused the first export deficit, the first big drop in tobacco exports, and a greater fall of the Zimbabwe dollar against the US dollar than in the previous 6 years, in the year 2002.

SEC. 4. SUPPORT FOR DEMOCRATIC TRANSITION AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY. (c) MULTILATERAL FINANCING RESTRICTION- … the Secretary of the Treasury shall instruct the United States executive director to each international financial institution to oppose and vote against– (1) any extension by the respective institution of any loan, credit, or guarantee to the Government of Zimbabwe; or (2) any cancellation or reduction of indebtedness owed by the Government of Zimbabwe to the United States or any international financial institution. [121]

ZDERA was sponsored by Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), and co-sponsored by then senators Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Russ Feingold and Jesse Helms. In 2010, Russ Feingold introduced a new law that would continue the credit freeze on Zimbabwe, called the Zimbabwe Transition to Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2010 (ZTDERA). Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) introduced the Zimbabwe Sanctions Repeal Act of 2010, specifically to repeal ZDERA through Section 2 article 26.[122]

Robert Mugabe visiting Vatican City in 2008, while in Rome for a UN Food Conference-a permitted exception from his travel ban.

After observers from the European Union were barred from examining Zimbabwe’s 2002 elections, the EU imposed sanctions on Mugabe and 94 members of his government, banning them from travelling to participating countries and freezing any assets held there. The United States instituted similar restrictions. The EU’s ban has a few loopholes, resulting in Mugabe taking a few trips into Europe despite the ban. Mugabe is permitted to travel to UN events within European and American borders.[123][124]

On 8 April 2005, Mugabe attended the funeral of Pope John Paul II, a move which could be seen as defiance of a European Union travel ban that does not, however, apply to Vatican City. He was granted a transit visa by the Italian authorities, as they are obliged to under the Concordat. However, the Catholic hierarchy in Zimbabwe have been very vocal against his rule and the senior Catholic cleric, Archbishop Pius Ncube is a major critic, even calling for Western governments to help in his overthrow.[125][126] Mugabe surprised Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, by shaking his hand during the service. Afterwards, the Prince’s office released a statement saying, “The Prince of Wales was caught by surprise and not in a position to avoid shaking Mr. Mugabe’s hand. The Prince finds the current Zimbabwean regime abhorrent. He has supported the Zimbabwe Defence and Aid Fund which works with those being oppressed by the regime. The Prince also recently met Pius Ncube, the Archbishop of Bulawayo, an outspoken critic of the government”.[127]

Robert Mugabe and senior members of the Harare government are not allowed to travel to the United States because it is the position of the US government that he has worked to undermine democracy in Zimbabwe and has restricted freedom of the press.[128] Despite strained political relations, the United States remains a leading provider of humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe, providing roughly US$900 million in humanitarian assistance from 2002–2008, mostly food aid.[129]

Because United Nations events are exempt from the travel bans, Mugabe attended the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) summit in Rome. African leaders threatened to boycott the event if Mugabe were blacklisted; when he was not, the United Kingdom refused to send a representative. British and Australian officials denounced the presence of Mugabe.[130][131]

Succession

Because Mugabe is one of Africa’s longest-lasting leaders, speculation has built over the years related to his succession.

In June 2005, a report that Mugabe had entered a hospital for tests on his heart fuelled rumours that he had died of a heart attack.[132] These reports were later dismissed by a Mugabe spokesman.

Joyce Mujuru, recently elevated to vice-president of ZANU-PF during the December 2004 party congress and considerably younger than Joseph Msika, the other vice-president, has been touted as a likely successor to Mugabe. Mujuru’s candidacy for the presidency is strengthened by the backing of her husband, Solomon Mujuru, who is the former head of the Zimbabwean army.

In October 2006, a report prepared by Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Economic Development acknowledged the lack of coordination among critical government departments in Zimbabwe and the overall lack of commitment to end the crisis. The report implied that the infighting in Zanu-PF over Mugabe’s successor was also hurting policy formulation and consistency in implementation.[133]

In late 2006, a plan was presented to postpone the next presidential election until 2010, at the same time as the next parliamentary election, thereby extending Mugabe’s term by two years. It was said that holding the two elections together would be a cost-saving measure,[134] but the plan was not approved: there were reportedly objections from some in ZANU-PF to the idea.

In March 2007, Mugabe said that he thought that the feeling was in favour of holding the two elections together in 2008 instead of 2010. He also said that he would be willing to run for re-election again if the party wanted him to do so.[135] Other leaders in southern Africa were rumoured to be less warm on the idea of extending his term to 2010.

On 30 March 2007, it was announced that the ZANU-PF central committee had chosen Mugabe as the party’s candidate for another term in 2008, that presidential terms would be shortened to five years, and that the parliamentary election would also be held in 2008.[136] Mugabe was chosen by acclamation as the party’s presidential candidate for 2008 by ZANU-PF delegates at a party conference on 13 December 2007.[137]

At Zanu-PF’s tenth annual conference in Bindura in December 2008, Mugabe spoke of his determination not to follow US president George W. Bush to his “political death”[138] and urged the party to ready itself for new polls. He also took the opportunity once more to cite Britain as the source of Zimbabwe’s woes.

At independence celebrations in Ghana in March 2007, South African President Thabo Mbeki was rumoured to have met with Mugabe in private and told him that “he was determined that South Africa’s hosting of the Football World Cup in 2010 should not be disrupted by controversial presidential elections in Zimbabwe”.[139]

As of 10 September 2010 there was considerable speculation that Mugabe was dying of cancer.[140][141][142] It is rumoured that his choice of successor would be Simba Makoni [4] These rumors were further validated in September of 2011 when WikiLeaks revealed that Mugabe’s close friend, Gideon Gono, revealed that Mugabe has prostate cancer that would likely kill him by 2013.[143][144]

SADC-facilitated government power-sharing agreement

On 11 September 2008, at the end of the fourth day of negotiations, South African President and mediator to ZimbabweThabo Mbeki, announced in Harare that Robert Mugabe of Zanu-PF, ProfessorArthur Mutambara and Morgan Tsvangirai (both of MDC) finally signed the power-sharing agreement – “memorandum of understanding.”[145] Mbeki stated: “An agreement has been reached on all items on the agenda … all of them [ Mugabe, Tsvangirai, Mutambara] endorsed the document tonight, and signed it. The formal signing will be done on Monday 10 am. The document will be released then. The ceremony will be attended by SADC and other African regional and continental leaders. The leaders will spend the next few days constituting the inclusive government to be announced on Monday. The leaders will work very hard to mobilise support for the people to recover. We hope the world will assist so that this political agreement succeeds.” In the signed historic power deal, Mugabe, on 11 September 2008 agreed to surrender day-to-day control of the government and the deal is also expected to result in a de facto amnesty for the military and Zanu-PF party leaders. Opposition sources said “Tsvangirai will become prime minister at the head of a council of ministers, the principal organ of government, drawn from his Movement for Democratic Change and the president’s Zanu-PF party; and Mugabe will remain president and continue to chair a cabinet that will be a largely consultative body, and the real power will lie with Tsvangirai.[146][147][148]

South Africa’s Business Day reported, however, that Mugabe was refusing to sign a deal which would curtail his presidential powers.[149] New York Times said Nelson Chamisa, a spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, announced: “This is an inclusive government. The executive power would be shared by the president, the prime minister and the cabinet. Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara have still not decided how to divide the ministries. But Jendayi E. Frazer, the American assistant secretary of state for African affairs, said: “We don’t know what’s on the table, and it’s hard to rally for an agreement when no one knows the details or even the broad outlines”[150]

On 15 September 2008, the leaders of the 14-member SADC witnessed the signing of the power-sharing agreement, brokered by South African leader Thabo Mbeki. With symbolic handshake and warm smiles at the Rainbow Towers hotel in Harare, Mugabe, Mutambara and Tsvangirai signed the deal to end violent political crisis provides. As provided, Robert Mugabe will be recognised as president, Morgan Tsvangirai will become prime minister,[151] the MDC will control the police, Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) will command the Army, and Arthur Mutambara becomes deputy prime minister.[152][153]

Violence, however, did not entirely subside with the power-sharing agreement. As the New Your Times reports, Mugabe’s top lieutenants started “trying to force the political opposition into granting them amnesty for their past crimes by abducting, detaining and torturing opposition officials and activists.” Dozens of members of the opposition and human rights activists have been abducted and tortured in the months since October 2008, including Roy Bennett, the opposition’s third-highest ranking official and Tsvangirai’s nominee for deputy agriculture minister (arrested just two days after Tsvangirai was sworn in as prime minister in 11 February 2009) and Chris Dhlamini, the opposition’s director of security.[154]

Honours and revocations

In 1994, Mugabe was appointed an honorary Knight Grand Cross in the Order of the Bath by Queen Elizabeth II.[155] This entitled him to use the postnominal letters GCB, but not to use the title “Sir.” In the United Kingdom, the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee called for the removal of this honour in 2003, and on 25 June 2008, Queen Elizabeth II cancelled and annulled the honorary knighthood after advice from the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom. “This action has been taken as a mark of revulsion at the abuse of human rights and abject disregard for the democratic process in Zimbabwe over which President Mugabe has presided”.[156]

Mugabe holds several honorary degrees and doctorates from international universities, awarded to him in the 1980s; at least three of these have since been revoked. In June 2007, he became the first international figure ever to be stripped of an honorary degree by a British university, when the University of Edinburgh withdrew the degree awarded to him in 1984.[157] On 12 June 2008, the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees voted to revoke the law degree awarded to Mugabe in 1986; this is the first time one of its honorary degrees has been revoked.[158] Similarly, on 12 September 2008,Michigan State University revoked an honorary law degree that it awarded Mugabe in 1990.[159]

Titles and honours of Robert Gabriel Mugabe
Title/Honour Awarding body/person Date of award Reason for award Date of revocation/loss of award Reason for revocation/loss
(Comment)
1 Comrade member ofZANU-PF
2 General Secretary ZANU-PF (date of appointment)
3 1st Executive President Constitution (date of constitutional amendment)
4 Knight Grand Cross in theOrder of the Bath Queen Elizabeth II 1994 “significant contributions” to relations between Britain and Zimbabwe[160] 25 June 2008 “The abuse of human rights and abject disregard for the democratic process in Zimbabwe over which President Mugabe has presided”[156]
5 Honorary LLDdegree University of Edinburgh 1984 “… honoured not only for his extraordinary intellectual discipline and energy but for those qualities of statesmanship which made him one of the great figures of modern Africa.”[161] June 2007 “The decision was taken after the university set up an academic panel to look at events between 1982 and 1984 in Matabeleland, where 20,000 people are thought to have died. The university has said that it knew nothing of the killings at the time of the award.”[157]
6 Honorary LLDdegree University of Massachusetts 1986 “Your gentle firmness in the face of anger, and your intellectual approach to matters which inflame the emotions of others, are hallmarks of your quiet integrity.” … “We salute you for your enduring and effective translation of a moral ethic into a strong, popular voice for freedom.”[162] June 2008 “Mugabe’s corrupt, repressive regime” was deemed “antithetical to the values and beliefs of the University of Massachusetts.” It is the first time the board has revoked an honorary degree.[158]
7 Honorary LLDdegree Michigan State University 1990 “… for his achievements as the president of Zimbabwe and for establishing a strong cooperative effort between MSU and the University of Zimbabwe.”[163] 12 September 2008 “…a pattern of human rights abuses.”[159]
8 Honorary LLDdegree Ahmadou Bello University[164]
9 Honorary LLDdegree Morehouse College[164]
10 Honorary LLDdegree University of Zimbabwe[164]
11 Honorary LLDdegree St. Augustine’s College[164]
12 Honorary LLDdegree Lomonosov Moscow State University[164]
13 Honorary LLDdegree Solusi University[164]
14 HonoraryD.Litt. degree Africa University[164]
15 Honorary D Civil Laws degree University of Mauritius[164]
16 HonoraryD.Com.degree University of Fort Hare[164]
17 HonoraryD.Tech.degree National University of Science and Technology[164]
18 Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger The Hunger Project[164] 1988 Mr. Mugabe’s agricultural programs “pointed the way not only for Zimbabwe but for the entire African continent.”[165] 8 August 2001 “The Hunger Project wishes to be on the record as deploring policies that have resulted in increased unemployment, poverty and hunger in Zimbabwe. This situation is inconsistent with the spirit of the Africa Prize for Leadership and Zimbabwe’s need to work for the sustainable end of hunger.”[166]
19 HonoraryOrder of Jamaica Government of Jamaica[164] 1996 “in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the fight for liberation and the overthrow of apartheid in Southern Africa, and his distinct leadership in the pursuit of freedom and human development throughout the African continent” Prime Minister Bruce Golding says Jamaica has no plan to strip President Robert Mugabe of the honorary award conferred on him in 1996, despite the ongoing political situation in Zimbabwe.

Personal life

His first wife, Sally Hayfron, died in 1992 from a chronic kidney ailment.[167] Their only son, Michael Nhamodzenyika Mugabe, born 27 September 1963, died on 26 December 1966 from cerebral malaria in Ghana where Sally was working while Mugabe was in prison. Sally Mugabe was a trained teacher who asserted her position as an independent political activist and campaigner[168] who was seen as Mugabe’s closest friend and advisor, and some critics suggest that Mugabe began to misrule Zimbabwe after her death.[12]

On 17 August 1996, Mugabe married his former secretary, Grace Marufu, 41 years his junior, with whom he already had two children; she first became pregnant by Mugabe while he was still married to his first wife, Sally, and while Grace was married to another man, Stanley Goreraza, now a diplomat in China.[169][170] Mugabe and Marufu were married in a Roman Catholic wedding Mass at Kutama College, a Catholic mission school he previously attended. Nelson Mandela and Mugabe’s two children by Grace were among the guests. The Mugabes have three children: Bona, Robert Peter Jr. (although Robert Mugabe’s middle name is Gabriel) and Bellarmine Chatunga.

As First Lady, Grace has been the subject of criticism for her lifestyle. Her sometimes lavish European shopping sprees have led to the nickname “Gucci Grace”. When she was included in the 2002 EU travel sanctions on her husband, one EU parliamentarian was quoted as saying that the ban “will stop Grace Mugabe going on her shopping trips in the face of catastrophic poverty blighting the people of Zimbabwe.”[171]