Tag Archives: BBC

Former Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles ‘accepts’ tax ruling

Former Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles says he’s learnt a “valuable lesson” after a court found that he’d tried to avoid paying up to £1 million tax. The last few minutes of The Chris Moyles Show A tribunal heard he claimed to be a second-hand car dealer to try to save money. He and two other men were accused of taking part in a scheme called “working wheels” between 2006 and 2008. Chris Moyles tweeted: “I take full responsibility and have learnt a valuable lesson.” The scheme worked by allowing its members, said to include other celebrities and high-earners, to say they had incurred large fees while working in the second-hand car trade. They could then claim back against their tax bill. A published judgment from the Tax Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal focussed on the former DJ’s self-assessment tax return for the financial year ending on 5 April, 2008. At the time he was presenting the Radio 1 Breakfast Show but documents showed him as “engaged in self-employment as a used car trader”. In a series of tweets, the 39-year-old said: “Upon advice, I signed up to a scheme which I was assured was legal. “Despite this, my knowledge of the dealings of the scheme were naive.” Chris Moyles did not give evidence but did submit a witness statement. The tribunal, under Judge Colin Bishopp, described that evidence as “very brief and rather uninformative”. He added: “It is however quite clear from the statement that he too entered the scheme for no purpose other than to achieve a tax saving, and that he took no interest in the trade.” The written judgment went on to say that Chris Moyles was “anxious to be reassured that the scheme was lawful, and that he would not have to undertake any trading himself”. After the judgment, Chris Moyles, who left the Radio 1 Breakfast Show in September 2012, tweeted: “I’m not a tax expert and acted on advice I was given. “This was a mistake and I accept the ruling without reservation.” In a statement, the BBC said: “The BBC is not a party involved in this tribunal, and we understand that Chris Moyles has taken full responsibility for his tax arrangements, which are of course a matter for him and HMRC.” Since leaving the BBC, Chris Moyles has starred in a UK arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, where he played the role of King Herod. BBC

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Germany arrests three suspected Auschwitz guards

Three men aged 88, 92 and 94 have been detained by German authorities on suspicion of being guards at the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz. The homes of a number of men were raided in three German states, months after prosecutors investigating Nazi-era war crimes announced they were recommending charges against 30 people. The three men taken into custody have been sent to a prison hospital. More than 1.1 million people, most of them Jews, were murdered at Auschwitz. The three men detained all live in the south-western state of Baden-Wuerttemberg and are suspected of involvement in murders that took place between 1942-45. They were taken to Hohenasperg prison hospital in Ludwigsburg, reports say. Raids also took place in the states of Hessen and North Rhine-Westphalia, although none of the suspects was arrested. The decision to take action against alleged Nazi guards followed the conviction in May 2011 of John Demjanjuk. A court decided that by being a worker at a concentration camp he was guilty of being an accessory to murder. This meant that courts did not have to prove active participation in killing to find a suspect guilty of murder, BBC Berlin correspondent Stephen Evans reports. Demjanjuk, who died in 2012 aged 91, had denied being a guard at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. He had been sentenced to five years in jail for being an accessory to the murder of 28,060 people but died in a home for the elderly while the case was pending appeal. Agencies

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Kenyan MPs fingerprinted to show parliamentary attendance

Kenya’s parliament has launched a biometric fingerprint system to register MPs’ attendance. Kenyan MPs can get $232 a week for attending parliament Parliamentary speaker Justin Muturi denied that it was introduced to “curb fraud” and said it was to speed up registration and...

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France destroys three tonnes of ivory worth $6m at foot of Eiffel Tower

Three tonnes of confiscated ivory worth more than $6m (£3.7m) has been publicly destroyed in France, in what was the first such move in Europe. Some 7,000 elephant tusks and 15,000 carved ornaments were crushed in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris before being taken off to be burned. The measure was designed to increase international pressure against elephant poaching in Africa. About 22,000 elephants were killed by poachers in 2012, according to a study. The report by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and other conservationist organisations said the animals were killed for their tusks. Activists say the demand for ivory – with China seen as the biggest market – is fuelling poaching in Africa. The Chinese use ivory in traditional crafts, with carvings prized as status symbols, correspondents say. An international ban means that any ivory traded after 1990 is illegal and can be confiscated, the BBC’s Hugh Schofield in Paris reports. BBC

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South Africa’s Mamphela Ramphele joins DA

South Africa’s main opposition party has announced anti-apartheid activist Mamphela Ramphele will be its presidential candidate this year. Mamphela Ramphele only formed her own party last year Ms Ramphele, the companion of late black consciousness leader Steve Biko, only formed her Agang party last year. Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille said “there was no better person” than Ms Ramphele to lead their election bid. Analysts say the move is intended to ward off accusations that the DA is “too white” to win power. The two leaders said they were joining forces to bring unity to South Africa – the “unity Madiba [Nelson Mandela] fought for”. Ms Ramphele, 66, is seen as an impressive figure with impeccable “struggle credentials” – factors which still influence the way some South Africans vote. However, her Agang party has failed to make much of an impact since its launch last year. It is bankrupt and a month ago was unable to pay its staff. The BBC’s Milton Nkosi in Johannesburg says the DA takeover of Agang will certainly make this year’s election more interesting but the governing African National Congress (ANC) is still expected to retain its majority. He says Jacob Zuma is likely to still be president after the elections, regardless of the long list of corruption scandals that are dogging his administration. The elections are due in April and will mark the 20th anniversary of the elections which saw the ANC come to power, ending decades of white minority rule. As a community doctor who worked in the Eastern Cape alongside her partner, the late Steve Biko, Ms Ramphele led grassroots resistance against white minority rule in the 1970s. She went on to become a director of the World Bank, a vice-chancellor at the University of Cape Town, and until recently sat on the board of a major mining company. BBC

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Bhutto son calls for Pakistan military action on Taliban

The son of the assassinated former prime minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, has called on the country’s authorities to take military action against militant groups. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari: “I think we have exhausted the option of talks” Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said politicians must “wake up” to the threat posed by armed groups such as the Taliban. His comments in a BBC interview come as the government holds urgent talks over how to tackle growing violence. Mr Bhutto, 25, said he was considering standing in elections due in 2018. ‘Battlefield’ Speaking exclusively to the BBC, he said Pakistan had exhausted the option of talks with militants and that military action was now needed. “Dialogue is always an option but we have to have a position of strength,” he said. “How do you talk from a position of strength? You have to beat them on the battlefield. They’re fighting us.” Pakistan’s National Assembly is meeting to discuss the country’s response to a series of recent militant attacks, including an attack on an army convoy earlier this month. The assembly’s session on Monday ended without decision amid differences over whether or not to talk to the Taliban, which the government is in favour of. Mr Bhutto told the BBC he thought the assassination of his mother in 2007 would “wake the country up” – but that politicians had wasted the consensus built up by his family, partly by believing that the United States should fight the Taliban for them. He told the BBC he wanted to take on more responsibility in his Pakistan People’s Party, which was badly defeated in last year’s elections. “I never saw myself as being in politics,” he said. “But now when I am here in my country and I see the state of my country I just feel I want to play… any role I can to make sure we are a peaceful, prosperous and progressive nation that my mother dreamed of, that my mother died fighting for.” Correspondents say the recent escalation in violence is refreshing concerns about the country’s strategy for dealing with militancy. At least 13 people were killed in a suicide bombing near Pakistan’s army HQ in the city of Rawalpindi on 20 January. It came a day after 20 soldiers were killed when a bomb blast struck an army convoy in the north-west. BBC

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Pakistan court sentences British man to death for blasphemy

A court in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi has sentenced a 65-year-old British man to death after convicting him of blasphemy. Mohammad Asghar was arrested in 2010 after writing letters to various people claiming to be a prophet, reports say. His lawyers argued for leniency saying he has a history of mental illness, but this was rejected by a medical panel. Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws carry a potential death sentence for anyone deemed to have insulted Islam. Several recent cases have prompted international concern about the application of these laws. Mr Asghar, who is believed to have family in Scotland, was accused of writing letters to police officers claiming to be a prophet. He is thought to have lived in Pakistan for several years. His lawyer told the BBC’s Saba Eitizaz that she was forcibly removed from the case by the judge and that proceedings were carried out behind closed doors. She says she will launch an appeal against the verdict, which was delivered late on Thursday. Correspondents say Mr Asghar is unlikely to be executed as Pakistan has had a moratorium on the death penalty since 2008. Critics argue that Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are frequently misused to settle personal scores and that members of minority groups are also unfairly targeted. In 2012 the arrest of a young Christian girl, Rimsha, on blasphemy charges provoked international outrage.

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