"Visceral and shocking". Justine Damond's family endure graphic evidence in court, & more in News in 5.

— With AAP.

1. “Visceral and shocking”. Justine Damond’s family endure graphic evidence in court.

A Minneapolis judge has described police body camera video of Australian life coach Justine Damond-Ruszczyk dying in an alley as so “visceral and shocking” most lay people would not be equipped to watch it.

The footage from four Minneapolis police officers, including Mohamed Noor who shot Ms Damond dead, was cleared to be shown to the jury, members of the media and public during Noor’s murder trial.

The judge originally blocked media and the public, but an alliance of media organisations successfully argued the ban should be lifted.

“The footage on these BWCs (body worn cameras) shows the last moments of human life and the struggles of police and medical personnel to save that life,” Judge Kathryn Quaintance wrote in a memo filed in the case late on Wednesday.

“These moments are well outside the personal experience of most people.

“Most lay people are not well equipped to take in such visceral and shocking material.”

Before the more than 22-minutes of footage played in court on Thursday, Judge Quaintance warned it was graphic and said observers in the court could leave.

Ms Damond’s American fiance Don Damond and other family left. Her father John Ruszczyk and his wife stayed, squeezing hands with Damond and other family members as they passed.

The video showed the confusion that went on after the shooting: The recordings capture images of Harrity and Noor each administering CPR, their statements to the victim, who does not appear to be conscious, and her gasping for breath.


Minneapolis police officer Scott Aikins arrived at the scene after Ms Damond was already on the ground. Video from his body cam showed shortly after Ms Damond was pronounced dead by paramedics, he asked if police needed to look for a gun.

He was told no. The gun that shot Ms Damond belonged to his colleague.

Noor, 33, has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter for the July 15, 2017, shooting of Ms Damond at the entrance of an alley near her Minneapolis home.

He entered not guilty pleas.

Noor’s lawyer has argued the officers were “spooked” and Noor shot in self-defence.

A day earlier, Judge Quaintance looked toward the packed public gallery in her Minneapolis courtroom and issued a warning before autopsy photos of Ms Damond were shown to the jury on large screens. Thee judge wanted to offer an opportunity for anyone to leave.

Ms Damond’s father, John Ruszczyk, and stepmother Maryan Heffernan, had been stoic during the first two days of evidence.

They decided to stay.

What they saw was a parent’s worst nightmare.

A day earlier Ms Damond’s American fiance, Don Damond, told the jury just how full of life his Australian sweetheart was but on Wednesday photo after photo showed the lifeless 40-year-old former Sydneysider with a single bullet wound on the left side of her stomach.


Ms Damond was wearing a pink t-shirt with the words “Koala Australia” and a drawing of a koala mum with a baby koala on her back.

“I think we would be talking seconds,” Dr Lorren Jackson, the assistant Hennepin County medical examiner who performed the autopsy, estimated how long it would have taken for Ms Damond to die.

He told how Noor’s bullet severed Ms Damond’s Iliac artery and resulted in major internal bleeding.

Ms Damond had called police to report she could hear a woman screaming and asking for help near her Minneapolis home.

It was just before midnight and when she approached the patrol vehicle driven by Officer Matthew Harrity and with Noor in the front passenger seat, Noor fired his gun and shot her in the stomach.

Mr Ruszczyk, his son Jason and Mr Damond were at the court’s morning session when photos of the crime scene were shown depicting Ms Damond’s body on the ground with a white sheet draped across her.

The top of her head, her left hand and bare feet were poking out of the sheet. Her glittery gold iPhone was near her right foot.

Tears rolled down Mr Damond’s cheek as the photos were shown.


Jason Ruszczyk slowly lent across and put his head on his father’s right shoulder. His heartbroken dad gave his son a comforting pat.

2. Everything we know about Julian Assange’s arrest.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has appeared in a London court just hours after he was forcibly removed by British police from the Ecuadorian embassy where he had been holed up since 2012.

Assange waved to a packed public gallery as he walked into court wearing a black suit and polo shirt, with grey hair tied into a pony tail and long beard.


He saluted the public gallery before giving a thumbs up.

Assange pleaded not guilty to a charge of failing to surrender to a Swedish warrant and skipping bail.

Assange resisted as he was dragged down several steps at the embassy by officers on Thursday morning and bundled into a police van and taken to a central London police station.

After Assange was forcibly removed from the embassy in London on Thursday, Scotland Yard said he was arrested “on behalf of the United States authorities”.

Assange’s lawyer Jennifer Robinson said he “has been arrested not just for breach of bail conditions but also in relation to a US extradition request.”

His Australian legal adviser Greg Barns fear he could face 45 years in jail in the US for publishing classified military documents.

The US Justice Department said in a statement Assange, 47, was arrested pursuant to the US/UK extradition treaty, and accused him of involvement in one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the US.

The indictment said Assange in March 2010 engaged in a conspiracy to assist former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in cracking a password stored on US Department of Defense computers connected to the Secret Internet Protocol Network (SIPRNet), a US government network used for classified documents and communications.


He was charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion and could face up to five years in prison.

Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Assange would continue to receive consular support and Australian officials will visit him in custody.

“I am confident, as the United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt publicly confirmed in July 2018, that Mr Assange will receive due process in the legal proceedings he faces in the United Kingdom,” Ms Payne said in a statement.

Ecuador’s president Lenin Moreno said the country terminated Assange’s asylum because he repeatedly violated international conventions.

“He particularly violated the norm of not intervening in the internal affairs of other states,” Moreno said.

He accused Assange of discourteous and aggressive behaviour and Wikileaks of making “hostile and threatening declarations” against Ecuador.

“The asylum of Mr Assange is unsustainable and no longer viable,” Moreno said in a video statement.

Assange took refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy in 2012 to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where authorities wanted to question him as part of a sexual assault investigation.

That probe was later dropped, but Assange fears he could be extradited to face charges in the US where federal prosecutors are investigating WikiLeaks.


Assange’s relationship with his hosts collapsed after Ecuador accused him of leaking information about Moreno’s personal life. Moreno had previously said Assange has violated the terms of his asylum.

Moreno said he had asked Britain to guarantee Assange would not be extradited to a country where he could face torture or the death penalty.

Hunt thanked Moreno for allowing police to arrest Assange at the embassy.

“Julian Assange is no hero and no one is above the law. He has hidden from the truth for years,” Hunt tweeted.

“Thank you Ecu
ador and President @Lenin Moreno for your cooperation with @foreignoffice to ensure Assange faces justice.”

WikiLeaks said Ecuador had illegally terminated Assange’s political asylum in violation of international law.

3. Geoffrey Rush says there are ‘no winners’ in defamation case, after he was afforded $850,000 in damages.

geoffrey rush
Image: Getty.

Geoffrey Rush and his accuser both say there are no winners after a judge found a Sydney newspaper defamed the Oscar-winning actor in articles which made him out to be a pervert and a sexual predator.

Justice Michael Wigney on Thursday said the publisher of the Daily Telegraph and journalist Jonathon Moran were reckless regarding the truth of their story when they reported Rush had been accused of inappropriate behaviour in 2017.

Justice Wigney found a poster and two articles contained several defamatory meanings - including that Rush was a pervert and a sexual predator - but the news organisation didn't prove they were substantially true.

"This was ... a recklessly irresponsible piece of sensationalist journalism of the worst kind - the very worst kind," the judge said.

The Telegraph and Moran had largely relied on the evidence of actor Eryn Jean Norvill during a Federal Court defamation trial last year.


She alleged Rush sexually harassed her during a Sydney Theatre Company production of King Lear in 2015-16, during which she played the daughter of his titular character.

But Justice Wigney on Thursday said Norvill was at times "prone to exaggeration and embellishment" and he wasn't persuaded she was entirely credible.

He awarded Rush $850,000 for general and aggravated damages and set down a hearing in May to consider special damages. They could run to many millions of dollars.

Outside court, Rush said there were no winners in the case and it had been "extremely distressing for everyone involved".

Norvill stood by her testimony, stating: "I told the truth. I know what happened. I was there."

She echoed Rush's comment that there were no winners and called for "genuine, cultural change in our professions and industries".

"It has to be possible for a young woman working in theatre, who feels unsafe in her workplace, to get that situation fixed," Norvill told reporters.

"I will be spending a lot of my time on that issue from here on in and I am very much looking forward to getting back to my acting too."

Norvill had testified that Rush deliberately stroked the side of her breast during a preview performance when her character was dead onstage.

He also stroked Norvill's lower back backstage, made groping gestures and sexual innuendo toward her during rehearsals and told her in a text message after the production that he thought about her "more than is socially appropriate", she said.


Justice Wigney said he was conscious of the fact she wasn't "a party to this proceeding, had no vested interest in it and had essentially been dragged into the spotlight".

But he said her evidence about some of Rush's behaviour appeared inconsistent with an earlier account she gave to a theatre company staffer and interviews she gave to journalists.

It also appeared to be at odds with her testimony about her "friendship with or attitude towards Mr Rush during the production of King Lear", the judge said.

He said the first of the Telegraph's articles in November 2017 was "published in an extravagant, excessive and sensationalist manner".

It included a promotional photograph of Rush as the "deranged" Lear above the headline "KING LEER".

Justice Wigney said articles the following day were, in some respects, worse.

Telegraph editor Ben English said the newspaper was disappointed with the judge's findings and his dismissal of Norvill's evidence.

"We disagree with his criticisms of her and she has our full support," Mr English said in a statement.

"We will now review the judgment."

4. Sydney swimming instructor, 20-year-old Kyle Daniels, hit with new charge.

kyle daniels
Image: Instagram.

Police have laid an additional charge against a former Sydney swim instructor who is accused of sexually abusing several young students.

Kyle James Henk Daniels, 20, was hit with a 36th charge on Thursday over the alleged indecent assault of a seven-year-old girl between February and June 2018.

It brings to 10 the number of victims police claim he abused while working at a Mosman pool.


On Tuesday, March 12, Kyle Daniels was arrested and charged with assaulting two sisters, aged six and eight, who he taught at Mosman Swim Centre.

Police said the alleged offences took place during lessons at the swim centre in February. They allege that on February 2, Daniels sexually touched the six-year-old during class, and then on 14 February, he had sexual intercourse with the eight-year-old.

The girls then told their parents, who informed the police. Police then began gathering evidence for a month before formally charging Daniels with two counts of intentionally sexually touching a child under the age of 10 and having sexual intercourse with a child under 10.

However, just a week after his arrest, police laid 28 additional charges on Daniels, the Manly Daily reported.

Police now allege that Daniels' offending dates back to June 2018, and that he sexually touched six other girls.

The charges include eight counts of sexual intercourse with a child under 10, six counts of intentionally sexually touching a child under 10 years and 14 counts of indecent assault of a person under 16 years of age.

After spending a week in jail, Daniels was granted bail on Wednesday 20 March at a bond of $100,000. Conditions of this bail include that he cannot be allowed to interact alone with children under 16 years old and he cannot work as a swimming instructor.

While discussing his charges, Daniels' lawyer argued that it was "glaringly improbable" that he could have sexually assaulted children in a public swimming pool.


To that, the magistrate, Daniel Reiss, replied: "We have a cardinal who is in jail," referencing George Pell's recent conviction over historic sex crimes.

Kyle Daniels' case will next be heard in Manly Local Court on May 8.

5. Britain urged to use Brexit delay wisely.


A clearly frustrated European Union has given Britain some room to find a way out of its Brexit quagmire by agreeing to an extension to the country's departure until Halloween.

Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to brief Parliament on Thursday on the results of the emergency EU summit but her path toward actually taking Britain out of the EU remains unclear.

May's own authority has been gravely compromised by the long Brexit ordeal and she has promised to step down once Britain leaves the bloc - if efforts to get rid of her more quickly do not bear fruit.

Faced with so much uncertainty, EU leaders agreed on a new October 31 cutoff date.

If no extension had been granted, Britain faced the prospect of crashing out of the EU this Friday with no deal, a scenario that many in Parliament worried would lead to a deep recession.

"Please, do not waste this time," European Council President Donald Tusk pleaded. He said the EU was giving Britain six more months "to find the best possible solution" to its Brexit impasse.

Some European leaders favoured a longer extension, while French President Emmanuel Macron was wary of anything but a very short delay.

Tusk said that during the extension Britain "will continue its sincere cooperation as a full member state, with all its rights, and as a close friend and trusted ally in the future."