Pedro Hernandez’s attorneys had argued that his interrogation was handled improperly and that he did not have the mental capacity to waive his rights against self-incrimination
A New York State Supreme Court Judge ruled Monday that prosecutors may use the confession of the man charged with strangling 6-year-old Etan Patz to death in 1979.
In denying the motion to suppress the confession of Pedro Hernandez, the defendant in the case, Justice Maxwell Wiley said Hernandez did have the mental capacity to waive his rights to have an attorney present and understood that he had the right to remain silent.
The 53-year-old Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Patz, who disappeared one morning while walking alone to his school bus stop. His disappearance led to a massive manhunt, but New York detectives were unable to bring charges in the case until 2012, when police officers received a tip that led them to Hernandez, who had been a stock clerk at a store in Patz's neighborhood.
On May 23, 2012, officers escorted Hernandez to the Camden County prosecutor's office in New Jersey, where they interrogated him for about seven hours. They did not record most of the interrogation, only turning on recorders close to when Hernandez was about to confess. Officers also waited until several hours into the interrogation to give Hernandez a Miranda warning, instructing him on his rights against self-incrimination.
Today's ruling to admit Hernandez's confession hinged on whether the court accepted that the Miranda warning was properly administered and that Hernandez was mentally capable of waiving his rights. Experts for Hernandez testified that he has an IQ as low as 67 and had been taking antipsychotic medication for more than a decade at the time of the interrogation.
In a written opinion, Wiley said that Hernandez's performance on psychological tests, "along with evidence of his actual waiver of his rights, and of his basic ability to make his way in the world over a period of almost forty years" led the court to conclude that he was capable of "appreciating the nature of the rights he was giving up when he spoke to the police and assistant district attorney."
"This decision doesn't go to the reliability of the facts," said Harvey Fishbein, Hernandez's attorney. "It's about whether they're legally admissible."
Fishbein has argued that Hernandez falsely confessed to the murder. "It's clear that when [the police officers] are done with [Hernandez], he comes out believing he did something wrong," said Fishbein, who contends that his client made up the confession under pressure from the police.
Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi Orbon has contested that argument, saying Hernandez had completed the 11th grade in high school, attended to household finances, successfully applied for Social Security disability benefits and held long-term jobs as evidence that he was mentally capable of waiving his rights.
Patz's body has never been found. He was the first missing child to have his face printed on milk cartons and the day of his disappearance is now National Missing Children's day.
Patz's father, Stan Patz, was the only family member present for Monday's ruling. He declined to comment.
Related coverage: For more on the story, read about the missing boy and the evidence against his accused killer.
According to media reports, the ED has alleged that these officials misused cash credit facilities and laundered the proceeds to Dubai via Hawala route
The Enforcement Directorate has registered case against officials from state-run Dena Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC), Bank of India (BoI), Vijaya Bank and UCO Bank under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), say reports.
According to media reports, the ED has alleged that these officials misused cash credit facilities and laundered the proceeds via Hawala route to Dubai.
Earlier in August 2014, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai police had unearthed a largescale banking fraud worth about Rs1,000 crore related with fixed deposits (FDs) in several banks. The EOW also registered 10 first information reports (FIRs) against several people, including some officials from banks.
According to reports, banks involved in this large-scale FD fraud include, Dena Bank, UCO Bank, Syndicate Bank, Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank, Dhanalaxmi Bank, Bank of India and Indian Overseas Bank among others. Among the institutions who were victims of the fraud are the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) and South Indian Education Society (SIES) Trust.
During the same month, Dena Bank and OBC initiated action against bank officials following reports of Rs436.7 crore fraud in their branches. Dena Bank officials allowed Rs256.69 crore transfer through overdraft facility, while OBC transferred Rs180 crore received from Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) as bulk deposit to one Padmavati International.
JNPT had already filed a case with Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the matter is under investigation.
These fake finance companies are reportedly approaching people with loan offers and would collect a sizeable amount as processing fees and then flee with the money so collected, the RBI said
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) while sounding out a warning bell has asked people to remain on guard against certain companies fraudulently posing as non-banking finance companies (NBFCs).
Such entities, the RBI said, were posing as having got a certificate of registration from the regulator to do business. They were reportedly approaching people with loan offers and would collect a sizeable amount as processing fees and then flee with the money so collected.
Such entities include companies, partnership firms, individuals, the RBI said, adding, “It is understood that entities, imposters are promising loans to the needy public at attractive rates and collecting money from them as processing charges for the loans or advances and vanish with the money so collected,” the RBI said.
The central bank advised people to refrain from making any payments or financial commitments to any individuals, entities without verifying the veracity of the transaction, the credentials and genuineness of licence or certificate of registration issued by the appropriate regulatory authority to function as a financial institution.