Nepal | July 05, 2020

2 brothers to cooperate again in Jussie Smollett case

Associated Press
Share Now:

KATHMANDU: Two brothers who had said they were done cooperating with prosecutor after admitting to helping American actor Jussie Smollett stage a racist and homophobic attack in Chicago last year are willing to help in the case again.

According to The Associated Press Attorney Gloria Schmidt Rodriguez said in a statement that Abimbola (Abel) and Olabinjo (Ola) Osundairo changed their minds after a 9mm handgun that was seized during a search of their home last year was located after it went missing.

“Abel and Ola will recommence their cooperation in the Smollett case now that the handgun has been produced by the Special Prosecutor’s Office,” The Associated Press quoted Rodriguez as writing, referring to Special Prosecutor Dan Webb, who is now handling the case. The two, she wrote in a separate letter to Webb, “stand ready to testify at trial”.

The about-face by the brothers came just hours after various media outlets reported that the brothers according to their lawyer, finished cooperating because of the missing gun and their feeling that the police department’s lawyers were treating them like suspects.

One legal expert called that threat hollow from the outset because the brothers had already testified before a grand jury, meaning that if they stood firm prosecutors could simply read that testimony in court.

“What they said is already under oath on paper,” said David Erickson, a former state appellate judge who teaches at Chicago Kent College of Law.

Erickson said if the brothers went into court and refused to testify during trial, there was nothing stopping the judge from holding them in contempt and nothing stopping prosecutors for charging them for their admitted role in what authorities say was a staged attack.

The threat to not cooperate was the latest development in a strange story that has taken a host of unexpected turns since January 2019, when Smollett, a Black and openly gay actor who worked on the TV show Empire, reported to police that two masked men had approached him in downtown Chicago, made racist and homophobic insults, beat him and looped a noose around his neck before fleeing, as per The Associated Press.

The story included Smollett’s contention that his attackers told him he was in “MAGA Country,” a reference to US President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, ‘Make America Great Again’. There was national attention on the case, both when the incident occurred and later when police alleged Smollett staged the attack with the help of the brothers to drum up publicity for his career, writes The Associated Press.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Locusts devour crops on 1,100 hectares

KATHMANDU, JULY 3 Desert locusts have damaged crops cultivated on 1,100 hectares of land across the country. According to the Locusts Information Centre, eight districts have reported damage caused by locusts till date. Of them, Dang is the worst hit and Palpa the least. The locusts devoure Read More...

World Bank elevates Nepal to ‘lower middle income economy’

Country saw its GNI per capita rise to $1,090 in 2019, but economists says it doesn’t mean much in terms of development KATHMANDU, JULY 3 Nepal is now officially a lower-middle income country, an upgrade from its previous status as low income nation, according to the World Bank’s latest coun Read More...

Kailali's Bhajani Municipality, Joshipur Rural Municipality inundated

KAILALI, JULY 3 Bhajani and Joshipur of Kailali have been inundated after floodwaters gushed into the settlements. According to eyewitnesses, many houses in Wards 2, 3, 6 and 8 of Bhajani Municipality have been inundated. Local Ganga Chaudhary said floodwaters from local Kandra and Kadha ri Read More...

Ministry develops guidelines for rehab centres

KATHMANDU, JULY 3 The Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens has developed guidelines for operation of rehabilitation centres to ensure that vulnerable persons at the centres do not contract COVID-19. MoWCSC said the new guidelines would be effective until Nepal was declared coronavir Read More...

Nepali Congress Ram Chandra Paudel

Country pushed into crisis: Paudel

DAMAULI, JULY 3 Senior Nepali Congress leader Ramchandra Paudel said sudden prorogation of the Parliament was unfortunate for the nation. “At a time when the nation is fighting a deadly disease, the decision to prorogue the Parliament has pushed the country further into the crisis,” said t Read More...

Holding centre in Khotang

KHOTANG, JULY 3 A 10-bed holding centre has been established in Diktel, the district headquarters of Khotang, for returnees. According to Chief District Officer and District COVID-19 Crisis Management Centre coordinator Shaligram Sharma Poudel, Nepali Army personnel and Red Cross staff jointly Read More...

Visit Nepal 2020 mascot, yeti

Former Visit Nepal secretariat seeks more budget from Tourism Ministry

KATHMANDU, JULY 3 Even after the government has scrapped the secretariat of the Visit Nepal 2020 campaign, the secretariat has submitted more unpaid bills to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA). Addressing a press meet today to unveil the ministry’s work progress dur Read More...

ADB country chief Kenichi Yokohama inspects Gautam Buddha International Airport in Lumbini

Tourism infrastructure development continues

KATHMANDU, JULY 3 Although the country is in a lockdown, infrastructure development activities under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) have continued. Organising a press meet today, Tourism Minister Yogesh Bhattarai unveiled the progress report of infrastructure deve Read More...