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Kenya Court Deciding Whether To Decriminalize Gay Sex; Smollett Defiant After Prosecutors Say He Staged Attack; Opposition Supporters Prepare For Aid Delivery; Pope Convenes Meeting On Church Sexual Abuse; Judge Clamps Down on Trump Associate Roger Stone; U.K. Considering Huawei's 5G Technology; Hollywood Celebrates Best in Film on Sunday. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired February 22, 2019 - 01:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[01:00:00] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello everyone, thanks for joining us, I'm John Vause, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Ahead this hour, Kenya's high court set to rule on a landmark case which could see an end to colonial-era anti-gay laws being decades of discrimination to an end and possibly sparking a domino effect across East Africa.

Plus from victim to villain. A U.S. television star Jussie Smollett charged with a felony after faking his own attack and calling it a hate crime. Police say he thought it would be a good career move. And later the second day of the Pope's unprecedented summit on child sex abuse will focus on accountability but survivors of predator priests say it's time for Francis to act.

Kenya's high court deciding right now on a case that could decriminalize consensual sex between same-sex adults. This is the live images inside Nairobi right there. It is 9:00 a.m. in that courthouse. You can see the media is still getting their images and of course, the court will begin session any moment now and that's when we are expecting this decision.

Human rights and activist groups and LGBT groups hope this will be the start of a new day in Kenya as well as across East Africa. Ever since the British colonial era, gay sex and bi-extension gay relationships have been illegal in Kenya with a penalty of up to 14 years. Farai Sevenzo joins us now from Nairobi.

So Farai, you know, obviously, the courts just getting settled and we're expecting to hear from you know, what that ruling will be I guess relatively soon. How does it look? What are the chances here that the court will make this historic decision and will basically end these anti-gay laws, and then what? What will be sort of the real substantive change here and how long would that take?

FARAI SEVENZO CNN, CORRESPONDENT: A very good question, John. I mean, remember, as you've been saying in your introduction, these laws were not created by Africans, they were created by the colonial powers, the powers that ran Africa, Britain, France, and Germany in some instances. And laws such as -- it was illegal then to have carnal knowledge and I

quote, against the order of nature. And these laws have not caught up with modern Africa. And so it remains that only South Africa has this liberal Constitution that allows people to do what they want to do in the privacy of their own home sexually.

Now, the chances as you ask of this changing in Kenya seem to be very high. And remember, this has been postponed and postponed. But look what's happened to India just last Thursday. They kicked out their anti-gay laws, decriminalized gay sex in that former British colony. And of course, campaigners here in Nairobi are hoping for the same.

But it goes as well, I have to add, that this law, this whole idea of anti-homosexuality and that the pains people that the societies go through about what this means is also tied in a great deal with religion. Africa is a very religious continent. I know we've been talking for last two days about events in the Catholic Church. This also affects Africans a great deal because of over a billion people are very religious in a Catholic wise.

And then, of course, we've got Islam. All these very right-wing or rather conservative religions formed a part of why Africa has been so slow to decriminalize gay sex. But of course, as you say, we wait to hear. The court is filling up. People we've spoken to are really hoping that you know the angles will change as far as sexuality in Kenya is concerned.

Now, whether that will go as you say throughout the whole of this Africa, that's another question. How long will it take? Uganda at the moment is valiantly anti-homosexual. And of course, other nations are so stuck in that idea that their colonial laws must have been right and I'm talking about aside West Africa.

So John, we really wait to see. As you say, it's 9:00 here in Kenya. The judges are sitting, the media are expecting, and of course, there's also the idea that many religious and Christian groups are outside the courts campaigning against this ban being lifted.

VAUSE: OK, Farai, we'll check in with you and hopefully we'll get some details on what this ruling is as soon as it comes down. Farai Sevenzo there on court (INAUDIBLE) there for a very big case and a very big decision. Thank you, Farai.

Well, American T.V. actor Jussie Smollett has been charged with filing a false police report after claiming he was the victim of a hate crime in Chicago. Smollett is accused of paying two men to rot him up, all part of an effort to boost his career according to police.

The star of the T.V. show Empire denies any wrongdoing, says he's right to be presumed innocent, has been trampled on. CNN's Randi Kaye has more now from New York.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUSSIE SMOLLETT, ACTOR: Make something like this up or add something to it or whatever it may be. [01:05:02] RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: A bizarre

statement of denial from the actor who police say was the mastermind behind his own attack. Investigators say Jussie Smollett arranged the whole thing, even rehearsed with the two men he hired to assault him. Those men brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo confessed to police after 47 hours of questioning in custody and were released without being charged.

RISA LANIER, COOK COUNTY STATE ATTORNEY'S OFFICE: Defendant Smollett further details that he wanted able to attack him but not hurt him too badly and to give him a chance to appear to fight back. Defendant Smollett also included that he wanted Ola to placed a rope around his neck, pour gasoline on him, and yelled this is MAGA country.

KAYE: That rope Smollett gave it to police as evidence.

EDDIE JOHNSON, SUPERINTENDENT, CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT: I'm left hanging my head and asking why. Why would anyone especially an African-American man use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations?

KAYE: Police say they have evidence the actor paid the men $3,500 to stage the attack and gave them $100 cash to buy supplies. This video shows them buying what police say Smollett directed them to purchase. Prosecutors say Smollett also wanted to be sure there was video evidence of the attack.

LANIER: Smollett directed the brothers' attention towards a surveillance camera on the corner which he believed would capture the incident.

KAYE: In fact, Smollett told investigators as likely the incident was caught on camera. It turns out the 45-second attack was just out of view. Officials also say the actor knew the two men he paid in the attack. Both did some work on the show Empire and one provided him with illegal drugs.

LANIER: Defendant Smollett requested able to provide him with Molly which is street name for that narcotic ecstasy.

KAYE: So if the actor did really staged this, the question is why.

JOHNSON: He was dissatisfied with his salary so he concocted a story about being attacked.

KAYE: Same reason why police now believe the actor sent himself this threatening letter on the set of empire just days before the alleged attack. The letter contained a white substance later determined to be aspirin. The envelope includes the word MAGA, a reference to president Trump's slogan Make America Great Again.

JOHNSON: First Smollett attempted to gain attention by sending a false letter that relied on racial, homophobic, and political language. When that didn't work, Smollett paid $3,500 to stage this attack and drag Chicago's reputation through the mud in the process. KAYE: Not to mention the wasted resources. More than 1,000 police

man-hours went into this. More than 100 people were interviewed and 55 video cameras checked all for a hate crime that now appears to have been nothing more than a stunt.

JOHNSON: When we discovered the actual motive, quite frankly it pissed everybody else you know, because we have to invest valuable resources.

KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: OK. CNN Legal Analyst Areva Martin is with us now from Los Angeles. So Areva, there you are. I'm a little bit worried you will not be there.

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Hi John!

VAUSE: I'm glad you turned up. OK, here's part of a statement which is issued on behalf of Smollett. Today we witnessed an organized law- enforcement spectacle that has no place in the American legal system. Mr. Smollett is a young man of impeccable character and integrity who fiercely and solemnly maintains his innocence and feels betrayed by a system that apparently wants to skip due process and proceed directly to sentencing.

OK, I got to say, you know, I was struck by how definitive the Chicago Police Superintendent was the way he sounded in that news conference. I thought that was more a reflection simply the strength of the evidence of the case they have.

MARTIN: Oh I absolutely -- look, his defense attorneys have every right to come out with whatever statement they believe is in the best interest of their client. They have an obligation ethically to zealously defend him, to try to posture his case and put it in the best light possible because they've got a long road in front of them.

They've got to decide do they try to enter into some kind of plea agreement to keep him out of jail or do they go forward with the trial hoping that somehow they can discredit the credibility of these two brothers and overcome this mountain of what we now have been told by the police chief and the prosecutor is this mountain of evidence.

So I don't put a lot of stock into defense attorney's aggressive statements particularly at this early stage in the game because the way this works you know, next week we could be hearing about some agreement that's been reached between the defense attorney and the prosecutors.

VAUSE: Because this felony charge I think carries up to three years in jail which is a significant chunk of time.

MARTIN: Absolutely.

VAUSE: And if you look at the evidence, I mean it's -- it is significant. Some of the evidence presented by the CPD really paints you know, this picture of a criminal mastermind you know, including the including the genius move of paying the attackers with a personal check eventually using the guys who would make --

[01:10:15] MARTIN: Yes, I don't know if that's masterful or not, John.

VAUSE: And the guys who would -- who would do it for you know, just $3,500. I mean, on the cheap. This guy earns $100,000 an episode. And then he allegedly talked to them on the phone days before the attack and then after the attack. I mean, this is not a great criminal conspiracy here.

MARTIN: Yes. One of the things that may come out and something that we say in the legal profession all the time is if you don't have the facts and you go to in a case like this the mitigation. And although the police chief said the motive for this orchestrated or allege orchestrated attack was to try to you know, increase his salary on the show Empire, he was dissatisfied with this existing salary, I don't know. I mean, obviously, that's not going to be persuasive to a judge.

So if he's standing before a judge that's got to make some determination about a sentence, he's got to tell the judge something that would cause the judge to have some empathy for him, some kind of mitigating factors and it might be you know, something we haven't talked a whole lot about but something in his health history, his mental health history that might be motivating this kind of conduct because this doesn't appear to be normal conduct.

This is a successful young man who had everything on the outside from what we could tell his viewers going for him. So why he would put all of that at risk you know, endanger not only his career but put at risk the credibility and reputation of really high-profile people across the country that came to his defense. I think there's something that's missing to this puzzle and I hope we learn about it as you know the days and weeks that continue -- we continue to cover these.

VAUSE: Something that it just doesn't add up as to why a guy with so much potential earning $100,000 would do something like this. But I want you to listen to a little more Eddie Johnson. He's the superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNSON: I know the racial divide that exists here. I know how hard it's been for our city and our nation to come together, and I also know the disparities and I know the history. This announcement today recognizes that Empire actor Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: OK, you talked about mitigating factors as to you know, maybe the judge will go easier. What about that for the complete you know, other end of the spectrum? You know, he used to hate crime. He talked about racial divisions and it was basically saying you get a pay increase. I mean, that -- how much does that play into this?

MARTIN: That's pretty damning and damaging evidence what the police chief said about you know, the racial overtones and using race as a wedge to further divide this community. That's been I think the most disgusting, shocking, saddening part about this entire story. Because those of us that work in the social justice community know how much work has been done and we know how when you -- when someone stages and attack and uses race as the basis for that attack, we know that we're setting back the games that we've made in the racial -- you know, in terms of racial equality, social justice community. We're setting back decades that work. It's a black guy, it's a stain, it's a taint, and people were really disappointed.

I mean, across this country, John, I've talked to so many people and they're just expressing their utter, utter you know, disgust but also disappointment because Jussie Smollett was an activist in the LGBT community. He was an activist in the African-American community. He was highly regarded because of his activism. He was active in the times up movement you know, which was about eliminating sexual harassment and sexual violence in the workplace.

So this is a young man again that many people believed in, they had a great deal of respect for, and they just can't understand again why he would put all of that at risk including these communities that he's clearly so loved and was so much a part of.

VAUSE: Very quickly, the U.S. President Donald Trump, he tweeted out about you know, this -- the charges. He said, what about MAGA, Make America Great Again and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments. Because you're a part of the cases that you know that he claimed that they -- you know, they yell out MAGA or Make America Great Again and sent him an envelope with MAGA on it with you know, white powder, that kind of stuff.

They -- are they the real victims here, the Donald Trump supporters?

MARTIN: I would think that Donald Trump would not be tweeting anything about Jessie Smollett. I wish he was tweeting about the Coast Guard that was planning a terrorist attack against African- Americans, against T.V. host, some that work with us on this station, against elected officials. I think there's better things that our president can do rather than attacking of this young man and talk about the pot calling, the kettle black. So you know, he has absolutely no credibility on race issues.

[01:15:05] VAUSE: Yes. But anyway, this whole -- this whole -- you know, this whole scenario that Smollett was involved in, I think I saw it in Columbo once. I think that was a plot of one of the episodes. Yes. Areva?

MARTIN: He's -- he is may be too young for Columbo. But I don't know.

VAUSE: He could be, yes.

MARTIN: With the Internet, maybe he was able to find it. I just hope that if he did not do this, that we -- you know, he comes forward.

VAUSE: Yes.

MARTIN: Because I think he owes an apology to the many people that have supported him throughout this entire ordeal.

VAUSE: And he was given an option too by the police chief on Thursday. So, we'll see what happens, Areva. Good to see you. Thanks so much.

MARTIN: Absolutely. Thanks, John.

VAUSE: Well, at an unprecedented meeting at the Vatican, the pope is calling for a concrete measures to deal with clerical sexual abuse, but many victims say, it's much too little and it's way too late. We'll hear from the pope and survivors in a moment.

Plus, actions have consequences for a long-time Trump advisor and dirty trickster Roger Stone. The new restrictions ordered by a federal judge. And you may notice, he's not saying a thing.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VAUSE: Well, Venezuela's sitting president, Nicolas Maduro is closing the border with Brazil to prevent the entry of humanitarian aid. An aid is coming from the United States and is being stockpiled there. Maduro also considering a full border closure for Colombia, as well.

Meantime, Chile and the U.S. are sending more supplies to the Columbian border in support of the opposition which plans to distribute the much-needed supplies of food and medicine this weekend.

And Colombia has also restricted the hours of border crossings this coming Saturday to allow more time for the aid to be distributed.

Pope Francis, says the Catholic Church must finally end the scourge of predator priests and bishops. The second day of a Vatican summit on church sexual abuse begins less than two hours from now.

And Friday's theme is accountability. And for it for end for victims, it's way past the time for the church to take responsibility. More now from CNN's Rosa Flores.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm Karen (INAUDIBLE). I'm a survivor from Austin, Texas.

PETE SAUNDERS, FOUNDER, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PEOPLE ABUSED IN CHILDHOOD: My name is Pete Saunders, and I'm a survivor of childhood abuse from the United Kingdom.

LEONA HUGGINS, SURVIVOR OF SEXUAL ASSAULT, CANADA: I'm Leona Huggins, I'm a survivor from Vancouver B.C. Canada.

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Survivors from across the globe have descended on Rome for the unprecedented bishops meeting on clergy sex abuse with high hopes that abusers and those who cover up abuse will be held accountable.

Pope Francis kicked off the four-day event with a prayer. And in short, order set a firm tone asking for bishops to come up with concrete guidelines.

[01:20:11] POPE FRANCIS, SOVEREIGN OF THE VATICAN CITY STATE (through translator): The holy people of God are looking at us and expect of us. Not simple condemnation but concrete and effective measures to put in place. We need to be concrete.

FLORES: Normally, we would need to read between the lines to figure out what the Pope means by concrete measures. But this time, he released a list of 21 guidelines.

HUGGINS: I'm disappointed by what we saw today on that list of reflection points. When number one is we're going to create a manual or a handbook. I thought they already had the handbook.

SAUNDERS: Concrete measures mean zero-tolerance is not just a word. Zero-tolerance means excluding priests and other religious who rape and abuse children from ministry permanently.

FLORES: Behind the scenes, Pope Francis has been meeting with survivors. In an encounter with Polish survivor, Marek Melevchek, Pope Francis kissed his hand and looked visibly emotional.

He told CNN, "Emotions rose up inside of me, and it was like a roller coaster. I was able to say, I'm a child abuse victim from Poland. I was holding the photo of myself as a teenager. The Pope took my hand in his hands. He looked at me. And I could see he was teary-eyed."

Survivors say they relive their trauma every time they share their stories. And hope this historic meeting means they never have to tell their stories again. Rosa Flores, CNN, Rome.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Peter Isely survived sexual abuse at the hands of a priest in the USA at Wisconsin. He's a founding member of the group, Ending Clergy Abuse. He joins us now from Rome.

So, Peter, thank you for taking the time. I know it's very early there. So, it's very much appreciated.

PETER ISELY, FOUNDER MEMBER, ENDING CLERGY ABUSE: Good morning.

VAUSE: Well, for the most part, survivors of clergy abuse like yourself, they pretty much seem to be on the same page. They want the church to reform, but that process could only move forward if there is accountability as well for past crimes for the abusers and for those who covered up for them. From what you have already seen on day one and from what you are hearing moving forward, is that where you think this summit is heading or -- you know, are you fearful that you know the outcome will fall way short of that? ISELY: Well, the 21 Reflection Points that Pope Francis gave the bishops to reflect upon, there is not one talking point or a reflection point or other in there that has to do with accountability for bishops that have covered up sex crimes. There's not one point in there about that.

So, that that's of deep concern. That's unacceptable. If they're going to get together and talk for 3-4 days, and there's nothing that comes out of this that does not hold bishops and cardinals accountable. Accountable for covering up child sex crimes, that's simply completely unacceptable, and there's nothing in there right now.

This is really simple and we met with the Vatican planning team two days ago. We thought Pope Francis was going to be there. We assumed he was going to be there. And for some reason, he wasn't there.

But here is what has to happen, its zero-tolerance. Zero tolerance, zero tolerance. And that has two elements. One, zero-tolerance means that any priest that has sexually assaulted or abused a child, anywhere in the world, and they know about thousands of them that have done it. That they're going to be permanently and completely removed from the priesthood and turned over to civil authorities. And that needs to be made into universal Church law.

And only Pope Francis can do that. He has the authority and power to do that. He could do that with the stroke of a pen (INAUDIBLE).

VAUSE: Let me just --

ISELY: Sure, I'm sorry.

VAUSE: So, it just on that point, because that's what the Vatican officials say. You survivors like yourself are expecting too much. Pope Francis, he can't wave a papal wand, you know, he can't fix everything at once it's complicated. It takes times, and it's different near this 450,000 Bishop says -- you know, there is 1.2 billion Catholics all around the world.

You know, you and the other survivors, I guess you know they're saying you just have to -- you know, wait a little longer because this is a slow complicated process. What do you say to that?

ISELY: That's what I'm talking about, that's nonsense. This is making it takes it's one sentence, zero-tolerance, put it into church law. He can do it, it is one sentence.

Let's take abortion. That's a universal church law. Everywhere around the world, it's illegal and the church under church law within the church, abortion is illegal. And everyone understands that, and it's universal Church law all around the world. It's the same thing we're asking for here. On zero tolerance under their law, that's one sentence.

Now, implementing it making it happen? Yes, that's going to take time, that's might be difficult. But making it, you got to start by making it a law that you cannot sexually assault and abuse a child if you're a priest within the Catholic Church.

[01:25:24] VAUSE: One of the criticisms which is they made of Francis, is that this of -- to pope, says the Francis who is kind, he's understanding -- you know, he goes and says things which popes have never said before. The other is sort of detached, he's uncaring. We can actually be part of the problem at times.

Do you know which pope is turning up to lead this conference?

ISELY: Well, the one that you just heard in the sound, he was very kind. But yesterday, Wednesday rather as we were in the meeting and he wasn't there, unfortunately, he was out in St. Peter's talking to pilgrims. And what he said to them was anyone who criticizes the church, basically what he said, you know, it's OK to criticize the church. But anyone who criticizes it in a certain way or without love, whatever that means, that they are related to Satan, literally.

And we were there, and we've been critical of the church, and the media, some of it took that that's what -- you know, he's talking about us. And he needs to -- he needs to clear this up. So, I totally agree, you know, it's like which Pope Francis is going to show up.

You know that's very clear that he has an understanding, he's articulated understanding about how horrible and terrible these crimes are. And we -- you know, he understands that. He doesn't need to hear any more stories about this. What he needs to do is change it. Start by changing church law.

Nobody can stop him from doing that. He changed a Catholic catechism, he just went and changed the several lines in it, people didn't like it, factions didn't like it, he just went it did it because he has the power to do that.

He went to the Arab Emirates, something like that.

VAUSE: Yes,

ISELY: He just went and did that. And that's exactly what he needs to do. And I don't know how to say this more directly than this. The ones who are comforted that there's going to be no accountability for bishops, and there has to be zero-tolerance for cover-up of sex crimes, we have documents and evidence around the world, the various places already that they've done it, they need to be removed from the priesthood.

VAUSE: Yes.

ISELY: And the ones that are comforted how complicated and complicated, you know, this is going to take, I have to tell you about this are predators --

VAUSE: Yes.

ISELY: Predator priests. Bishops that have covered it up. They like hearing this kind of talk that this is going to take a long time. VAUSE: I said today that argument made many times and you need one which does carry -- you know, a big degree -- you know, credibility. Not always and on every instance, but certainly, you know, that is an argument which carries a lot of weight.

Peter, we're out of time but thank you so much. We appreciate you being with us. We appreciate your thoughts as well. Thank you and take care.

ISELY: Thank you.

VAUSE: Well, the always outspoken often outrageous Roger Stone, now model the longtime from associated same threat too far, posting an Instagram message which appeared to threaten a judge. Details when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:30:38] JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour.

Kenya's high court will soon rule in a landmark case that could decriminalize consensual sex between same sex adults. Since the British colonial era, gay sex and by extension gay relationships have been illegal in Kenya and those found guilty face up to 14 years in jail.

American actor Jussie Smollett insists he's innocent after being charged with making a bogus complaint to police. Chicago authorities say he paid two men to stage an attack last month, an attempt it was, they say, to enhance his career. Under Illinois law, filing a false report is punishable by up to three years in prison.

Pope Francis wants the leaders of his church to take concrete measures in dealing with the scourge of sex abuse by clergy. He spoke during the first day of an unprecedented four-day summit at the Vatican. Almost 200 church leaders heard taped testimony from abuse victims.

Well, Donald Trump's long-time advisor Roger Stone is facing new restrictions ahead of his trial for lying to investigators about his contacts with WikiLeaks. It is a totally self-inflicted wound all because of an Instagram post.

CNN's Sara Murray has details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A federal judge banning Stone from speaking publicly about his case, warning him if he violates the order it will land him in jail. Stone took the stand to tell Judge Amy Berman Jackson he was heartfully sorry for posting what could be considered a threatening image of her to an Instagram on Monday. He claimed the image would show the judge with cross hairs over her shoulder was a screwup and stupid lapse of judgment and insisted the cross hairs were misinterpreted.

But Judge Jackson said the apology rang hollow, adding there's nothing ambiguous about cross hairs. The judge had already put a lenient gag order on Stone. Today she banned him from talking publicly about the case in any venue warning him there will not be a third.

She also banned others from speaking on his behalf. The judge had ordered Stone to make the trek from Florida and appear in court after his post which included a caption that called Special Counsel Robert Mueller a deep state hit man and claims Stone's case was a show trial.

Stone also implied that Jackson was biased because she was an Obama appointee. He rounded out his post with #fixisin. He altered the text about Mueller and added a few more hash tags. That post was also taken down.

The same day Stone filed a formal apology to the judge. "I had no intention of disrespecting the court and humbly apologize to the court for the transgression."

The judge and the prosecutor questioned the sincerity of Stone's apology given his other public comments.

ROGER STONE, FORMER TRUMP ADVISER: When the judge issued a gag order that did not limit my First Amendment rights, the left went completely insane. That's why they have cooked up this false narrative. I threatened no one. I intended to threaten no one. I never disrespected the judge or the court.

MURRAY: Stone's legal troubles came to a head last month when he was arrested at his Florida home in a pre-dawn raid.

STONE: 29 armed FBI agents, 17 vehicles -- all an unnecessary expenditure paid for by the taxpayers for the theater of it to create a public image of me as guilty before I get an opportunity to prove that I'm innocent.

MURRAY: He pleaded not guilty to seven charges of obstruction, making false statements and witness tampering.

(on camera): Now, there are two things that Roger Stone is still allowed to say about his case. He can say that he's innocent and he can continue to ask for donations for his legal defense fund. He's also allowed to be out there publicly talking about all kinds of other issues, just not his case.

Sara Murray, CNN -- Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: David Katz is a criminal defense attorney, also a former assistant U.S. attorney and he is with us from Los Angeles. David -- it's been a while. So thanks for coming in.

DAVID KATZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Great to be with you. VAUSE: Ok. Judge Amy Jackson -- she was having none of it. She eviscerated Roger Stone pointedly telling him this. "I want to be clear. Today I gave you a second chance but this is not baseball, there will not be a third chance. I have serious doubts whether you've learned any lesson at all."

If Stone has not learned the lesson and defies that gag order which you know, it does seem so likely, what happens to him then?

[01:34:58] KATZ: Well, this was very self-destructive conduct even by someone who seems to perhaps want to be a martyr in some ways or seems to suffer from a lot of hubris. But if he violates this order, the judge could lock him up.

And this same judge is the one who locked up Manafort. The reason Manafort got locked up without bail or had his bail revoked was because he tampered with witnesses and obstructed justice. Manafort while he was in front of this very judge.

Here's Stone in front of the same judge and he puts her on his Twitter feed in the cross hairs. That was a terribly stupid thing to do. He admitted it was stupid today and really his attorney should have made sure he didn't do something like that. I'm sure he's a very difficult client to control.

(CROSSTALKING)

VAUSE: Yes.

KATZ: This is a terrible situation. He used to be able to talk about the case and now he can't even talk about his own case. He had a limited gag order, now he has a full gag order.

VAUSE: And he was one of the most outspoken defenders of the President and now he has been muzzled.

You know, what was interesting though, the same day he posted the offending image on Instagram, Stone and his lawyers filed what they called notice of apology on his docket. It read, "Please inform the court that the photographs and the comments today were inappropriate should not have been posted. I had no intention of disrespecting the court and humbly apologize for the transgression."

Have you ever seen a notice of apology before?

KATZ: No, I've never seen anything like that but, of course, with all the clients that I've had and some of them have fought the government. But there's a proper way to do it.

And some clients even decide to talk about their case. But usually, John, that's a very foolish strategy.

However, you know, there was the famous case of O.J. Simpson, the civil trial out here where you remember that after the circus of the criminal trial where everybody was holding press conference over on the courthouse steps, the civil judge imposed a gag order. That gag order was limited.

And you know, I'm a big believer in the First Amendment. It is very important. Someone is presumed innocent, they ought to be able to talk about their trial and what is going on if they want to.

And Stone had that right which he gave up with that self-destructive tweet. So all he can do now is try to solicit money. He can solicit donations. He's allowed to do that.

And of course, other people like Rush Limbaugh can still his story of what a victim he supposedly is. But he cannot even -- if he's caught, to use the word "colluding" with anybody to put out a story, he's going right back to jail with his bail revoked -- John.

VAUSE: You know, what is interesting is that during the hearing, the judge told Stone thanks for the apology but it rings quite hollow. I suggest that you know, Stone's reputation as a liar and a day trickster, you know, may have finally caught up with him and doing him no favors. Well, the good news --

KATZ: The good news for him is that this judge will not try the facts. You know, he will have a jury trial. I'm sure the judge will ensure he has a fair jury trial. So the people who say that the judge thinks he's a liar, even if that's what she thinks if he's good boy from now on and obeys the full gag order, she won't be the one trying the facts.

VAUSE: We'll see.

KATZ: This is a guy who should have taken the Fifth Amendment way back when he testified before the Congress. Why didn't he take the Fifth Amendment?

VAUSE: Because he can't help himself. This is a guy who just can't -- I think has no self-discipline.

Very quickly, CNN's Chris Cillizza had a very interesting take on Stone's rather bizarre behavior. This is what he writes.

"What Stone doesn't get is that he isn't running a political campaign anymore. He's in the legal fight of his life and the rules of the law are a lot different than the rules of politics. The rules of politics is that, generally speaking, that there are no rules. It's a bit like fight club."

That could also apply to a lot of those, you know, who are close to Donald Trump who have been caught up in the Russia investigation that he'd be planning a PR battle and not a legal strategy.

KATZ: Well, you've got to think that like Manafort, Stone hopes that his deliverance will be a presidential pardon and Stone may not have state problems. You know, If Manafort got a pardon he would still have major problems with the state.

Stone may not have problems with any state attorneys general. But you know what, at the end of the day, I think it's a big a fake-out by President Trump. I don't think he's going to give Stone a pardon.

He is going to say, why do I want to be near this trickster. At the end of the day he will throw Stone under the bus and won't give him a pardon.

KATZ: We're out of time -- David. Just a very quick reminder before we let this go. Stone joins Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos -- all Trump associates who have been indicted. Some have pleaded guilty, some have been found guilty, others are waiting for their day in court.

David -- as always, thanks so much.

KATZ: Great to be with you.

Next up here on CNN NEWSROOM, more pressure on the Chinese technology giant Huawei as Britain considers if its 5G network carries a security threat.

[01:39:39] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five, four, three, two, one.

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VAUSE: There goes Israel's first chance of reaching the moon and the first ever to be funded by the private sector. On Thursday their robotic moon man they called "Spaceil" launched from Cape Canaveral aboard a SpaceX rocket. It could cost roughly $100 million all raised by private donations. The spacecraft should touch down if successful sometime in April.

The second and final day of high level trade talks between China and the United States is set to resume in just a few hours from now.

According to the White House, the latest talks are expected to yield a memorandum of understanding on a host of critical trade issues. The big question though is whether that will be enough to end the current trade war.

And not to be overlooked in that trade war is the Chinese tech giant Huawei. The U.S. has been urging western allies not to use Huawei equipment to build their next generation of digital communications. The theory is it could compromise national security and some agree with that.

On Thursday, Donald Trump urged American technology firms to work harder to lead that field. But Huawei has already made significant inroads with at least one U.S. ally.

CNN's Samuel Burke reports now from London.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SAMUEL BURKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): High above the streets of London a once in a generation Internet upgrade is taking shape. Telecom giants like BT are rewiring the city with superfast 5G.

MARC ALLERA, CEO, BT CONSUMER BRANDS: We're seeing speeds of up to one gigabit per second.

BURKE (on camera): Put that into context. What does somebody usually have right now?

ALLERA: Well, that's more than 10 to 20 times faster than the average speed that they're getting today. So this is fiber broadband like speeds on your mobile device.

BURKE (voice over): So fast that 5G promises connectivity for a new age of infrastructure where devices like factory floor robots, self- driving cars and delivery (INAUDIBLE) can communicate with each other.

ALLERA: That's going to mean millions more connections connected to the Internet and as an opportunity for us that remains a very large and exciting one.

BURKE: Cashing in on the opportunity -- China's Huawei. The company is the world's biggest maker of telecommunications equipment. In Europe it conquered nearly 40 percent of the market, dominance that's caught the attention of rivals.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States has also been very clear with our security partners on the threat posed by Huawei.

BURKE: The U.S. says the gear could be used by the Chinese government to spy and is urging allies to ban Huawei from their 5G network. Australia has already obliged. Germany and New Zealand are considering doing so as well.

ANTHONY GLEES, UNIVERSITY OF BUCKINGHAM: The risk is that if Huawei were told by the Chinese government crack the code on that phone they wouldn't think twice about saying, of course we'll do it.

[01:45:02] BURKE: Huawei has denied its equipment poses any security risk and has said the U.S. call for a ban is politically motivated. When it comes to 5G equipment, America doesn't have a heavy weight global competitor.

(on camera): Broadcasting 5G across a city like London, takes a monumental engineering effort. The 5G antenna is heavier and uses more power than previous generations. Plus it emits additional radiation. This is the equipment that BT and operators around the world are relying on Huawei for.

BT was one of the first companies out of China to use Huawei equipment in their networks.

ALLERA: Over the years that we have worked with Huawei, we have not yet seen anything that gives us cause for concern. And we continue to work with all of those relevant bodies to answer all the questions that are being asked right now.

GLEES: BT may say, we haven't seen any evidence of anything. They wouldn't. That's the point about good espionage. You wouldn't see.

BURKE: The U.K. is weighing its own ban on Huawei for 5G. If it follows the U.S. BT's plans to build 1,500 sites like this one by the end of the year could be in jeopardy.

Samuel Burke, CNN -- London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Well, the show must go on and the show which hands out the awards to the shows is no exception. This year's Oscars, held on Sunday for the first time, though, will not have a host. The Oscars will just themselves out.

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VAUSE: HBO is being sued over plans to air a documentary on alleged sexual abuse by Michael Jackson. Attorneys for the late singer's estate say HBO breached a 1992 agreement to air a Jackson concert. HBO reportedly agreed to not make any disparaging remarks about the King of Pop but denies wrongdoing and says it still plans to air the two-part documentary.

The film "Leaving Neverland" includes people who alleged Jackson abused them. Jackson's estate calls it a one-sided marathon of unvetted propaganda that exploits an innocent man. We should note CNN and HBO are owned by Warner Media, a division of AT&T.

Well from scandals and controversies to missteps -- Sunday's Academy Awards is shaping up to be one big surprise, including who will take home the coveted Best Picture Oscar. The industry's own guild awards are usually a good predictor but this year it seems there are no sure things.

CNN's Stephanie Elam explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANGELA BASSETT, ACTRESS: My son, it is your time.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This awards season Hollywood choosing scenes of race and diversity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can handle more --

ELAM: Over politics and star-driven films. Once a front-runner, "A Star is Born" is now looking like an Oscar long shot.

MATT DONNELLY, VARIETY SENIOR FILM WRITER: They've been a long, long time contender. And it is hard -- it's hard to combat the narrative of up and comers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Roma". ELAM: No up and comer has more momentum than "Roma". Alfonso Cuaron's portrait of a domestic worker's life in Mexico.

MATTHEW BELLONI, "THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER": "Roma" is not an overtly political film but it is certainly of the moment right now. It really resonates with the debate that's going on right now in America about immigration.

ELAM: The academy's best litmus test comes from its guild awards since many of those voters are also in the academy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "Black Panther".

ELAM: The Screen Actors Guild chose "Black Panther". The directors chose "Roma".

MAHERSHALA ALI, ACTOR: These are (INAUDIBLE) issues in working for a black man.

[01:49:57] ELAM: The Producers Guild of America chose "Green Book". The PGA has predicted the Best Picture Oscar 20 of the last 29 years.

BELLONI: There's an older more traditional Oscar voter who loves this kind of film, the kind of voter who went for "Driving Miss Daisy" 30 years ago.

ELAM: The Academy is further embracing culture and foreign cinema by giving Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski a director nomination for "Cold War".

(on camera): So many people thought that that was going to go to Bradley Cooper for "A Star is Born". How did you feel when you saw the nominations come out?

PAWEL PAWLIKOWSKI, DIRECTOR: I'm happy. I mean the Oscars -- the main awards ceremony in the world, you know. So the world should -- should take part in it.

ELAM (voice over): With eight nominations "A Star is Born" can't be counted out. Bradley cooper, along with Spike Lee for "BlackKKlansman" hoping their first major award this season is the big one.

Stephanie Elam, CNN -- Hollywood.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Film and entertainment journalist and fashion icon Sandro Monetti joins us now from Los Angeles.

Ok. It's been a while. It is good to see you even though my eyes are bleeding.

Ok, the conventional wisdom goes into -- coming into this year's ceremony is that, you know, the Best Picture race is wide open. Even though (INAUDIBLE) clear favorite at least. Now this is coming from CNN's Harry Enten average mobile betting markets and gave "Roma" a 62 percent chance of winning, "Green Book" is next at 21 even. Followed by, you know, "The Favourite".

So is that right? Could a black and white foreign language film which you couldn't even see in a movie theater actually really win the night's top awards? So is that appealing to a more mass market and a bigger audience?

SANDRO MONETTI, FILM AND ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: This has been the most unpredictable awards season in memory. So anything could still happen but the buzz here in Hollywood is that "Roma" has edged ahead.

But it is not popular with everyone. A lot of people find it so boring it should have been named "Coma". Other people find it really artistic. Well, you know, others would say if you want to see art go to an art gallery not a movie theater. But as you say, it is not really in movie theaters.

This would be a real changing of the guard in Hollywood if Netflix was to take the Best Picture Oscar. That would rally cement them at the top of the entertainment summit. And they're certainly putting their money where their art is.

VAUSE: Yes.

MONETTI: They've spent a rumored $25 million on the awards campaign. And so a lot of people are thinking, well hang on, surely movies can't become like politics where you could really spend so much on the campaign.

So these are the kind of discussions that are going on in the Hollywood party circuit as we build up to the Oscars.

VAUSE: Not just in the party circuit, it is all over the place. Just seeing that -- you know what is that $25 million, $30 million Netflix apparently has spent on a campaign to get this award. That's almost double what the budget was for the entire movie.

Here's the question. Again, is it proof that Netflix has was too much money and doesn't know what to do with it? And then if the movie doesn't win, who gets fired?

MONETTI: First question, Netflix's approach to everything in entertainment is to blow everyone else out of the water. I mean their huge programming budget. They're across all genres apart from live sport. Just wait until they get into that.

But yes, they've got pretty much the rest of the entertainment and they see the Oscars as the icing on the case which is why they're spending so big on this.

And yes, how does everybody else compete?

VAUSE: Well, this is it. I mean exactly. It is all about sort of muscling in and controlling that segment and you know, they just got the bucks. It is like an endless bottomless pit of money.

Ok. So you've got, you know, the winners and the losers. You've got the, you know, the reaction shots and who's going to screw up on stage, who's going to say something stupid. What are they wearing?

I guess, you know, we look out for this year, you know, what will be the screwups.

So here's a bit of -- here's a quick look at a list of previous academy award missteps over the past year. There was a huge backlash over the popular film Oscar which they scrapped almost immediately after it was announced. Kevin Hart quit hosting duties after some old homophobic jokes resurfaced. The academy instead has decided to go with no host this year. And then there were numerous failed attempts to try and shorten the four-hour long ceremony and try to compact the musical performances and not having last year's best actor winners present this year's awards.

The biggest criticisms seem to be though against the plan to plan to announce four categories -- cinematography, film editing, live action shot and makeup and hairstyling. They were going to do that during that commercial breaks and that didn't go down too well.

MONETTI: The Oscars is one big fiasco. Everyone's expecting nothing except a shambles come Sunday night. And the question is who's going to carry the can afterward? Is it -- is it going to be the President of the Academy? Is it going to be the board? Is it going to be the governors? Are there going to be mass resignations?

[01:54:57] The Oscars really need this to work. We were talking about spending money before. They've spent a huge amount of money on the Academy Museum which is due to open in late 2019.

The Oscars is the big ad for it, the calling card but this brand is seriously damaged. And no host. What a stupid decision. What if envelop happens -- envelop gate happens again? Who's -- with no host, who's going to correct that. Is the producer going to run out of the booth?

Really the Academy had made so many missteps it is very hard to imagine that the Oscars after all this will be anything less than a complete disaster.

VAUSE: Excellent. Good because I just want to get back to the idea of, you know, relegating those awards to the commercial breaks. That managed to annoy Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarentino, Brad Pitt, George Clooney and a whole load of others.

They wrote to the academy arguing "Relegating these essential cinematic crafts to less status in this 91st Academy Awards ceremony is nothing less than an insult to those of us who devoted our lives and passions to our chosen profession."

Ok. Let's move on to a little bit of praise, maybe just a teensy bit. The academy apparently being praised for making at least some improvements when it comes do diversity, when you look at the Best Picture nominees. There's "Roma" or "Coma" depending on your point of view. And films like "BlackKKlansman" and "Black Panther".

But the Best Director category and look at that. MONETTI: Not a lot of women there -- John.

VAUSE: Oscars (INAUDIBLE). One step forward and two steps back.

MONETTI: Let's give the academy some credit because you know how much I love to do that. But yes, they did respond to Oscars so white, by making huge increases to diversity in the membership. And I think that's reflected in the films being selected here.

But still a lot of ways to go because there's, you know, just so -- so few opportunities for women it seems. But the times they are a- changing.

The other buzz in Hollywood -- we've seen a lot of performers in their acceptance speeches. The likes of Regina King, Nicole Kidman who actually have the power committing to use a female director, more female-led crews. So the message is slowly getting through to Hollywood if not to the academy

VAUSE: Yes. The whole, no matter what they do, it just all feels kind of botoxed. Like it's all stuffed and plumped and that's not real.

MONETTI: Yes. I mean the problem is the Academy Awards ratings have been going off a cliff for years. It really needs reinventing. And it seems to me the problem is in using the same tired old format. Now we have seen that live entertainment can work so well. Shows like "America's Got Talent".

VAUSE: Quickly, we're almost out of time.

(CROSSTALKING)

MONETTI: All those. And so yes, let's make it a big showbiz fest.

VAUSE: Ok. With that we'll say goodbye. Sandro -- thank you.

Thanks for coming in.

Ok. Thank you for watching. I'm John Vause, news continues after this.

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