- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 12, 2003

INDONESIA

Bali bombing suspect proud of attack

BALI — A key suspect in last year’s bombings here told a court yesterday he was proud of the attack that killed whites and that it served them right.

Forty-year-old Amrozi — who goes by a single name — said he was involved in other bombings across Indonesia, including one outside the home of the Philippines ambassador in 2000 that killed two persons.

Amrozi, a mechanic from Java island, is charged with plotting, organizing and carrying out crimes of terror and causing mass casualties in the Oct. 12 Bali nightclub bombings that killed about 200 people, most of them foreign tourists. Asked how he felt about the Bali attack, he told the court: “There’s some pride in my heart. For the white people, it serves them right.”

“They know how to destroy religions using the most subtle ways through bars, gambling dens. And you must realize the debauchery of their television,” Amrozi said. But testifying at his own trial, he told the court he was “more than remorseful” for the Balinese killed in the attack.

CHINA

Scientist sees link of antibody, SARS virus

GUANGZHOU — Dr. Zhong Nanshan, head of the Guangdong Respiratory Disease Research Institute, said yesterday that China has received encouraging results from a potential test for SARS that uses antibodies to diagnose the disease.

The test looks for an antibody known as IgG, which the body produces in response to the virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Dr. Zhong said. Until now, identifying SARS has involved finding signs of the disease, such as high white-blood-cell counts and damaged lungs.

Tests for the presence of the IgG antibody as an indicator of SARS are under way in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, he said, but China was the first to conclude its trials. All 73 confirmed SARS cases tested positive for the antibody in the trials, Dr. Zhong said. When 1,022 healthy medical workers were tested, 2.2 percent of the results were positive, he said.

“I’m convinced … this kind of antibody is very useful to differentiate this disease from other diseases,” Dr. Zhong told foreign reporters at a briefing in the southern province of Guangdong, where the virus originated.

PHILIPPINES

Bid to quiz judges at Estrada trial opposed

MANILA — Detained Philippine ex-President Joseph Estrada’s campaign to have Supreme Court justices impeached and drafted as witnesses in his corruption trial is an assault on the judiciary, the chief justice said.

“This is some sort of an institutional attack, and so we will meet the issue as soon as we receive the complaint,” Chief Justice Hilario Davide said in comments aired yesterday on ABS-CBN television. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo yesterday also denounced the attack on the Supreme Court.

Mr. Estrada’s unorthodox strategy in a bid to be acquitted of stealing $80 million is based on an assertion that he was illegally toppled by a January 2001 military coup abetted by the Supreme Court. The court is to hear oral arguments Monday on his bid to put Mrs. Arroyo and several Supreme Court justices on the stand.

Weekly notes …

China announced yesterday that Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee will visit from June 22 to June 27, the first trip to China by an Indian leader in a decade. “We have reasons to believe that through this visit, the Sino-Indian relationship will be promoted beneficially,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan. … The late Emperor Hirohito of Japan considered making an astonishing personal apology for World War II in which he was to express “deep shame at my immorality,” the London Telegraph reports from Tokyo, citing a newly discovered document. It said the short speech, apparently drafted in 1948 but never delivered, was written by Michiji Tajima, head of the Imperial Household Agency from 1948 to 1953. The paper said Mr. Tajima’s biographer, Kyoko Kato, found the speech among his papers.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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