- The Washington Times - Friday, January 21, 2005

DENMARK

5 soldiers charged with Iraq abuse

COPENHAGEN — A Danish intelligence officer and four military police sergeants will stand trial for abuse of Iraqi prisoners at a Danish camp in southern Iraq, the Danish army said yesterday.

Reserve Capt. Annemette Hommel and the four soldiers could face up to one year in prison if found guilty of violating military law during interrogations last year.

The abuse inquiry first made headlines in the Scandinavian nation last August and prompted Defense Minister Soren Gade to recall Danish military commanders from Iraq.

The charges against the Danes follow the prosecution of U.S. and British soldiers for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad and in southern Iraq.

IRELAND

Man to get retrial in Omagh bombing

DUBLIN — The only man convicted in connection with the 1998 car-bombing of Omagh — the deadliest terrorist attack in Northern Ireland history — won the right to a retrial yesterday.

The Court of Criminal Appeal in Dublin ruled that Colm Murphy, 52, was wrongly convicted of aiding the Irish Republican Army dissidents responsible for the Omagh attack, which killed 29 persons and wounded more than 300.

Murphy was found guilty in January 2002 of supplying two cell phones used by the IRA dissidents to deliver the car bomb to Omagh.

INDONESIA

Aid groups warn against U.S. pullout

BANDA ACEH — Aid groups warned yesterday it might be too soon for the U.S. military to scale back its emergency operations for Asia’s tsunami victims, while an informal cease-fire between Indonesian troops and rebels appeared to have collapsed, threatening to derail relief efforts.

After a U.S. announcement Thursday that American forces would begin immediately transferring responsibility for relief operations to the “appropriate host nations and international organizations,” some aid groups expressed concern that the move came too quickly.

More than 11,000 U.S. Navy, Marine, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard personnel backed by 16 U.S. Navy ships are involved in providing relief support in the tsunami’s aftermath.

CHINA

Briton defends call to lift arms ban

BEIJING — British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw yesterday defended his country’s campaign to lift a European arms embargo on China, calling it inconsistent because human rights violators such as North Korea aren’t under a similar ban.

Mr. Straw said Britain wants to see China covered instead by a European Union code of conduct that regulates all weapons sales to other countries. Chinese officials said the arms ban would be a key issue in talks with Mr. Straw. The United States, Japan and other governments have lobbied the EU to retain the arms embargo.

DENMARK

Court backs ban on Muslim veil

COPENHAGEN — Denmark’s Supreme Court ruled yesterday that it was legal for a supermarket chain to bar its employees from wearing the Muslim veil and other religious symbols, and fire those who violate the ban.

The court upheld two lower-court rulings that found Danske Supermarked, Denmark’s second-largest chain of supermarkets, was within its rights in 2001 when it fired Najla Ainouz, a 27-year-old Muslim saleswoman who insisted on wearing the veil at work.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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