- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 3, 2007

JAPAN

Nuke foes hail ICC approval

NEW YORK — Japan intends to become a party to the International Criminal Court in October, with some of its supporters hoping the tribunal will add nuclear warfare to its official list of crimes against humanity.

Sen. Tadashi Inuzuka of Nagasaki, in New York to relate his years of campaigning for the ICC, has said that Japan’s approval of the court’s statutes is “good timing to show we care about humanitarian issues” as criticism about Tokyo’s World War II history continues.

On April 27, the Japanese Diet’s upper house unanimously approved the country’s accession to the court. The Cabinet submitted legislation to parliament in February.

So far, 104 nations have ratified a 1998 Rome Treaty creating the first permanent global criminal court to prosecute people for heinous crimes.

SOLOMON ISLANDS

Reputed sex offender to be attorney general

HONIARA — A lawyer fleeing Australian child-sex charges will be sworn in as the Solomon Islands attorney general next week, the government announced Wednesday.

The decision to swear in Julian Moti is likely to reopen a long-running rift with Australia, which tried to extradite Mr. Moti — an Australian citizen — from Papua New Guinea in October. Mr. Moti evaded extradition when he was flown secretly to the Solomon Islands on a Papuan military flight in defiance of Canberra’s wishes.

Earlier in the week, Solomons opposition leader Fred Fono called on the government to return Mr. Moti to Australia, saying his presence was blocking a return to normal diplomatic relations with Australia.

The Solomon Islands prime minister’s office said Mr. Moti will take up his delayed appointment because Australia failed to prove its charges against him.

“They have had ample time to prove their case, but have not presented anything to the government,” said Deli Oso, the prime minister’s press secretary.

Weekly notes …

Groups representing indigenous peoples in Guyana, Cambodia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea urged the Swiss bank Credit Suisse yesterday to pay them $10 million in compensation because of its links with a Malaysian timber company. The company, Samling, retained Credit Suisse as an adviser during its stock market flotation in February. The indigenous peoples say Samling’s operations have damaged their communities by cutting down forests and, in some cases, polluting sources of drinking water. “We’re slowly dying,” a representative of Malaysia’s Penan people said at a press conference in Zurich.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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