- - Wednesday, August 4, 2010

CANADA

Court frees brother of Gitmo detainee

MONTREAL | Abdullah Khadr, a brother of the sole Western detainee at the detention facility at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was freed from jail Wednesday after a court rejected a U.S. request for his extradition.

The 28-year-old elder brother of Canadian citizen Omar Khadr, held at the U.S. naval base in Cuba, had been sought by the United States for purportedly supplying arms to al Qaeda.

Judge Christopher Speyer said the detainee had not been granted access to Canadian authorities in a timely way when he was detained in Pakistan, Radio Canada reported. The judge rejected extradition, citing the government’s major misstep in the case.

UNITED NATIONS

Ex-U.S. prosecutor accuses Ban of bias

An accomplished former U.S. prosecutor has filed a grievance accusing U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of blocking his hiring to the U.N.’s top investigative post because of discrimination based on gender and nationality.

The dispute over Robert Appleton’s appointment is the latest salvo in a high-stakes fight within the world organization over how to fix the U.N.’s long-troubled internal watchdog agency.

U.N. associate spokesman Farhan Haq said Wednesday that Mr. Ban’s office could not comment on matters before the tribunal.

Mr. Appleton’s 76-page application to the U.N. Dispute Tribunal, a copy of which was obtained by the Associated Press, said Mr. Ban’s refusal to hire him is a breach of the U.N. Charter and General Assembly resolutions.

He is seeking $1 million in damages and up to about $500,000 in lost wages and benefits.

COLOMBIA

Spy scandal hounds outgoing president

BOGOTA | A domestic spying scandal has reached Alvaro Uribe’s inner circle, complicating the legacy of the popular two-term Colombian president who leaves office Saturday with 75 percent job-approval ratings.

Prosecutors have been questioning his closest advisers in recent weeks over allegations they illegally ordered warrantless wiretapping of the conservative president’s political enemies by the DAS domestic spy agency.

Mr. Uribe’s chief of staff, Bernardo Moreno, was deposed last week after jailed former DAS intelligence chief Fernando Tabares said Mr. Moreno told him in late 2007 that “the president was interested in having the DAS keep him informed” about four targets.

According to Mr. Tabares’ sworn deposition, Mr. Moreno listed the targets as the Supreme Court; two opposition senators, Gustavo Petro and Piedad Cordoba; and investigative journalist Daniel Coronell.

From wire dispatches and staff reports