- - Tuesday, June 29, 2010

AFGHANISTAN

Afghan attorney general says envoy ‘threatened’ him

KABUL | Afghanistan’s top prosecutor Tuesday accused U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry of threatening to have him removed from his job if he did not take action against an Afghan banker purportedly involved in fraud.

Attorney General Mohammad Is'haq Alko told reporters that Mr. Eikenberry had violated “diplomatic ethics” by ordering him to have the banker arrested.

“Against all diplomatic ethics, the U.S. ambassador tells me: ‘If you don’t jail him, you must resign,’” Mr. Alko told reporters, citing a recent conversation with Mr. Eikenberry.

“Do diplomatic ethics allow the attorney general of a country to be threatened in such a manner?” Mr. Alko asked rhetorically.

He said his office did not have enough evidence against the banker, Rafiullah Azimi, whom Mr. Eikenberry wanted detained.

The banker reportedly was involved in a corruption case linked to a former minister now living in Britain after eluding an arrest warrant in March, Mr. Alko said.

Asked for a response to Mr. Alko’s allegations, U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Caitlyn Hayden told Agence France-Presse: “We don’t comment on the ambassador’s diplomatic discussions.”

TURKEY

Reports: Turks shot 31 times on Gaza aid ship

ANKARA | All but two of the nine Turks killed in an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship were shot more than once, and five died from bullet wounds to the head, according to forensic reports.

The reports were made available to Agence France-Presse Tuesday by lawyers for the victims’ families, who have petitioned Turkish prosecutors to investigate the May 31 bloodshed on the Turkish Mavi Marmara ferry.

The forensic examinations were carried out in Turkey by the government-run Forensic Institute.

“The findings make it clear the Israeli forces shot to kill the activists and not to overpower them,” one of the lawyers, Yasin Divrak, told AFP.

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