- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 17, 2002

3 Lebanese Christians granted new trial

BEIRUT A Lebanese military court agreed yesterday to a defense appeal for a retrial of three anti-Syrian Christian activists jailed for contacts with Israel, court sources said. The military appeals court set June 4 for the opening session.

The defense said several of its witnesses were not heard and argued that the court's March 19 guilty verdicts were based on confessions extracted under torture and later retracted.

Toufic Hindi, an advisor to the banned Christian Lebanese Forces, and journalist Habib Younes were ordered jailed for three years. Journalist Antoine Bassil received a four-year sentence.


Ocalan's Kurdish group changes name, tactics

ANKARA, Turkey The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which led a 15-year armed struggle for an independent Kurdish state in southeast Turkey that cost more than 36,000 lives before the group renounced violence in 1999, announced yesterday it is changing its name and strategy.

The group said it was renaming itself the Congress for Freedom and Democracy in Kurdistan, with PKK founder Abdullah Ocalan as president, and said it would continue its struggle through political means.

The PKK announced in September 1999 it was abandoning its armed struggle, after appeals from Ocalan, 52, who was condemned to death by a Turkish security court in June 1999 for treason. His execution was stayed pending a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.


Chief of Iran weekly gets prison, 74 lashes

TEHRAN The director of a provincial weekly was sentenced yesterday to seven months in jail and 74 lashes for a variety of offenses, and the paper was suspended, the official IRNA news agency reports.

Ali-Hamed Iman, director of Shams-e-Tabriz, was found guilty of "false reporting, attempting to create dissension among ethnic groups, insulting leaders of the regime and the religion and Prophet of Islam," among other offenses.

He has 20 days to appeal the sentence, IRNA said. The judiciary has suspended more than 20 dailies and about 30 periodicals since April 2000.


Trial of 5 Algerians starts with a ruckus

FRANKFURT, Germany A trial of Algerians suspected of a bomb plot and links to the al Qaeda network began chaotically here yesterday as one defendant shouted that his lawyers were Jews and God would defend him.

Lamine Maroni, 31, one of five men accused of planning to bomb a Christmas market in Strasbourg, France, in 2000, gestured wildly and shouted in Arabic.


Weekly notes

Seif el-Islam Gadhafi, son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, initiated a libel action against a British newspaper yesterday regarding an article saying he was linked to a multimillion-dollar plot to flood Iran with fake currency. Opening the case in London's High Court, lawyer James Price said young Mr. Gadhafi, an architect in Libya with no government position, would give evidence showing the 1995 Sunday Telegraph article was "untrue from start to finish." Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, is expected to wipe out a $12 billion budget deficit projected for 2002 as oil prices continue to rise, economists in Riyadh said yesterday. The deficit would have been Saudi Arabia's largest since 1998, when oil prices fell to less than $12 a barrel.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide