- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Ibrahim lawyers offer evidence on coercion

CAIRO Lawyers for an Egyptian-American activist charged with embezzling foreign-aid funds and defaming Egypt filed papers yesterday that showed a co-defendant might have been coerced into making false accusations against him.

Saad Eddin Ibrahim, 63, a sociology professor at American University in Cairo, was convicted last year and sentenced to seven years in prison.

After Mr. Ibrahim spent eight months in jail, an appeals court ordered a retrial for him and all 27 other defendants. One reason was the complaint of researcher Khaled Fayad, who said he was pressured by security police to falsely accuse Mr. Ibrahim.

Israel develops Merkava tank

TEL AVIV Israel has produced a Merkava Mark 4 tank, which senior defense officials call among the five best in the world, in its attempt to become self-sufficient in equipping its armed forces.

The tank corps plans to have the Merkavas replace its remaining U.S.-made M-48s and eventually the M-60s. It might be cheaper to buy American tanks especially since they can be paid for with U.S. aid money but Israelis favor producing their own main battle tank.

Unwilling bride ingests poison

CAIRO A 17-year-old Egyptian girl committed suicide by swallowing insecticide rather than marry without completing her studies, police said yesterday.

Hanem Nureddin Mahmoud, refusing to give in to her father's insistence on marrying without delay, took her own life Sunday in the Nile Delta village of Al-Mogafaf.

Party dissidents urge Ecevit to quit

ANKARA, Turkey Calls for the resignation of ailing Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit gathered momentum yesterday as, for the first time, members of his own party urged Mr. Ecevit to step down.

"The party, founded and developed by the Ecevits in self-sacrifice, must from now on continue its life without Ecevit, but under the guidance of the Ecevits," nine dissident lawmakers from Mr. Ecevit's Democratic Left Party said.

Weekly notes

Rival Cypriot leaders President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash struggled to get something out of their talks on reunification of the divided island yesterday before an end-of-June target date. "We expressed our views, and we are waiting for Denktash to come back and tell us his," a Greek Cypriot source close to the talks told Agence France-Presse, adding: "There is no progress." Iraq's parliament says U.S. congressional leaders set a dangerous precedent by backing administration plans to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, the official Iraqi News Agency reports. The covert program, disclosed this month, includes authorization to use lethal force. INA quoted a letter by Iraq's National Assembly speaker calling the congressional reaction a "blatant intervention in the affairs of a sovereign founding member of the United Nations."

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