- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 19, 2003

Iraqi money ordered to protect POWS

A federal judge ordered the government to retain for now more than $650 million from assets taken from the Iraq government to guarantee compensation for 17 American former Persian Gulf war POWs tortured by their Iraqi captors.

A Treasury Department spokesman said yesterday the order, restricting almost half the roughly $1.4 billion in Iraqi money still held in a New York account, will have no affect on transfers to Baghdad already scheduled as operating expenses for the emerging Iraqi government.

District Judge Richard W. Roberts of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued the temporary restraining order late Friday after hearing arguments from attorneys for the former prisoners of war and the government. The order is to continue for 10 days as the two sides present further briefs.

Arab-American agent files suit against FBI

A high-ranking Arab-American FBI agent is taking the bureau to court, accusing it of racial discrimination for freezing him out of the September 11 investigation.

The suit described agent Bassem Youssef as the only polygraph examiner qualified to conduct interviews in Arabic, with extensive experience and Middle Eastern contacts culled from his days with the FBI in Saudi Arabia.

Yet, the complaint said, he was kept away from any substantial investigations related to the hijacking attacks.

“No other non-Arab FBI employee with similar background and experience in counterterrorism was willfully blocked from working 9-11 related matters,” according to the complaint.

Gore lawyer accused of ethics violations

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The lawyer who represented Al Gore in his Supreme Court challenge of Florida results in the 2000 presidential election has been accused of ethics violations in another case.

A Florida Bar grievance committee found probable cause that David Boies violated rules of conduct by giving money to a client and improperly supervising other lawyers.

The committee’s July 10 finding is similar to an indictment. The case will be heard by a judge appointed by the Florida Supreme Court.

The accusations stem from his involvement in a legal battle between the owners of two Palm Beach lawn-care companies. He is accused of providing unlimited legal and financial help to one of the owners because of a suspected personal relationship with her.

Security tape records man groping girl

MIAMI — A registered sex offender was caught by a surveillance camera as he groped a 12-year-old girl in a department store, police said.

Bayardo Rafael Chamorro, 40, was arrested Thursday and charged with lewd and lascivious molestation. The Nicaraguan native was being held yesterday by immigration authorities, Miami police spokesman Lt. Bill Schwartz said.

Security guards at Sears in Coral Gables saw Chamorro brush up against the girl three times as her father stood nearby, police said. They detained Chamorro and called police.

Chamorro was arrested twice in 2000 for sexual offenses against children. He also has prior arrests for soliciting prostitution and drunken driving.

Plane crash kills 2, ignites wildfire

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. — A single-engine plane crashed near a mountain pass, killing at least two persons and igniting a wildfire that prevented investigators from getting close to the wreckage, authorities said yesterday.

A helicopter responding to reports of smoke spotted the wreckage yesterday morning about 90 miles northwest of Denver and 20 miles southeast of Steamboat Springs, Routt County Sheriff John Warner said. The crew spotted two victims from the air, but more people may have been in the plane, he said.

“We have no idea where it came from,” Sheriff Warner said. “There are no missing or overdue flights reported at this time.”

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