- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 24, 2003


Anxious Hong Kong tests 12 for SARS

HONG KONG — Twelve persons in Hong Kong, most of them from a mental institution, have been admitted to a hospital as suspected SARS cases, raising fears of a resurgence of the illness that killed hundreds around the globe.

A government statement issued late yesterday said the 12 had undergone preliminary testing and the results showed none of the patients was SARS-positive.

A spokeswoman for Princess Margaret Hospital said 11 of the suspected cases were inmates of a mental institution, while the 12th patient was a relative of one of the inmates. They were admitted to the hospital in batches since Sunday.

The suspected cases come about one month after the World Health Organization declared Hong Kong free of severe acute respiratory syndrome, which killed about 300 people and ravaged Hong Kong’s economy


Canada slammed over killing of Iranian

TEHRAN — Iran accused Canadian police yesterday of the “criminal” killing of an Iranian, ratcheting up a diplomatic dispute that began with the death in Iranian custody of a Canadian journalist this month.

Iranian state media said Canadian police in Vancouver had attacked three young Iranian citizens, killing one and injuring one of the others. But Port Moody, British Columbia, police say the 18-year-old man was shot by a policeman on July 14 when he attacked the officer with a machete after an early-morning road-rage incident.

Zahra Kazemi, 54, a Canadian photojournalist of Iranian descent died in Tehran after suffering a severe blow to the head while in custody. Canada recalled its envoy to Tehran over the incident.


Judge orders arrest of ‘Dirty War’ suspects

BUENOS AIRES — An Argentine judge yesterday ordered the arrest of 45 military officials, including ex-junta leaders, at the request of a Spanish judge who has charged them with genocide in the “Dirty War” against suspected leftists.

The order allows Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon to request the extradition of officers in connection with rights crimes during the 1976-1983 military dictatorship.

The officers include 1976 coup leader Jorge Videla and Emilio Massera, the head of the Navy School of Mechanics, which acted as a torture center.

Left-leaning President Nestor Kirchner, who was briefly detained under the dictatorship, has indicated he would annul a decree blocking extraditions.


Plea delays transfer of terror suspects

BERLIN — Germany deferred a decision yesterday on extraditing two al Qaeda suspects to the United States after attorneys for one appealed to the country’s highest court, claiming the arrests were illegal and questioning how U.S. authorities will treat the two Yemenis.

Attorneys for Mohammed Ali Hassan al-Moayad, who was arrested in Frankfurt in January along with his suspected assistant, Mohammed Mohsen Yahya Zayed, said they were concerned the men will be treated as “enemy combatants.” They argue that U.S. authorities broke international law by luring the men to Germany for arrest.

Meanwhile, a state-run Yemeni newspaper reported yesterday that Yemen and Saudi Arabia are expected to exchange a total of 15 suspects wanted on criminal and terrorism charges.


Death penalty ruled out for Guantanamo prisoner

An Australian terror suspect detained at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will not be subject to the death penalty if he is convicted, the United States has assured Australia.

Australian Justice Minister Chris Ellison said Wednesday that American officials also pledged to make several other rules changes if Australian David Hicks is tried before a military tribunal.

Nine Britons and two Australians are among the more than 660 al Qaeda and Taliban suspects at Guantanamo Bay. Mr. Hicks and two Britons are among the six suspects President Bush has named as candidates for the first military tribunals.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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