- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 17, 2003

5 more countries sign court deal with U.S.

Five governments — Egypt, Mongolia, Nicaragua, the Seychelles and Tunisia — have signed secret agreements exempting U.S. personnel from prosecution in the International Criminal Court, according to a State Department document released yesterday.

The department said last week that several governments that signed the agreements asked not to be named. The five agreements bring to 43 the number of governments that have exempted U.S. personnel from prosecution in the court, set up to try war crimes and acts of genocide.


U.S. Marine faces arrest by Japanese in rape

TOKYO — A Japanese court issued an arrest warrant yesterday for a U.S. Marine accused of beating and raping a 19-year-old woman on the southern island of Okinawa, officials said.

A district court in Okinawa granted police permission yesterday to arrest Lance Cpl. Jose Torres, 21, stationed at Camp Hansen.

The purported attack occurred May 25 in the town of Kin, according to a statement released by the Marines. The woman suffered a broken nose and was sexually assaulted, an official said.


Nine miners killed in Siberian blast

MOSCOW — Nine miners were killed yesterday in a mine blast in Russia’s Siberian region of Kemerovo and seven more men were believed to be buried inside the pit, an official with the region’s administration said early today.

Of the seven trapped miners at least four were still alive, the official told the Itar-Tass news agency.

Three miners managed to escape from the pit on their own, and rescuers pulled out two other injured workers.

The blast happened at the Ziminka mine in the town of Prokopyevsk.


Taxi driver held in ‘dirty bomb’ case

TBILISI — A taxi driver was detained after authorities in the Georgian capital found nerve gas and radioactive materials that can make a “dirty bomb” in his cab, officials said yesterday.

Tedo Mokeliya was detained May 31 after police in this former Soviet republic discovered two containers holding cesium-137 and strontium in his taxi, said Givi Mgebrishvili, chief of the Interior Ministry’s main criminal investigation department.

Cesium and strontium, which have medical and industrial applications, also are considered likely ingredients for a dirty bomb, in which conventional explosives are combined with radioactive material.

Police also found a dark brown liquid later determined to be nerve gas concentrate, the official said. No other details were available.

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