- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 6, 2004

United Nations teams up with ICC

NEW YORK — U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the president of the International Criminal Court (ICC) have signed an agreement on the working relationship between the United Nations and the world’s first permanent war-crimes tribunal.

Although the court is an independent judicial institution, it was born out of the U.N. system. The agreement provides a legal basis for a permanent relationship between the two organizations, as well as information-sharing and judicial assistance.

The United States opposes the court, saying it will be used for frivolous or politically motivated prosecution of American troops. The 97 countries that have ratified the 1998 Rome Treaty that established the court say it contains enough safeguards to protect the United States from its enemies.

The agreement signed Monday includes an exchange of representatives between the United Nations and the ICC, the ICC’s participation in the U.N. General Assembly as an observer, and U.N. cooperation if the court requests the testimony of U.N. officials.


Cleric deported for backing abuse

LYON — An Algerian cleric yesterday was flown out of France bound for Algeria as French authorities ordered him deported for publicly defending wife-beating.

Abdelkader Bouziane was put aboard a flight bound for the Algerian city of Oran hours after he was arrested at his home in the eastern city of Lyon and taken to a special airport detention center after a decision by French Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin to expel him.

Mr. de Villepin said the move signaled France’s determination to combat Islamic extremism, which he charged was “a threat against security” and “an obstacle to the emergence of a peaceful Islam” in France.


Police meet to battle terrorism

CANCUN — Police officials from around the world began a weeklong meeting at this resort yesterday aimed at finding ways to hunt down international terrorists.

Speaking to representatives of at least 175 of Interpol’s 181 member countries, Interpol President Jesus Espigares said terrorism was the main concern of both security services and private citizens around the world because of the “disastrous effects that indiscriminate attacks cause.”


Government opposes immigrant camps

MADRID — Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said yesterday that Madrid opposes the idea of would-be immigrants to Europe being accommodated in mass transit camps in North Africa.

“Spain is not favorable to this kind of initiative,” Mr. Moratinos said, speaking after fellow EU member Italy said it was halting a wave of mass expulsions of immigrants to Libya after criticism from opposition parties and human-rights organizations.

Mr. Moratinos said the Spanish government does not believe that setting up camps in Libya and neighboring North African states can “improve the flow” of illegal immigrants.


Plane diverted after bomb threat

JERUSALEM — A Lufthansa passenger plane en route to Tel Aviv was diverted to Cyprus yesterday, escorted by Israeli warplanes, after the airline received a bomb threat, officials said.

The threat was received in a phone call to the airline’s Frankfurt, Germany, office. The Israeli spokesman for Lufthansa, Yitzhak Zaroni, said the caller spoke with an Arabic accent.

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