- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 16, 2007

SERBIA

Karadzic son barred for fake papers

BELGRADE — The son of fugitive Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic was released from overnight custody in Serbia yesterday, barred from the country for a year and fined for possession of fake documents.

Aleksandar “Sasa” Karadzic was detained Friday for questioning related to the hunt for his father, who is wanted on accusations of genocide and has been on the run for a decade.

The son was fined about $500 for possessing documents falsely indicating he is a Serbian citizen, Serbia’s Minister of Labor Rasim Ljajic told the state news agency Tanjug.

Apprehending the elder Mr. Karadzic or his wartime military commander Ratko Mladic would enhance the prospects of Bosnian and Serbian bids to join the European Union. Mr. Ljajic suggested earlier Friday that tactics would be changed to put more pressure on the Karadzic family.

RUSSIA

Chessboard Killer‘ goes on trial

MOSCOW — Alexander Pichushkin, dubbed the “Chessboard Killer” by the Russian press, went on trial Friday, accused of murder in the deaths of 49 persons.

Prosecutors described how Mr. Pichushkin, a 33-year-old former supermarket porter, killed 46 men and three women over 14 years, many with hammer blows to the head, some by throwing them off a balcony, some by drowning in a sewage pit.

They said Mr. Pichushkin had confessed to killing as many as 63 persons, first luring them into secluded parts of Moscow’s sprawling Bittsevsky Park with an invitation to drink vodka in honor of his dead dog.

The Russian press has taken to calling him the “Bittsevsky Maniac” and the “Chessboard Killer” after police found a chessboard in his apartment with 63 of 64 squares — one for each victim — covered with a coin.

SWITZERLAND

Alpine elevator plan scrapped

ZURICH — Swiss plans to link a railway tunnel and an Alpine valley with the world’s tallest elevator have been put on ice after the government postponed a decision on funding the $42.27 million project.

The so-called “Porta Alpina” was an ambitious attempt to revitalize the economy of remote Alpine villages by allowing train passengers from Zurich and Milan to alight in the middle of the tunnel and take an elevator up to the mountaintops.

The lift would have been more than 2,600 feet high and would have connected an Alpine valley with a station on the longest rail tunnel in the world.

GREECE

Island threatens to boycott elections

ATHENS — The 500 inhabitants of a small Greek island in the Aegean Sea are threatening to boycott national elections today in protest against poor transport links, the island’s mayor said yesterday.

Benetos Spyrou, mayor of Lipsi, said the island decided not to set up polling stations to protest the poor ferry service to Piraeus, the country’s largest port, located near Athens.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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