- The Washington Times - Monday, February 18, 2008


Four dissidents freed from prison

HAVANA — Four imprisoned Cuban dissidents were released yesterday and headed to Spain with their families, dissident sources on the island told Reuters news agency yesterday.

They said the four men flown to Spain were Pedro Pablo Alvarez Ramos, Omar Pernet Hernandez, Jose Gabriel Ramon Castillo and Alejandro Gonzalez Raga.

Spain announced on Friday that Cuba would free seven of 59 dissidents imprisoned since 2003.


Former official faces terror rap

BAGHDAD — A former deputy health minister accused of involvement in Iraq’s sectarian violence will go on trial this week, the first senior official charged with terrorism since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, his attorney said yesterday.

Hakim al-Zamili will appear at the Criminal Court of Rusafa in Baghdad tomorrow along with the former head of the security force that provides protection to the Health Ministry, his attorney, Abu Firas al-Mutairi, told Reuters.


Man arrested in attacks on leaders

DILI — A man with dual Timorese-Australian citizenship has been arrested in connection with the attacks last week on East Timor’s two leaders, the prosecutor-general said today.

The man was not among 17 for whom arrest warrants were issued last week and for whom international police and troops are looking.

Prosecutor-general Longuinhos Monteiro, who identified the suspect as having the initials “AP,” said yesterday it was not certain what charges he would face, but “possibly conspiracy to commit crimes against the state and the attempted murder of the head of state and government, because the citizen had information [about a crime] but did not report it.”

President Jose Ramos-Horta was in serious but stable condition in Australia yesterday after he was shot several times during a clash with rebels at his Dili home, in which rebel boss Alfredo Reinado was killed. Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao escaped unharmed from a separate attack.


Prosecutors query president-elect

SEOUL — A special prosecutor’s team questioned South Korean President-elect Lee Myung-bak yesterday over charges of financial fraud a week ahead of his inauguration, a press report said.

Mr. Lee was questioned for about three hours at an unidentified location in Seoul over claims that he was involved in a 2001 stock manipulation case, Yonhap news agency said.

The unprecedented investigation of a president-elect was prompted by accusations, made by Mr. Lee’s liberal rivals in parliament, that Mr. Lee was directly involved with an investment firm at the center of an purported stock manipulation case.


President unharmed in mortar attack

MOGADISHU — Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf was unharmed yesterday after Islamist insurgent suspects hit his official presidential complex in Mogadishu with mortar bombs for a second day, one of his aides said.

Witnesses said the shelling wounded at least five persons, but a presidential aide told Reuters that Mr. Yusuf was safe and the mortars did not land anywhere near his private quarters.

Mr. Yusuf’s interim government and its Ethiopian military allies are battling an insurgency that was triggered when the allied forces ousted Islamist leaders in January 2007 who had ruled Moga-dishu and much of southern Somalia for six months in 2006.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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