- - Tuesday, June 26, 2012

CAIRO — Ahmed Shafiq, Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister and loser of the presidential runoff, left Egypt Tuesday with most of his family for the United Arab Emirates hours after the prosecutor general opened an investigation into allegations he wasted public funds during his eight-year term as a civil aviation minister in the ousted regime.

An airport official said Mr. Shafiq flew to Abu Dhabi at dawn with two of his three daughters and three grandchildren.

His campaign told the daily Al-Masry Al-Youm that he left for a short visit and he will return after doing a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. The campaign said he was planning to start a new political party.

The UAE has offered a haven to other members of Mubarak’s old regime. Earlier this month, the most senior old regime figure not jailed or on trial, former spy chief and Vice President Omar Suleiman, left for Abu Dhabi.


Lawmakers protest Libya extradition

TUNIS — Opposition parties staged a walkout from Tunisia’s assembly Tuesday to protest the extradition to Libya of Moammar Gadhafi’s last prime minister.

The fierce debate in parliament, which culminated in an opposition walkout and defiant singing of the national anthem, is the latest repercussion over the extradition of Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi, which has caused deep divisions in the North African country’s government.

On Sunday, the Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali implemented the decision of the courts and ordered that Mr. al-Mahmoudi be sent back to Libya, where the government that replaced the late Gadhafi wants to try him for a variety of crimes.

President Moncef Marzouki, a former human rights activist, however, had opposed the extradition on the ground that the former Libyan official risked torture or death.


Officials: Land mines killed 73 this week

SANAA — Land mines planted by al Qaada militants before they fled key southern Yemen strongholds have killed 73 civilians over the past week, Yemeni officials said Tuesday.

Engineering teams have removed some 3,000 land mines around Zinjibar and Jaar, according to the governor’s office in Abyan province.

Government troops captured both towns in a two-month offensive to uproot al Qaeda fighters from large swaths of land they captured during last year’s political turmoil. Mines left behind killed 73 residents, the officials said.

The statement also said Jaar residents have found the bodies of 20 militants and two soldiers killed in last week’s fighting.

Muqbel Shaddad, a Jaar resident, said over the phone that the bodies were scattered in bushes and around the countryside.

An Interior Ministry official said five al Qaeda militants detained for carrying out terror attacks escaped Tuesday from a prison in the port city of Hudayda. One of the detainees was believed to be a senior al Qaeda member.


3 police officers face murder charges in shootings

MANAMA — Bahrain said Tuesday that three police officers on trial over killing demonstrators during street protests last year will face murder charges and could face the death penalty.

The defendants, who were not named, include a police lieutenant, according to a statement by the Gulf nation’s Information Affairs Authority. They originally were being tried on the lesser charge of manslaughter.

They are on trial for three separate shooting deaths that occurred in February and March 2011.

Conviction on manslaughter charges carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison, but a murder conviction can result in life imprisonment or the death penalty, according to the Information Affairs Authority statement.

“If convicted of murder, employees of the Ministry of Interior are likely to receive the toughest penalties allowed by law,” it added.

A report issued in November by a commission authorized by Bahrain’s Sunni Muslim rulers cited medical reports that found all three victims were shot from close range. The report determined that their deaths were the result of excessive force by police.

The officers’ trial resumes July 10.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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