- - Thursday, March 1, 2012


LONDON — A British jury on Thursday found a couple guilty of torturing and murdering a 15-year-old boy whom they accused of witchcraft.

Magalie Bamu, 29, and her partner Eric Bikubi, 28, originally from Congo, were convicted of killing Bamu’s brother Kristy, who drowned in a bathtub on Christmas Day 2010.

Prosecutors at London’s Central Criminal Court said the teenager had 130 injuries inflicted by sticks, a metal bar, a hammer and a chisel. They said he eventually drowned after being forced into a bathtub and doused with cold water.

The boy “had been the victim of a prolonged attack of unspeakable savagery and brutality,” prosecutor Brian Altman told the jury.


President seeks flights to Falkland Islands

BUENOS AIRES — Argentine President Cristina Fernandez made a surprise conciliatory gesture Thursday by seeking negotiations with the United Kingdom to establish three weekly flights from Buenos Aires to the Falkland Islands.

No flights currently connect the British-controlled islands with Argentina, which also claims sovereignty over them. Only two weekly flights run by LAN airlines travel from Chile over Argentine airspace to the islands about 300 miles off the Argentine coast.

Ms. Fernandez told her country’s Congress on Thursday that she would like to establish the flights for state-owned Aerolineas Argentinas.

The announcement comes at a moment of tension as the two countries are preparing to mark the 30th anniversary of the war they fought over the islands.

Argentina recently stopped two British-flagged cruise ships from docking in the far southern Argentine city of Ushuia, after the U.K. sent a navy destroyer to the islands.


Sudan’s defense minister sought by court

THE HAGUE — The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant Thursday for Sudan’s defense minister, the third senior regime official sought by the court for alleged involvement in atrocities in Darfur.

The court announced it wants Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein arrested on a warrant containing seven counts of crimes against humanity and six war crimes, including murder, persecution, rape and torture.

The charges cover 41 different incidents, the court said.

Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo asked judges for the warrant in December, saying Mr. Hussein is among those who “bear greatest criminal responsibility” for atrocities in Sudan’s Darfur region from August 2003 to March 2004.


3 sentenced in absentia in 1988 ship attack

PARIS — Three men suspected of belonging to a radical Palestinian group were convicted in absentia and sentenced to 30 years in prison Thursday for their roles in a gun and grenade attack on a Greek cruise ship more than two decades ago.

The 1988 attack on the “City of Poros” as it was returning from a one-day cruise in the Saronic Gulf islands left nine people dead, including three French citizens, and dozens wounded.

The three convicted by a special French anti-terrorism court were suspected of belonging to the Fatah Revolutionary Council, a Palestinian extremist group linked to the organization of Palestinian radical Abu Nidal.

Adnan Sojod was convicted of murder and attempted murder. Samir Khaidir and Abdul Hamid Amoud, meanwhile, were convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to attempt murder.

New arrest warrants were issued for the men, whose whereabouts are unknown and who may not even be alive.

The attack on the cruise liner was among the most notorious blamed on Abu Nidal’s radical Palestinian faction, which is believed to have killed or wounded nearly 1,000 people in 20 countries beginning in 1973.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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