- - Monday, May 21, 2012


NOUAKCHOTT — The man who ran Libya’s extensive spy network and was considered one of the closest confidants of dictator Moammar Gadhafi was indicted in Mauritania on Monday and transferred to a public jail, according to a justice official.

Abdullah al-Senoussi, Libya’s former head of intelligence, is wanted by the International Criminal Court, as well as by France and Libya, for crimes allegedly committed during his time with Gadhafi, who was overthrown and killed last year.

The judge in Mauritania is indicting Mr. al-Senoussi on a technicality, after the ex-spy chief tried to enter Mauritania disguised as a Tuareg chieftain, said the official who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press.

On the run since the fall of Tripoli last year, Mr. al-Senoussi attempted to enter the Nouakchott airport in March on a fake Malian passport, after boarding a flight from Morocco.


Al Qaeda claims credit for bombing

SANAA — Al Qaeda terrorists claimed credit Monday for the suicide bombing that killed 96 soldiers and said the attack was aimed at the defense minister.

A suicide bomber blew himself up at a military parade rehearsal in Yemen’s capital in one of the deadliest attacks in the city in years, according to the ministry of defense, officials and witnesses.

Before al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the bombing, officials already suspected the attack was an assassination attempt against Defense Minister Maj. Gen. Mohammed Nasser Ahmed, who arrived at the city square for the parade just minutes before the blast ripped through the area.

The attack came as the country’s new political leadership has been stepping up the fight against al Qaeda terrorists holding large swaths of land in the nation’s south.

Yemen’s new president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, has also been embroiled in a power struggle with loyalists of ousted leader Ali Abdullah Saleh. He has sacked several of them along with family members from top positions in the armed forces, including the air force.


Cop’s widow condemns length of prison terms

DUBLIN — The widow of a Northern Ireland policeman killed by Irish Republican Army dissidents condemned the length of prison sentences imposed Monday on his murderers, saying they were too short to deter more attacks by IRA factions.

Kate Carroll spoke out after a Belfast judge imposed minimum prison terms on two men from the Continuity IRA splinter group who were convicted of murdering her husband Stephen in 2009. He was the first officer to be killed in Northern Ireland since 1998, the year of the U.S.-brokered Good Friday peace accord for the British territory.

Justice Paul Girvan ruled that Brendan McConville must spend a further 22 years in prison, and John Wootton 11 years, before either could apply for parole. Both have been behind bars since 2009.


Justice minister rejects torture charges, opposes gay rights

HARARE — Zimbabwe’s justice minister rejected allegations that the government sponsors violence against critics and vowed not to recognize gay rights after meeting with the U.N. human rights chief Monday.

But the nation’s main independent civic groups accused President Robert Mugabe’s party of trying to present a “fraudulent” account on human rights issues to Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights who is in Zimbabwe to assess the situation.

In a joint statement Monday, 36 groups said they will boycott a meeting with Mrs. Pillay arranged by the justice ministry at the Harare Parliament building scheduled Tuesday. The groups said bogus organizations, some even accused of human rights abuse, were invited to “ambush” the meeting.

Earlier, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said he told Mrs. Pillay that claims of state sponsored torture were untrue.

He said that Zimbabwe will arrest same-sex partners found committing illegal gay acts.


Suu Kyi to give peace prize speech

OSLO — Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will finally get a chance to deliver her acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize, nearly 21 years after winning the prestigious award.

Mrs. Suu Kyi is set to deliver her speech in Oslo’s City Hall on June 16, during a visit to Norway, Nobel Peace Institute spokeswoman Sigrid Langebrekke said Monday.

After becoming leader of Myanmar’s pro-democracy movement, Mrs. Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest for 15 of the following 22 years of military rule. Her confinement kept her from attending the ceremony for the 1991 peace prize.

Norway’s government said Mrs. Suu Kyi also will meet Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg during her June 15 to 18 visit. She also is expected to visit Britain during her first travels abroad since 1988.

From wire dispatches and staff reports



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