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Archive for Wednesday, September 4, 2002

Briefly

September 4, 2002

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Sweden

Hijack suspect moved to Stockholm prison

A Swedish man suspected of planning to hijack an airliner was moved Tuesday to a prison in Stockholm, as his lawyer predicted a hijacking charge wouldn't hold up in a trial.

Kerim Sadok Chatty, 29, was moved from the police station in Vaesteraas, 60 miles northwest of the capital, where he had been held since Thursday, when security officers at the airport found a gun in his carry-on luggage.

Chatty, son of a Swedish mother and a Tunisian father, was moved Tuesday to Kronobergshaektet, a jail in Stockholm's police headquarters, authorities said.

A district court judge on Monday ordered Chatty detained as a prosecutor prepares preliminary charges of planning to hijack a plane and illegal possession of a weapon.

Bosnia

Serb report challenges Muslim massacre toll

Challenging the U.N. war crimes tribunal and global opinion, the Bosnian Serb government claims in a report that far fewer Muslims were killed at Srebrenica than the 8,000 commonly reported.

The government paper which disputed findings that most of the victims were civilians was denounced by the top international official in Bosnia as a "callous and irresponsible" attempt to rewrite Europe's worst massacre since World War II.

Tuesday's report, issued two months before local and national elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina, appeared to reflect continued strength by hard-liners loyal to Radovan Karadzic, the wartime leader of the country's Serbs who is being sought by the U.N. war crimes tribunal.

Tuesday's report claimed that no more than 2,000 to 2,500 people were killed and of those, 1,800 were soldiers of the Muslim army. The report asserted that previous estimates issued by the International Committee of the Red Cross and other organizations were "manipulated" and "fabricated."

Brazil

OPEC leader insists prices to remain steady

OPEC's president said the cartel will try to hold crude oil prices at a steady level, despite the recent spike in world markets.

Speaking Tuesday to oil executives from 59 countries at the 17th World Petroleum Congress, Rilwanu Lukman said the OPEC nations, which control 40 percent of the world's oil output, support prices between $22 and $28 a barrel for select crudes.

"We wish to maintain international oil prices at levels that are fair and reasonable both to producers and consumers," he said, citing a $25 a barrel price as a good "middle of the road" value.

Lukman, of Nigeria, didn't explicitly mention the possibility of U.S. military action against Iraq, an OPEC member, but fears of a conflict there disrupting oil supplies from the Middle East pushed the price of a barrel of crude to as high as $30 last week.

Pakistan

Convicted gang rapists appeal death sentence

Six men filed an appeal of their death sentences Tuesday, asking a court to overturn their convictions in the gang rape of a woman that was ordered by a tribal council to punish her family.

The six were convicted last weekend and sentenced to hang in the June 22 case, which drew international criticism of Pakistan's tradition of tribal justice and the status of women in rural areas.

Defense lawyer Malik Salim said he filed an appeal with the Multan branch of the regional High Court asking that the verdicts be set aside because the judge's decision, rendered shortly after midnight Sunday, "is not maintainable according to the law and facts of the case."

The court will decide later whether to hear arguments or simply reject the appeal.

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