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Archive for Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Briefly

December 23, 2003

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Austria

U.N. nuclear head sets inspection in Libya

The head of the U.N. atomic watchdog agency said Monday he would lead the first inspection of Libya's nuclear facilities, aiming to kick-start the elimination of the country's programs for weapons of mass destruction.

Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, said he could make his trip Libya sometime next week.

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi said he had nothing to hide. "Come and see what it is, we don't want to hide anything," he told CNN.

Germany

Terrorist convicted in OPEC attack pardoned

German authorities on Monday pardoned and released a former terrorist convicted of killing three people in a 1975 attack on an OPEC oil ministers' meeting.

A Frankfurt court convicted Hans-Joachim Klein in 2001 of three counts of murder and three of attempted murder and hostage-taking. He was sentenced to nine years in prison.

Klein admitted participating in the Dec. 21, 1975, attack on the OPEC headquarters in Vienna, Austria, but denied shooting anyone.

The attack allegedly was led by Venezuelan terrorist Carlos the Jackal. The victims were an OPEC employee, an Iraqi bodyguard and an Austrian policeman.

Pakistan

Nuclear program investigated

Pakistan has questioned the founder of its nuclear program as part of investigations into whether any of its scientists leaked sensitive technology to other countries, the Foreign Ministry said Monday.

Scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan is not in custody but was questioned in connection with "the ongoing debriefing sessions" of a "very small number of scientists," ministry spokesman Masood Khan said.

Pakistan's government strongly denies allegations it spread nuclear technology to countries such as Iran, North Korea and Libya but acknowledged Monday the possibility that individual scientists may have acted without authorization.

Berlin

Rock singer sentenced for hate-speech lyrics

In the first case of its kind in Germany, a right-wing rock band was deemed a criminal organization and its lead singer was sentenced Monday to more than three years in prison for lyrics that venerate Nazism and incite racial hatred.

A Berlin court sentenced 38-year-old Michael Regener to 40 months in prison after a six-month trial that tested the bounds of free expression in a nation with strict laws against hate speech. The court ruled that Regener's band, Landser, is a threat to the country's Jews and millions of African and Muslim immigrants.

The band's bass player, Andre Moericke, and its drummer, Christian Wenndorff, were each sentenced to nearly two years of probation and ordered to perform 90 hours of community service.

Their lyrics are more intellectual than those of most skinhead bands, but their agenda is just as blunt. "Let's get the enemy, bombs on Israel," are the lyrics of one song.

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