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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Ex-Detainees Plan to Seek Charges Against Rumsfeld

Twelve former U.S. detainees will ask prosecutors in Berlin on Tuesday to indict Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other top Bush administration officials for torture and other war crimes, according to an attorney for the group.

The criminal complaint seeks to revive a case against Rumsfeld and other officials that was dismissed by the German prosecutor's office in 2005. Rumsfeld's resignation from the Pentagon last week means that he no longer has the type of immunity typically given to heads of state and high-ranking government officials, said Michael Ratner of the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights.

Eleven complainants are Iraqis who were held at Abu Ghraib prison and other U.S.-run facilities in Iraq. The other is a Saudi former detainee at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Col. Janis L. Karpinski, the former brigadier general who commanded military police units at Abu Ghraib and was removed from command and reduced in rank in the Iraq prisoner abuse scandal, is assisting in the case, Ratner said.

A Pentagon spokesman declined to comment on the planned filing.

AFRICA

· MOGADISHU, Somalia -- Somalia's weak government rejected a new peace initiative by a renegade lawmaker and the Islamic militia controlling much of the southern part of the war-ravaged country.

The latest deal meant to calm Somalia was struck Friday in Mogadishu between the Islamic group and parliament speaker Sharif Hassan Sheik Aden. Aden acted without authorization, a government spokesman said. The speaker is considered the government member most sympathetic to the Islamic movement and his decision to hold talks without the cooperation of the prime minister and president was seen as a direct challenge to their authority.

THE MIDDLE EAST

· ANKARA, Turkey -- Tens of thousands of mourners attended a funeral for former prime minister Bulent Ecevit that was disrupted when some in the crowd began booing the current premier to protest a feared rise of political Islam.

Ecevit, an ardent secularist and respected political force in Turkey for almost half a century, died Nov. 5 after nearly six months in a coma following a stroke. He was 81.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is perceived by many secular Turks as less dedicated to preserving Turkey's strict separation of religion and state. Thousands booed his arrival at the funeral, chanting "Turkey is secular and will remain secular!"

THE AMERICAS

· PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Unidentified gunmen attacked U.N. peacekeepers near a restive slum in Haiti's capital, killing two Jordanian members of the force, officials said.

The attack came late Friday as peacekeepers, part of an 8,800-member force, headed back to their headquarters near the Cite Soleil slum, where well-armed gangs blamed for kidnappings are based, a U.N. police spokesman said. U.N. officials said the slayings appeared premeditated.

ASIA

· BEIJING -- At least 200 protesters lined a Beijing street to denounce police killings of dogs and new limits on pet ownership.

-- From News Services


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