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Nation Digest

Thursday, July 30, 2009

GUANTANAMO BAY

Administration Seeks More Time on Transfer

The Obama administration wants to hold on to a Guantanamo Bay detainee three weeks longer while it tries to decide whether to send him home to Afghanistan or bring him to the United States for trial.

Government attorneys said in court filings Wednesday that they were prepared to release Mohammed Jawad from detention at the U.S. naval facility in Cuba. He has been held there for 6 1/2 years since being arrested on suspicion of wounding two U.S. troops and their interpreter by throwing a grenade at their Jeep in Afghanistan.

But the government did not specify where he would go next. Prosecutors are trying to build a criminal case against Jawad, but they also are preparing for the possibility that they may not get a grand jury indictment or that the judge could compel them to release him.

Jawad's attorneys have asked U.S. District Judge Ellen S. Huvelle to allow their client to return to Afghanistan immediately. Huvelle has scheduled a hearing in the case for Thursday morning in U.S. District Court in Washington.

-- Associated Press

LEGAL

Sorority Accuses Head Of Misappropriation

Members of the country's oldest black sorority are suing to remove their president, alleging that she spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of the group's money on herself -- some of it to pay for a wax statue in her own likeness.

In the suit, the Alpha Kappa Alpha members also alleged that International President Barbara McKinzie bought designer clothing, jewelry and lingerie with the sorority credit card.

The lawsuit, filed in the District, also accused the sorority's board of directors of signing off on spending funds on McKinzie without the required approval by the group's membership. It demands that McKinzie be fired and return money to the sorority.

McKinzie denied what she called the lawsuit's "malicious allegations," saying they were "based on mischaracterizations and fabrications . . . not befitting our ideals of sisterhood, ethics and service," according to a statement issued by the sorority.

She took particular offense to the accusation that she commissioned a life-size wax figure of herself that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. She said a total of $45,000 was spent on a wax figure of her and the sorority's first international president, the late Nellie Quander. McKinzie also said the expenses were "consistent with furthering AKA's mission" and did not violate any of the group's bylaws.

-- Associated Press

Judge Grants Authority to Stevens Prosecutor: U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan has granted a special prosecutor authority to compel testimony from the Justice Department team that took then-Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) to trial. Sullivan presided over Stevens's trial last year and appointed Henry Schuelke III to investigate the prosecutors after the case fell apart over charges of prosecutorial misconduct.

-- Associated Press

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