Interpol sued by wife of former agency chief

The wife of former Interpol president Meng Hongwei is suing the international police agency, accusing Interpol of failing to protect him from arrest in China and failing to protect his family.

Grace Meng said her attorneys filed a legal complaint in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. In a statement, she said Interpol “breached its obligations owed to my family” and “is complicit in the internationally wrongful acts of its member country, China.”

Interpol said Sunday that it strongly disputes the allegations.

The court in The Hague did not respond to requests for comment. Such cases generally take many months to settle, and its proceedings and rulings are not made public.

Meng Hongwei was arrested in September amid a campaign against corruption and political disloyalty led by Chinese President Xi Jinping. A Chinese court said Meng confessed last month to accepting more than $2 million in bribes, but his wife calls the case “fake” and politically driven.

Meng — who was elected Interpol president in 2016 but retained responsibilities as Chinese vice minister of public security — vanished into custody while visiting China.

— Associated Press


Key security officials replaced, reports say

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has replaced some heads of influential security agencies, including Maj. Gen. Jamil Hassan, who had led the powerful Air Force Intelligence Directorate since 2009, pro-government Syrian pages on social media reported Sunday.

No reason was given for the shake-up, which came as government forces have made little progress in a two-month-old offensive against rebels in the northwestern province of Idlib despite recapturing wide areas of the country in recent years.

There was no immediate confirmation from the government or state media, which rarely report news related to intelligence agencies.

Hassan had been one of the most powerful officers in the country, and opposition activists and foreign countries have blamed him for atrocities carried out in Syria’s more than seven-year-long civil war, which has killed about 400,000 people.

Hassan was one of 13 Syrian commanders and prison officials who the United States said in 2016 were responsible for attacks on cities, residential areas and civilian infrastructure as well as acts of torture.

Last year, Germany said it was seeking Hassan’s arrest, saying his agency was suspected of involvement in war crimes.

— Associated Press


Deal reached to help

65 rescued migrants

Malta’s government has agreed to help 65 rescued migrants by transferring them from a German-operated boat to a Maltese military vessel that will take them to a Maltese port.

Malta announced the decision Sunday afternoon after talks with the European Commission and the German government, while the rescue ship Alan Kurdi was waiting for permission to enter Malta’s territorial waters.

The Maltese government said in a statement that “all the rescued persons on board will be immediately relocated to other European Union member states. None of the said immigrants will remain in Malta as this case was not under the responsibility of the Maltese authorities.”

The agreement was reached after the vessel, operated by German nonprofit Sea-Eye, decided to head to Malta late Saturday after being banned from docking in the Italian port of Lampedusa.

The vessel had rescued 65 people from an overloaded rubber boat in international waters off the Libyan coast last week but was not allowed to enter Italian waters.

Italy’s hard-line interior minister, Matteo Salvini, has taken a tough stance on migration, accusing nongovernmental organizations operating in the Mediterranean of helping smugglers of migrants.

— Associated Press

3 runners gored racing with bulls at Pamplona's festival: Five people were hospitalized after the opening bull run of this year's San Fermin festival in Pamplona, including two Americans and a Spaniard who were gored by bulls, officials in the northern Spanish city said. Two Spanish men suffered head injuries. The running of the bulls in Pamplona draws about 1 million spectators every year. During the nine-day San Fermin fiesta, six bulls are run every morning in the city's narrow streets and then killed in afternoon bullfights.

— From news services