Prime minister says Musharraf to be tried

Pakistan’s prime minister said Monday that the government plans to put the military ruler who ousted him in a coup more than a decade ago on trial on treason charges, setting up a possible clash with the country’s powerful army.

But the government stopped short of declaring officially that it was filing charges against Pervez Musharraf, saying it would first consult with other political parties.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif spoke in Parliament as the Supreme Court held a hearing on petitions seeking a treason case against Musharraf. The former military ruler can be tried for treason only if the federal government presses charges against him.

Sharif said the government agrees with the Supreme Court’s decision that Musharraf committed treason under Article 6 of the constitution when he declared a state of emergency in 2007 and suspended the charter.

Musharraf would be the first military ruler tried on treason charges in a country that has experienced three military coups in its nearly 66-year-old history.

Musharraf, who is under house arrest in connection with a separate case, faces the death penalty or life in prison if convicted of treason. But some analysts doubt that the army, which is considered Pakistan’s most powerful institution, would allow that to happen; they say it could intervene to prevent such an outcome. Musharraf has maintained his innocence.

— Associated Press

Minn. man examined for alleged Nazi role

German prosecutors said Monday that they opened a formal preliminary investigation of a Minnesota man who was a commander of a Nazi-led unit during World War II, to determine whether there is enough evidence to bring charges and seek his extradition.

The Associated Press found that 94-year-old Michael Karkoc entered the United States in 1949 by lying to U.S. authorities about his role in the SS-led Ukrainian Self Defense Legion, which is accused of torching villages and killing civilians in Poland. AP’s evidence indicates that Karkoc was in the area of the massacres, though no records link him directly to atrocities.

Kurt Schrimm, the head of the German special prosecutor’s office responsible for investigating Nazi-era crimes, said prosecutors “have opened a preliminary investigation procedure to examine the matter [and] seek documentation.” It was unclear how long their examination might take.

Karkoc’s son, Andriy Karkos, has said that his father “was never a Nazi,” pointing to the portion of the AP report that said records don’t show that Karkoc had a direct hand in war crimes. The son has said that the family won’t comment further until it has obtained its own documents and reviewed witnesses and sources.

A woman who answered the phone at Karkoc’s Minneapolis home Monday declined to comment.

— Associated Press

Scores killed in Iraq attacks: Evening bombings near markets in and around Baghdad and other blasts north of the Iraqi capital killed at least 42 people and wounded dozens Monday in the latest eruption of violence in Iraq. A wave of attacks in the country has killed more than 2,000 people since the beginning of April. Militants, building on Sunni discontent with the Shiite-led government, appear to be growing stronger in central and northern Iraq.

Qatari ruler plans to transfer power: Qatar’s ruler said Monday that he plans to transfer power to his 33-year-old son, the Persian Gulf nation’s crown prince, a report said, in what would mark a rare transition of authority in a region where most leaders remain in power until death. The report by Qatar-based al-Jazeera gave no other details, including whether health issues played a role in the decision by the 61-year-old emir, Sheik Hamad Bin Khalifa al-Thani.

Brother arrested in Alps multiple homicide: The brother of a British-Iraqi man who was fatally shot with three other people last year in a remote area of the French Alps was arrested Monday after investigators gathered evidence that the siblings were fighting over their father’s inheritance. The man arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder was identified as Zaid al-Hilli. Saad al-Hilli, his wife, an elderly relative and a cyclist were killed in the attack near Annecy in September, but the couple’s two young daughters survived.

— From news services