|Thursday, February 17, 2000,
Oppn leader may quit
vows to prosecute guilty
turns against Mugabe
scandal-related papers hidden
Pinochets brain damaged
MADRID, Feb 16 (Reuters) Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet has suffered brain damage and would have difficulty understanding and answering questions at a trial, Spains ABC newspaper said today, citing a confidential British medical report.
There is clinical evidence of extensive brain damage, the right-wing daily quoted the report as saying, adding that there was damage to the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain with resulting loss of memory.
The newspaper said the report had divided Pinochets health problems into mental and physical matters. It said the report had found Pinochet was physically fit to face trial, but prolonged stress was likely to cause a deterioration in his condition.
Most of the brain damage occurred between September and October 1999 and it was unlikely now that Pinochet would recover, ABC quoted the report as saying.
His memory of distant facts is deficient. He would have difficulty making himself heard and understood in his answers to questions, it said.
The report, signed by three British doctors on January 6, was sent to Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon in strict confidentiality on Tuesday on the orders of the British High Court. Mr Garzon is the judge whose extradition request prompted Pinochets arrest in London in October, 1998.
Spain, Belgium, France and Switzerland have all sought Pinochets extradition on charges of human rights abuses and were all to receive copies of the medical report after the British court ruling.
SANTIAGO (Reuters): Chilean human rights activists on Tuesday punched the air in celebration as Britains high court ruled against Augusto Pinochet, blocking any rapid return home of the detained former dictator.
Around 100 angry Pinochet supporters protested in the Chilean capital, throwing eggs at the Belgium Embassy the country behind the latest legal move to stop Pinochet from escaping extradition to Spain.
In London, the high court ruled on Tuesday that British Home Secretary (Interior Minister) Jack Straw must give a key medical report on the 84-year-old Pinochet to those countries seeking his extradition to stand trial for alleged torture.
Chiles government said the decision put the drawn-out case one step closer to being closed. There is not much left to debate...We are in the final leg, Deputy Foreign Minister Mariano Fernandez told reporters.
was a significant victory for the four European countries
and the human rights groups that want Pinochet to stand
trial for alleged torture during his 1973-1990 rule in
the aftermath of the bloody overthrow of the
democratically elected socialist President Salvador
IRA withdrawal deepens crisis
BELFAST, Feb 16 (Reuters) IRA guerrillas yesterday pulled out of talks with Northern Irelands disarmament, plunging the already troubled peace process deeper into crisis.
Tuesdays move by the IRA threw into reverse hard-won gains of the 1998 Good Friday peace accord for the British province.
The United States of America called on all sides to remain committed to the peace process. We are urging all the parties...To remain engaged and to carry through on their responsibilities, said U.S. State Department spokesman James Rubin.
Britain felt there was no immediate threat of a return to violence. We have no intelligence to indicate that the...IRA intends to re-engage in acts of violence, Sir Ronnie Flanagan, head of the provinces police force, told BBC television.
The IRA criticised Britains decision to suspend the fledgling home-rule government in Belfast.
Both the British government and the leadership of the (Protestant) Ulster Unionist Party have rejected the (disarmament) propositions put by our representative. They obviously have no desire to deal with the issue of arms except on their own terms, the guerrillas said.
Those who seek a military victory in this way need to understand that this cannot and will not happen.
Britain and the Irish Republic co-sponsors of the Good Friday accord stepped up talks to try to defuse tensions on all fronts.
German Oppn leader may quit
BERLIN, Feb 16 (Reuters) Mr Wolfgang Schaeubles future as Germanys opposition leader was in grave doubt yesterday after calls from within his own Christian Democratic Party (CDU)to resign over his handling of a funding scandal.
Schaeuble told the CDU deputies he might not seek re-election as leader of their parliamentary group after coming under personal attack at a crisis meeting in Berlin, party officials said.
A grim-faced Mr Schaeuble made no comment as he arrived in the evening for another emergency meeting of the parliamentary party leadership.
The meeting followed a turbulent day during which Parliament Speaker Wolfgang Thierse imposed a record 41 million marks ($ 21 million) in fines against the CDU for violations of funding laws during the leadership of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
CDU General Secretary Angela Merkel said Mr Schaeuble had come under fire from deputies from two federal states North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein where the CDU faces major election setbacks in forthcoming regional elections as a result of the party funding scandal.
Mr Schaeuble, 57, holds both the chairmanship of the CDU and leads the parliamentary group of the CDU and its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU).
His position as party leader would almost certainly become untenable if he lost the leadership of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, sparking speculation over who might emerge in his place.
The CSUs top man in parliament, Mr Michael Glos, expressed his support for Mr Schaeuble but said the leaders position depended on the backing he received within the CDU.
Mr Schaeuble, a former
aide to Mr Kohl who was paralysed from the waist down by
an assassination attempt in 1990, has failed to emerge
from the shadow of his mentor and has himself been caught
up in the scandal which ruined his predecessors
Jakarta vows to prosecute guilty
JAKARTA, Feb 16 (Reuters) Indonesia, under the threat of an international war crimes tribunal, today vowed to prosecute those responsible for the last years atrocities in East Timor.
After talks with President Abdurrahman Wahid and Vice-President Megawati Sukarnoputri at the presidential palace, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned that a UN tribunal would be revived if Jakarta failed to honour its promise.
Mr Wahid has already been forced to dump former armed forces chief Gen Wiranto from the Cabinet and order an investigation by the Attorney-General after a human rights inquiry implicated General Wiranto and five other Generals in the bloodshed.
It is important that those who were responsible for the atrocities be brought to justice in order to send a message out that impunity will not be allowed to stand and it will also be a deterrent to those who will be minded to attempt that in the future, Mr Annan told reporters.
He said there would be no need for an international human rights tribunal on East Timor if Indonesia brought those responsible to trial.
Tide turns against Mugabe
HARARE, Feb 16 (DPA) Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe yesterday suffered his first electoral defeat as voters in a referendum threw out a controversial draft of a new national constitution.
In a nerve-wrackingly close fight, the no votes took 54.6 per cent of all 1,275,964 valid votes cast in the two days of voting over the weekend.
Only 26 per cent of the countrys estimated 5 million voters turned out to vote, the lowest in any national plebiscite since independence in 1980.
The nos have it, the nos have it, Registrar-General of Elections Tobaiwa Mudede beamed at the end of two days of counting.
Observers say it is a clear statement of Mugabes suddenly changed political situation, chiefly in the countrys urban areas where Zimbabweans returned massive majorities against the 75-year-old leader, whose ruling Zanu (PF) party is to face parliamentary elections in mid-April.
Its a disaster for Mugabe at elections, said Morgan Tsvangirai, president of the newly-formed opposition movement for democratic change, regarded as the most serious challenge Mugabe has yet faced.
Mugabe last night declared he would accept his defeat in the referendum on a controversial draft of a new national constitution that would have enhanced his powers and allowed him another 12 years in power.
In an address on state television, a restrained Mugabe said that government accepts and respects the will of the people as expressed through these results.
The vote is regarded less than a dispute over a constitution than a measure of public outrage by Zimbabweans, who have watched their living standards collapse as the countrys once robust economy tottered towards economic chaos after 20 years of reckless decisions and rampant corruption.
Observers say the apathy is a result both of fear of violence and the loss of any hope of change.
Observers say Mugabe
aggravated the antipathy against himself and his
government when his constitutional drafters ignored
nationwide demands from ordinary Zimbabweans for major
democratic reform, for Mugabe to resign and for
comprehensive curbs against abuse of power.
No scandal-related papers hidden
WASHINGTON, Feb 16 (Reuters) President Bill Clinton said he believed the White House had complied with every request for documents in response to a Washington Times report that officials hid thousands of scandal-related e-mails.
The Times quoted former
White House computer operations chief Sheryl Hall as
saying administration officials covered up the fact that
electronic messages from August, 1996, to November, 1998,
had not been surrendered, as required by law, deciding
instead to label them as classified
directive to Sharif family
fall from 10 storeys
with illegal drug
killer gets life term
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