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World in brief

Pinochet loses immunity, again

By wire services
Published October 20, 2005


SANTIAGO, Chile - Chile's Supreme Court on Wednesday stripped former dictator Augusto Pinochet of immunity from prosecution for corruption charges related to his multimillion dollar bank accounts overseas.

Pinochet, 89, has been stripped of his presidential immunity at least four times before, but always in cases stemming from human rights abuses during his 1973-90 dictatorship. This time, the court decided that Pinochet can be tried on charges related to his bank accounts in the United States.

The charges presented by Judge Sergio Munoz include tax evasion, filing a false tax return and using false passports to open bank accounts abroad.

A decision on whether to actually try Pinochet will have to be made by a judge yet to be appointed by the Supreme Court.

Archbishop fears 200,000 could die

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - A Zimbabwean archbishop said Wednesday he feared 200,000 of his countrymen could die by early next year because of food shortages he blamed on his government, and called for President Robert Mugabe's ouster.

Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube, a frequent critic of Mugabe, spoke at a news conference called to show a new film on "Operation Murambatsvina," a widely condemned government campaign that critics charge has left tens of thousands of Zimbabweans trapped in a spiral of poverty, hunger and displacement.

Ncube said it was a personal estimate and based on his belief of the effect of severe food shortages on a population ravaged by HIV/AIDS and extreme poverty and near 80 percent unemployment. He said 700 people a day already were dying of AIDS in Zimbabwe and the death rate would increase with malnutrition.

Russian fishing boat escapes with inspectors

MOSCOW - A Russian trawler accused of illegally fishing off Norway and fleeing prosecution entered its own waters Wednesday with two Norwegian inspectors still on board, officials said.

The trawler, Elektron, had been seized Saturday by a Norwegian Coast Guard vessel for alleged fisheries violations, but it fled the cutter that was escorting it to port and headed for Russian waters.

The Elektron entered Russian waters early Wednesday, said a naval spokesman, Capt. Igor Dygalo. Dygalo said the two inspectors would be transferred today to a Norwegian vessel.

The controversy appears to have been aggravated by an incident with another Russian trawler, the Grigory Arlashkin, which was trying to prevent the Norwegian vessels from stopping the Elektron, Russian media reported.

[Last modified October 20, 2005, 01:20:19]


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