Ex-Peru spy chief is flown home for corruption trial...

June 26, 2001|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Ex-Peru spy chief is flown home for corruption trial

LIMA, Peru - Looking calm and even smiling briefly, Peru's former spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos, Latin America's most wanted man, was flown home yesterday to face trial for corruption, embezzlement and murder.

Ex-President Alberto K. Fujimori's 56-year-old former right-hand man was given a medical check and was expected to be taken temporarily to a cell beneath Peru's main law courts for questioning.

Peruvians were elated by the surprise capture, after eight months on the run, of the once untouchable man dubbed "Rasputin" for the power he wielded behind Fujimori's throne for a decade.

Socialists in Albania declare election victory

TIRANA, Albania - Socialist Prime Minister Ilir Meta claimed victory yesterday in Albania's general election, which international observers said had been generally fair. But as many as 45 out of 140 parliamentary seats were likely to be decided in a second round of voting in two weeks, so the size of the likely Socialist majority remained uncertain.

The opposition Democrats of former President Sali Berisha alleged widespread irregularities, insisting they had fared better than the government had acknowledged, but they stopped short of challenging the result.

Peruvians seek shelter from cold after 8.1 quake

MOQUEGUA, Peru - Thousands of Peruvians hit by a devastating earthquake scrambled for insufficient tents, food and warm clothing yesterday while officials upgraded the magnitude of the quake to the "great" category from "major."

Saturday's quake, now measured at 8.1 magnitude, flattened villages and killed 97 people, injured 1,200 and left 46,400 homeless, civil defense officials said.

"We are sleeping on the street and no one is helping us," said Giovana Arriola, 41, who had camped out in the streets Sunday with her husband and three children for a second winter night.

Protestant militant returned to Irish prison

BELFAST, Northern Ireland - Britain ordered a paroled Protestant militant back behind bars yesterday after police implicated him in continuing violence.

Gary Smith, a senior figure in the outlawed Ulster Defense Association, was arrested at his home and brought to Maghaberry prison west of Belfast, where he could be held indefinitely.

Previously convicted of conspiring to murder Roman Catholics, Smith was one of several hundred extremists paroled early under terms of Northern Ireland's 1998 peace accord. Their freedom was conditional on their refraining from terrorist activities.

King of Swaziland restricts critics, press

MBABANE, Swaziland - The king of Swaziland has declared a state of emergency that eliminates bail for many crimes, prevents newspapers from challenging publishing bans and allows him to jail people who make fun of him.

The government of King Mswati III issued the decree Saturday without giving an explanation. Mswati has come under increasing criticism over the past year for his authoritarian rule and muzzling of the press.

Political parties are banned in Swaziland, a tiny kingdom bordered by South Africa and Mozambique, where the king appoints all candidates for parliament. Under the decree, Swazis who ridicule or impersonate the king could be jailed and subject to a $6,000 fine, a fortune in this poor country.

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