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International brief ~ Pinochet denies involvement in Operation Condor

According to a statement released by prosecutors Tuesday, former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet has denied any involvement in alleged human rights abuses, insisting that the infamous Operation Condor in the 1970s (background here) was run by middle management in the goverment and was beneath his notice as head of state. Pinochet was questioned Saturday by Judge Juan Guzmán. Judge Guzmán said that Pinochet seemed lucid and aware and has ordered medical tests to confirm his competency to stand trial; the participant parties in the trial - the judge, the defense lawyers and the lawyers for the families of the victims - will each pick one of the three doctors to serve on the panel. BBC has more.

In other international law news...

  • A German court Tuesday sentenced convicted terrorist Andrea Klump to a further 12 years in jail for her participation in the 1991 bombing of Soviet Jews in Budapest. The 47-year-old was convicted on 32 counts of accessory to attempted murder. Klump is already serving a 9-year sentence for the 1998 failed attempt to bomb a Spanish disco frequented by US soldiers. Klump has long been suspected of having ties to the ultra-left German group Red Army Faction (read a DOD profile here). The Jerusalem Post has more.

  • Slovenia has again threatened legal action against neighboring Croatia (official site in Croatian) over the latest incident in an ongoing border dispute. A Slovenian official said that the government planned to raise the 'Croatian issue' at their scheduled meeting with the EU this week. The complaint arises following the arrest of 12 Slovenian diplomats in the disputed region for failing to show identification. Slovenia has threatened to remove its support for Croatia's bid for accession to the EU in light of the arrests. The EU has stated that the latest incident has not changed its mind on Croatian accession, but that it would be watching the situation closely. Croatia has protested that EU membership should not be used as a bludgeon to force nations to behave the way others want. The International Herald Tribune has more.

  • The newly formed Brunei Parliament has approved a constitutional amendment that will allow for the first direct elections in the country in 42 years. The last elections were held in 1962 by the current Sultan's father and ended in bloody revolt when demands for joining Malaysia were rejected. The amendment would allow up to one-third of the country's members of parliament to be elected by the populace, with the remainder appointed by the Sultan. The Arab Times has more.

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