[JURIST] Former Bosnia Serb General Ratko Mladic [BBC profile], who has been indicted [indictment] for war crimes, has agreed to turn himself over to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia [official website], in exchange for $5 million for his family and associates, according to the London Sunday Times. Mladic has been in hiding for 10 years, since the Srebrenica massacre [Domovina.net backgrounder] in Bosnia where more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys were killed by troops under Mladic's command as they tried to flee a UN "safe area." Though the Serbian government originally denied negotiations [JURIST report] were occurring, prosecutors appear to be willing to overlook the methods used to capture Mladic and worry that he may try to kill himself rather than surrendering. The Sunday Times has more.
[JURIST] Ali Hassan al-Majid, otherwise known in Western media as "Chemical Ali" [BBC profile], was questioned Thursday by an Iraqi tribunal preparing for the trials of the leaders of Saddam Hussein's regime. The Iraqi Special Tribunal (IST) [official website] released the tape publicly on Sunday. It was the third tape related to tribunal questioning [JURIST report] released by the IST this month. Ali was questioned about suppressing religious political parties and about the killings and detentions of the Fayli Kurds. Eight other senior officials have been questioned, including Taha Yassin Ramadan [BBC profile], Hussein's former vice-president, Abid Hamid Mahmud [BBC profile], Hussein's secretary, and others believed to be involved in the suppression of Shi'ite and Kurdish uprisings following the Gulf War. Reuters has more.
[JURIST] Charges will not be brought against a US Army captain for allegedly ordering his subordinates to kill Iraqi insurgents in retaliation for an attack on a US base, the Army announced Friday. Captain Michael Cunningham was facing possible charges of solicitation of murder and involuntary manslaughter, but following the acquittal of one of Cunningham's subordinates [coverage of acquittal], a 4th Infantry Division spokesperson said the case had "lost prosecutorial merits." Prosecutors believed Cunningham gave subordinates a list of insurgents who were "not to come back alive" if they were found alive. Cunningham was also one of three officers reprimanded last year [JURIST report] for covering up an incident where an Iraqi man drowned after US soldiers forced him into a river for violating a curfew. AP has more.
[JURIST] An announcement allowing limited use of cameras in the UK Court of Appeal is expected shortly, according to an article in the Sunday Times. The decision to televise appellate proceedings comes after a six week pilot program [JURIST report] and a government consultation paper on court broadcasting. The appeal of a former city council leader from a misconduct conviction made legal history in 2004 as the first case in the UK to be filmed by TV cameras [BBC report]. Although the appeal was not televised, the footage was used for evaluation purposes. Supporters contend that televised proceedings will demystify the judicial system, while opponents fear sensationalism of proceedings and disruption of court work. In an effort to avoid problems which have developed in the United States, broadcast of UK trial proceedings will remain prohibited. The Sunday Times has more.
[JURIST] Hundreds of thousands of protesters converged on Madrid Saturday to protest proposed legislation that would recognize same sex marriage. The lower house of the Spanish Parliament [official website] approved the measure in April [JURIST report], and the Senate is expected to vote in upcoming weeks. Public response to the measure has been mixed. The Catholic Church [Spanish Catholic Bishops website, in Spanish] and Spains Popular Party [party website, in Spanish] have led opposition against the measure [JURIST report], while an opinion poll conducted by the Center for Sociological Investigations indicates 66 percent of Spaniards favor legalizing gay marriage. AP has more.
[JURIST] A leaked British Foreign and Commonwealth Office [official website] memorandum [text] published by the London Sunday Times indicates that British government ministers were forewarned by senior officials that the 2002 US and UK pre-war air strikes against Iraq were illegal under international law. According to the infamous Downing Street Memo [text] published by the Sunday Times in May, the air strikes were designed to provoke Saddam Hussein to retaliate in order to provide a justification for war. In 2002, the air space over Iraq was designated as a no-fly zone, with both the US and Britain authorized to patrol the area to enforce UN Security Resolution 688, however bombing began six months before the UN Security Council authorized the use of force under Resolution 1441 [text]. The Sunday Times has more.
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