International brief ~ Uganda loses key spy records on Besigye in treason trial
D. Wes Rist at 8:34 AM ET
[JURIST] Leading Thursday's international brief, Uganda's chief prosecutor Simon Byabakama Mugenyi told the High Court where opposition leader Kizza Besigye [JURIST news archive] is being tried on treason charges [JURIST report] that files detailing the intelligence gathering efforts against Besigye have been "misplaced." Mugenyi was supposed to produce the document Tuesday after state witness Lt. Migadde Ssemakula claimed to have submitted a file of intelligence reports that detailed Besigye's treasonous behavior. The court gave Mugenyi 12 hours to produce the document, and when it was not available, required it's production in cross-examination on Wednesday. After failing to produce the document there as well, Mugenyi obtained permission to search for the file until the next court session, scheduled for May 2. The prosecution has had a number of setbacks [JURIST report] in Besigye's case, which critics claim is simply a method to discredit the popular opposition leader in Uganda [JURIST news archive]. Uganda's Daily Monitor has local coverage.
In other international legal news ...
- Sudanese foreign ministry spokesman Jamal Ibrahim has criticized the Security Council resolution [JURIST report] imposing sanctions against four Sudanese officials for their intentional delay in the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Darfur [JURIST news archive]. Ibrahim called the decision to impose sanctions a "use of the stick and negative statements" and said that sanctions were the last thing needed as the April 30 deadline for peace talks with rebels in Darfur draws closer. Sudan [JURIST news archive] remains reluctant to permit the proposed takeover of UN peacekeepers in Darfur [JURIST report], warning that any attempt at inserting western military forces in the area will be viewed as a violation of the country's sovereignty. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage.
- South Korean Prosecutor-General Choung Sang-myoung has approved the arrest of Hyundai Motors Group [corporate website] CEO Chung Mong-koo on charges of embezzlement, misappropriation and bribery. Prosecutors are also investigating his son, Kia Motors President Chung Eui-sun, on related charges. The Supreme Public Prosecutor's Office has alleged that the men used their positions [JURIST report] to profit illegally in business deals, pervert the course of justice, and influence elected government officials. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of South Korea [JURIST news archive]. AP has more. Chosun Ilbo has local coverage.
- An ongoing police investigation into alleged corruption by Zanu PF [party website] officials in Zimbabwe [JURIST news archive] has been stalled after government ministers and elected representatives used their power to block the probe. Police were investigating allegations that elected officials and government ministers were taking fuel allocated to them at a subsidized rate for use on government business and selling it on the black market or using it on their personal farms. Two senior Zanu PF officials have already been brought before a court, but a senior police official was quoted as saying that government ministers had thrown up a "brick wall" by refusing to cooperate. Fuel is at a record high cost in Zimbabwe, with even crucial social services like ambulance and fire vehicles often unable to afford gas. ZimOnline has local coverage.
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