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iranEx-prosecutor denies role in deaths

Tehran's former chief prosecutor on Sunday rejected a parliamentary report blaming him in part for the torture and deaths of at least three anti-government protesters during the turmoil after June's disputed presidential election.

Saeed Mortazavi said the parliamentary report contained "mistakes and deficiencies" and let the media implicate him. He also accused lawmakers of showing sympathy for a "bunch of hooligans."

The head of the parliamentary committee that probed the prisoners' abuse stood by the report and called for Mortazavi's prosecution.

"A trial needs to be held to investigate the issue, and Mr. Mortazavi has to present his claims in court," lawmaker Parviz Sorori was quoted by the semiofficial Mehr news agency as saying Sunday. The probe was carried out on the "basis of documents that are available and undeniable," added the conservative Sorori.

After months of denials, Iran's judiciary acknowledged last month that three detainees swept up in the crackdown on opposition supporters after the June election were beaten to death by their jailers.


U.S. drone attack kills up to 15 people

Missiles fired from U.S. aircraft killed as many as 15 people in western Pakistan on Sunday, Pakistani security officials said. The target was a compound owned by a member of the Mehsud tribe, which leads the Pakistani Taliban, in the Shaktu area of South Waziristan. The area is near the border with Afghanistan where the Pakistani military has been conducting operations against the Taliban.


U.S. murder suspect wounded, arrested

An American from Hawaii, accused of fatally shooting the son of an official working in President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's office, was critically wounded today when he opened fire at police officers trying to arrest him. Two police agents also were wounded in a shootout at the house of Jason Ivler's parents in a Manila suburb, said National Bureau of Investigation spokesman Ricardo Diaz. Ivler, 28, was arrested and taken to a hospital in critical condition, police said. The shooting occurred Nov. 18 after a traffic altercation in Manila.

• Fire raced through a slum along the rim of Manila Bay, leaving 4,000 homeless and killing a 5-year-old girl.

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JFK security breach suspect arraigned

A man returning from Haiti who walked through a restricted door and set off an alarm that led to the evacuation of a terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport Saturday told police he went through by mistake. Jules Paul Bouloute, 57, was arraigned Sunday on charges including first-degree criminal tampering and third-degree criminal trespass. He didn't enter a plea and was released without bail. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted on the most serious charge.


Israel says visit ends diplomatic feud

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Sunday that a daylong visit to Turkey helped end an ugly diplomatic feud. He told reporters the countries had moved beyond a disagreement that erupted after Israel's deputy foreign minister deliberately humiliated the Turkish ambassador to express anger over an anti-Israeli show on Turkish television. Israel apologized, and Barak said at a joint news conference with Turkey's defense minister that, "I believe it was a mistake, and the right step was taken according to the norms of diplomacy."

• Israel for the first time sent a Cabinet minister to the United Arab Emirates, a small Gulf country with which it doesn't have relations, to attend a conference on alternative energy.


Right-wing billionaire wins presidency

Billionaire Sebastian Pinera, 60, won the presidential vote Sunday in the country's first democratic election of a right-wing ruler in 52 years. Pinera earned 52 percent to 48 for the ruling coalition's candidate Eduardo Frei, ending two decades of center-left rule since Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship.


Presidential election heads to a runoff

Two of the chief combatants in the 2004 Orange Revolution, Viktor F. Yanukovich, a former prime minister who advocates closer relations with Russia, and Prime Minister Yulia V. Tymoshenko, one of the Orange heroes, face off in an election for president on Feb. 7. President Viktor A. Yushchenko, another leader of the Orange Revolution that brought to power a pro-Western government that has left the public disillusioned, was fifth in Sunday's voting.


Earthquake in south, cold in north kill 11

Landslides triggered by a 3.4-magnitude earthquake killed at least seven in Guizhou province in the south. In the northwest, extreme cold and blizzard conditions killed four. Some 100,000 homes were flattened or damaged by storms in Xinjiang. More than 15,000 head of livestock died.

Times wires

iranEx-prosecutor denies role in deaths 01/17/10 [Last modified: Monday, January 18, 2010 12:05am]
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