Foreign Policy Blogs

News Roundup: Kosovo Albanian leader charged, Chemical Ali to hang in Baghdad, Brit to defend Charles Taylor

Kosovar Albanian charged in Serbia:  (AP) Sinan Morina, an ethnic Albanian, was charged with “expulsion, imprisonment, torture, rape and killing of eight Serb civilians” by Serbian prosecutors in Belgrade today.  Morina is alleged to have abducted the Serbian civilians from their village, executed them, and deposited their bodies in a cave.  The victims were either shot or thrown from a cliff.  Morina was arrested in neighboring Montenegro for car theft and handed over to Serbian officials because his name showed up on a watch list.  His arrest comes at a time when ethnic Albanians are seeking independence from Serbia.

Chemical Ali will hang in Baghdad: (AP)  Hassan al-Majjid, also known as “Chemical Ali” for his penchant to use chemical weapons against civilians, will be hanged in Baghdad if an appeals court upholds his charges of violations of the laws of war.  Some had campaigned for al-Majjid to have his sentence carried out in Iraqi Kurdistan, where the atrocities were committed.  However, concerns over perceived revenge killings prompted officials to maintain the Baghdad venue.  Al-Majjid is convicted of overseeing Operation Anfal, where 90% of the Kurdish population – or nearly 180,000 – was wiped out as part of a cleansing campaign against the seperatist peshmerga rebels. Al-Majjid was found guilty of genocide on June 24.

Brit appointed to defend Charles Taylor:  (AP)  The United Nations backed Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) appointed a London based lawyer – Courtenay Griffiths -to represent former Liberian president, Charles Taylor.  Taylor is being charged with arming and supporting Sierra Leone rebels in exchange for diamonds.   The Sierra Leone rebels often used heroin and alcohol to desensitize child soldiers prior to combat operations.  Taylor had originally boycotted his trial at the criminal court in The Hague, protesting his perceived lack of adequate counsel.  His trial is expected to resume on August 20.



Daniel Graeber

Daniel Graeber is a writer for United Press International covering Iraq, Afghanistan and the broader Levant. He has published works on international and constitutional law pertaining to US terrorism cases and on child soldiers. His first major work, entitled The United States and Israel: The Implications of Alignment, is featured in the text, Strategic Interests in the Middle East: Opposition or Support for US Foreign Policy. He holds a MA in Diplomacy and International Conflict Management from Norwich University, where his focus was international relations theory, international law, and the role of non-state actors.

Areas of Focus:International law; Middle East; Government and Politics; non-state actors


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