Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 30th 2013 Contents A38
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ior judicial official yes-
terday overturned the
prison sentence of a
Pakistani doctor who
helped the CIA find
Osama bin Laden and
ordered his re-trial,
citing procedural prob-
lems with the initial
The official, Sahibza-
da Mohammad Anis,
issued the ruling
because the person
who sentenced Dr
Shakil Afridi to 33 years
in prison was not authorised to hear
the case, said Feroz Shah, a govern-
Afridi was convicted in May 2012
of "conspiring against the state" by
giving money and providing medical
treatment to Islamic militants in
Pakistan s Khyber tribal area, not for
helping the CIA track down bin Laden.
The doctor s family and the mili-
tants denied the allegations.
The case has caused friction between
Pakistan and the United States,
complicating a relationship
that Washington views
as vital for fighting the Tal-
iban and al-Qaeda, as well
as negotiating an end to
the war in neighbouring
In the US and other
Western nations, Afridi was
viewed as a hero who
had helped eliminate the
world s most wanted man.
The doctor ran a vac-
cination programme for
the CIA to collect DNA in
an attempt to verify the
al-Qaida leader s presence
at the compound in the town of Abbot-
tabad. US commandos later killed
bin Laden there in May 2011 in a
Pakistani officials were outraged
by the bin Laden operation, which
led to international suspicion that they
had been harbouring al-Qaeda s founder.
In their eyes, Afridi was a traitor
who had collaborated with a foreign
spy agency in an illegal operation on
Pakistani soil. Officials in Washing-
ton have called for Afridi to be released.
COLOMBO---A Sri Lankan Cab-
inet minister questioned the impar-
tiality of the visiting United Nations
human rights chief yesterday, accus-
ing her of supporting ethnic
Tamil separatists because of her
own Tamil background and having
secret talks with activist groups out-
side of her official programme.
Navi Pillay, a South African of
Indian Tamil origin, is on a week-
long visit to Sri Lanka to review
its progress in investigating alleged
abuses during the long civil war
between government troops and sep-
aratist Tamil rebels that ended
four years ago.
Housing Minister Wimal Weer-
awansa said that after she complet-
ed her visit, Pillay would prepare
an "extremist and unjust report"
that is unfair to Sri Lanka because
of her ethnicity.
"Navi Pillay came here, as a Tamil
woman, to satisfy the wishes of Tamil
separatists," Weerawansa told
reporters, adding that a fair report
cannot be expected from her.
"She looks at problems in a
partial manner, with a preconceived
judgment," he said.
Weerawansa also accused Pillay
of holding secret meetings with
activist groups outside of her
official schedule and receiving
"forged documents and faked pho-
Pillay s spokesman Rupert Colville
said the rights chief was con-
ducting the mission as she would in
Pillay is to present her findings to
the UN Human Rights Council next
month. The council passed a res-
olution in March urging Sri Lanka
to more thoroughly investigate alleged
war crimes committed by gov-
ernment soldiers and the rebels.
It also called on Pillay s office to oral-
ly report on Sri Lanka s progress
in September and submit a detailed
report next March.
Government troops defeated
the Tamil Tigers in May 2009, end-
ing their attempt to create a sep-
arate state for Tamils. A UN report
said government troops may have
killed 40,000 Tamil civilians in
the final phase of the war.
On Tuesday, Pillay visited
Mullivaikkal village in northern
Sri Lanka, the site of the final
battle of the civil war, where
hundreds of civilians are alleged
to have died. War survivors there
complained to Pillay about miss-
ing relatives, military land grabs
and a life without basic facil-
ities more than four years
after the war s end. (AP)
VILNIUS---The Lithuanian presi-
dent s office has fired two high-rank-
ing Lithuanian diplomats who
criticised the president in tele-
phone conversations that were secret-
ly recorded and leaked on YouTube.
President Dalia Grybauskaite s office
yesterday said Lithuania s ambassa-
dor to Azerbaijan, Arunas Zurauskas,
and its ambassador to Hungary,
Nerijus Juska, will be removed from
duty by September 30.
It is not clear who recorded and put
the diplomats conversations on
YouTube in July. In the conversations,
the ambassadors criticised and
joked with each other about Gry-
bauskaite, Lithuanian Prime Minis-
ter Algirdas Butkeviciusand and the
countries where they serve.(AP)
staged an evening mountain
pass ambush on an Afghan police
convoy patrolling a key high-
way, killing 15 officers and wound-
ing ten in western Afghanistan s
Farah province, a provincial
official said yesterday, the latest
in a string of escalating insurgent
attacks around the country.
The ambush late Wednesday
came on the same day as the
Taliban launched their most com-
plex attack this year, a failed
effort to overrun a NATO base
in eastern Ghazni province.
In the mountain pass attack,
insurgents fled unharmed after they
attacked about 40 officers in
the convoy driving on the main
trade route through the province.
And in another strike nearby,
rockets killed six truck drivers
and destroyed dozens of trucks that
carry fuel for coalition forces.
The Taliban have escalated attacks
in recent months as they try to take
advantage of the withdrawal of for-
eign troops, who handed over secu-
rity for the country to Afghan forces
two months ago. A total of 35 peo-
ple were killed and 73 were wound-
ed on Wednesday in the ambush,
the base assault, and in three other
attacks around the country. (AP)
Taliban kill 15 Afghan police in ambush
UN High Commissioner for
Human Rights Navi Pillay, talks to
ethnic Tamil war survivors during
her visit to Mullivaikkal, Sri
Lanka, Tuesday. AP PHOTO
Sri Lankan minister
criticises UN rights chief
Retrial for doctor who
helped CIA find Osama
2 Lithuanian diplomats
fired amid YouTube scandal
Dr Shakil Afridi
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