In the World

Posted: June 25, 2010

A Vienna court backs American

VIENNA - An Austrian judge sent a case involving allegations of police brutality by a black American to a higher court, saying the matter was too serious to be handled by her district court.

After a day of testimony from both sides and an expert witness, Judge Margaretha Richter said the case needed to go to a provincial court. She said that based on the testimony, the undercover officer acted improperly in tackling 36-year-old Mike Brennan to the ground in a Vienna subway station on Feb. 11, 2009, severely injuring him.

Police said they mistook Brennan for a drug dealer they were looking for. Brennan, a teacher at the Vienna International School, welcomed the judge's decision and remarks, saying they sent a message.

"Even if it takes longer, hopefully in the end everything will work out like it should," he said. - AP

Belgian prelate targeted in probe

BRUSSELS - Police raided the home and office of the recently retired archbishop of Belgium on Thursday, carrying off documents and a personal computer as part of an investigation of sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests, officials said.

Police and prosecutors would not say whether former Archbishop Godfried Danneels was suspected of abuse himself or simply had records pertaining to allegations against another person.

The raids followed recent statements to police "that are related to the sexual abuse of children within the church," said Jean-Marc Meilleur, a spokesman for the Brussels prosecutor's office.

Police took documents but did not question Danneels at his home just north of Brussels, said a spokesman for the former archbishop. - AP

A Tibetan, once hailed, now jailed

BEIJING - A Tibetan environmentalist and businessman once praised by Chinese officials as a model philanthropist was sentenced to 15 years in prison Thursday on charges of dealing in looted antiquities, in a case supporters said was aimed at punishing his activism.

The trial of Karma Samdrup came after he spoke up for his two brothers, also activists, who were detained after accusing local officials in eastern Tibet of poaching endangered species.

Authorities in tightly controlled Tibet are sensitive to social activism and criticism.

The cases come amid increased repression of Tibetan intellectuals, an echo of the massive security crackdown that followed rioting in the capital, Lhasa, in 2008 in which 22 people died. - AP


Toronto police pulled over a car with a makeshift container on its roof near the site of this weekend's global summit and arrested a man after discovering items in the car that could be used as weapons, including gasoline containers, a chain saw, a baseball bat, a cross bow, arrows, and sledge hammers.

A spate of attacks targeting Iraqi security forces and their allies killed at least 10 people on Thursday, half in suicide bombings in the northern city of Mosul, officials said.

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