Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


[Here is an interesting set of stories appearing back-to-back on Radio Netherlands Worldwide. -jlt]

US Supreme Court rejects Bush era abuse lawsuits
Published: Monday 18 May 2009 20:34 UTC
Last updated: Tuesday 19 May 2009 16:11 UTC

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that FBI Director Robert Mueller and other senior government officials of the Bush administration cannot be prosecuted for the abuse of suspected terrorists at the hands of their subordinates. Earlier, an appeals court had ruled that the senior officials were responsible for the abuse.

The case was brought by a Pakistani who was arrested for immigration violations soon after the 9/11 attacks. He spent six months in solitary confinement, during which time the light in his cell was kept burning night and day. He said he was repeatedly forced to strip naked and was also subjected to verbal abuse.

Turkish court says president must face trial
Published: Monday 18 May 2009 18:44 UTC
Last updated: Tuesday 19 May 2009 18:19 UTC

A court in the Turkish capital Ankara has ruled that President Abdullah Gül must be prosecuted for embezzlement of government funds. The charges date back to the 1990s, before he became president. Mr Gül allegedly embezzled funds intended for the election campaign of the Islamist Welfare Party, the predecessor of the current AK party.

The president's office has rejected the accusations, saying that according to the constitution, the president can only be put on trial for treason. The AK party is regularly at loggerheads with the Turkish establishment, including many judges and soldiers who fear that the current government has a hidden Islamist agenda.
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