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World in brief: Police identify Litvinenko suspect

Sun., Jan. 21, 2007

British police have identified the man they believe fatally poisoned a former Russian spy with radioactive polonium-210 in London last year, the Times reported Saturday.

The suspected killer of Alexander Litvinenko, a former colonel in the Russian Federal Security Service, called himself “Vladislav” and arrived in London from Hamburg on Nov. 1, when Litvinenko fell sick, the British newspaper reported.

The police believe the man mixed polonium-210 in some tea that he gave to Litvinenko.

The man was filmed by security cameras when he arrived at Heathrow Airport.

The police described the man as being in his early 30s, tall, with short black hair and distinctive Central Asian features.


Leader’s son warns Europe

The son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi warned European Parliament members Saturday against politicizing the case of five Bulgarian nurses convicted of infecting Libyan children with HIV and sentenced to death.

The message from Seif al-Islam Gadhafi came in response to European Commission threats that Libyan-European relations would be harmed if the Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor convicted of the same charges are executed.

He also cautioned that European pressures would “hinder efforts exerted in several directions to reach a just solution and complete settlement for this issue.” He did not elaborate.


Suspects agree to deportation

At least three Algerian men detained as suspected terrorists and held without trial have agreed to be deported from Britain, their lawyer said Saturday.

Gareth Peirce said three of her clients chose to return to their native country, despite concerns they are likely to face torture at the hands of Algerian authorities.

One client had told her that after almost five years of detention in Britain, “he preferred a quick death there rather than an endless, slow death here,” Peirce said.

The British Broadcasting Corp. reported that a total of five men had agreed to return to Algeria voluntarily. It said the five were part of a group of 27 foreign nationals being held on grounds that they are a threat to national security, several of whom have been in custody without trial for more than four years.

Britain’s Home Office refused to confirm whether any suspects had agreed to voluntary deportation and said it would not comment on the status of any of the 27 being held.


Police charged in beating death

A man who tried to commit suicide by throwing himself onto the tracks of the Mexico City subway was later beaten to death by police, prosecutors said Saturday.

Two policemen who took custody of the man after he was removed from the tracks on Thursday were charged with homicide for allegedly beating him to death in a patrol car, the Mexico City attorney general’s office said in a statement.

Truck driver Albano Ramirez Santos, reportedly despondent over the theft of his truck, tried to kill himself by jumping onto the subway tracks. Trains were halted and station employees removed him from the tracks.

Police officers Jose de Jesus Sanchez Lemus and Carmelo Campechano Granados took the truck driver to a police station. But Ramirez Santos was unconscious when they arrived and a forensic report said he died of blows to the chest and head unrelated to the suicide attempt.


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