July 16, 2008 in Nation/World

Man complains of coercive tactics

 

Salim Ahmed Hamdan, the alleged al-Qaida driver who faces a historic military trial next week, testified Tuesday that a female interrogator elicited information from him using sexually suggestive behavior that he called “improper.”

Hamdan, a former driver for Osama bin Laden who is accused in a terrorism conspiracy, told a military court that during questioning in 2002 a woman interrogator “came close to me, she came very close, with her whole body towards me. I couldn’t do anything. I was afraid of the soldiers.”

“Did she touch your thigh?” asked Hamdan’s attorney, Charles Swift.

“Yes. … I said to her, ‘What do you want?’ ” Hamdan said at a pretrial hearing. “She said, ‘I want you to answer all of my questions.’ ”

“Did you answer all of her questions after that?” Swift asked. Hamdan said he did.

Hamdan’s attorneys are seeking to persuade a judge to throw out incriminating statements he allegedly made to interrogators at the U.S. military prison here, arguing that they were obtained through coercive interrogation tactics.

His trial, scheduled for Monday, would be the first military commission conducted by the United States in more than half a century.

Sydney, Australia

Lucky koala OK after a wild ride

They call this koala bear “lucky.”

The 3-year-old male koala was struck by a car and carried for seven miles with his head and arm wedged through the vehicle’s front grill, but was not badly hurt.

Staff members at the Australian Wildlife Hospital in Queensland state dubbed him Ely “Lucky” Grills, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported on Tuesday.

“He was very flat and unresponsive for a couple of hours, but (after) a bit of TLC and some feed and some fluids – and a bit of pain relief because obviously he would have had a headache – he was up and eating and doing really well,” hospital manager Gail Gipp told ABC.

Stockholm, Sweden

Ride collapse injures 30 people

A theme park ride collapsed Tuesday in western Sweden, injuring 30 people, officials said.

Several people were thrown out of the swinging Rainbow ride at the Liseberg theme park in Goteborg and squeezed as the seating platform tipped to one side, city police spokeswoman Malin Sahlstrom said.

The injuries ranged from bone fractures to shock. None was life-threatening.

From wire reports

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