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Suriname amnesty debate stalls

first_imgNewsRegional Suriname amnesty debate stalls by: – March 26, 2012 Share Share Sharing is caring! Sharecenter_img Tweet Suriname president, Desi BoutersePARAMARIBO, Suriname — A debate in the Surinamese parliament on Friday to discuss a proposed bill that may eventually end a murder trial against President Desi Bouterse was postponed indefinitely since there was no quorum to hold the meeting. Six coalition MPs submitted a bill to the National Assembly last Monday to amend the Amnesty Law 1989 in such a way that it would cover the period April 1982 — August 1992. This may ultimately mean that the ongoing but slow-moving trial against Bouterse as the main suspect would come to an end without a verdict. The bill would provide amnesty for Bouterse and his loyalists for all crimes committed between April 1, 1980 and August 19, 1992.Bouterse, Suriname’s former army chief and government leader from 1980 to 1987, together with over 20 co-defendants, is standing trial for the murder of 15 opponents of his then military government on December 8, 1982 in Fort Zeelandia, the then military headquarters in the capital. The amnesty move came just two weeks after co-defendant Ruben Rozendaal told the court that Bouterse was at the scene when the 15 men were brutally tortured and subsequently shot and killed. Bouterse came to power on February 25, 1980, when he led a successful military coup against the democratically elected Arron-administration.Around 1,000 Bouterse-supporters came to Independent Square next to the parliament on Friday to give moral support to Bouterse and his coalition MPs. During a surprise appearance the president told the gathering that he has nothing to do with the proposed bill. “If I wanted amnesty, we would have proposed this bill right after we came into office in 2010,” he told his supporters, claiming that Rozendaal, a former army lieutenant, was a “liar” and “traitor”. The bill requires a simple majority for approval in the 51-seat parliament. Several years ago Bouterse publicly claimed “political responsibility” for the murders, since he was government and army leader at that time, but denied killing anybody.Meanwhile, relatives of the victims, religious organizations, opposition in parliament, and local human rights organizations have called for rejection of the proposal. In an invited comment former president and currently a member of parliament, Ronald Venetiaan, said that the bill is “a blatant involvement in the trial”. He further noted, that the Amnesty Act 1989 was part of the peace and reconciliation process to bring an end to the internal armed conflicts from 1985-1992. “In December ’82 there was no armed conflict.”He indicated that the indictable offences that are covered by the Amnesty Law 1989 are no comparison to the extra-judicial killings of December 1982. Among others, the amnesty in 1989 covered crimes such as armed robbery, rape, arson, battery and killings during firefights between the combatants. “In December ‘82 it was different. People have been killed while in custody. People were taken from their home and while in custody tortured and subsequently shot and killed,” said Venetiaan. By Ivan CairoCaribbean News Now contributor 21 Views   no discussionslast_img read more

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Mourinho moving closer to Man Utd appointment

first_imgIt’s understood a draft contract is being drawn up by the club.There had been reports that a deal was in place to make sure Mourinho didn’t take a job somewhere else ahead of the decision to sack Louis van Gaal – which was confirmed last night. Elsewhere, captain Robbie Keane trained with the rest of the Republic of Ireland squad at the open session in the Aviva this morning. James Mc Carthy and Ciaran Clark sat out the session.McCarthy is carrying a groin and thigh injury but it’s not yet known what the issue with Clark is.Ireland face Netherlands this Friday at the Aviva in our second last Euro 2016 warm up.last_img

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Lionel Messi scores hat-trick as Barcelona power past Granada

first_imgLionel Messi was in fine form as he scored a hat-trick to inspire Barcelona to a 4-0 victory over Granada in their La Liga clash at the Camp Nou. Messi had put Barca 2-0 up after only 14 minutes, finishing off crosses from Arda Turan and Luis Suarez as Granada’s defending left a lot to be desired.The Barcelona forward netted a third just before the hour mark and Neymar added a fourth for the hosts with seven minutes left to play, Messi again contributing with a lovely dummy when he might have gone for a fourth.The comprehensive victory sees Luis Enrique’s side assume top spot in the table, albeit with Atletico Madrid facing Celta Vigo on Sunday.–last_img

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Chris Paul’s 21 points, 19 assists lead LA Clippers past Portland for seventh consecutive win

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error PORTLAND, Ore. >> The Los Angeles Clippers got their seventh straight win and sixth without Blake Griffin but all the attention was on a guy who didn’t play. Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum sat out of Portland’s 109-98 loss to the Clippers on Wednesday night because he was mistakenly left off the active roster that was turned in before the game. The “clerical error” caused confusion at the start of the game, but ultimately it meant that Portland’s second-leading scorer couldn’t play.That took some of the attention away from Chris Paul, who had 21 points and a season-high 19 assists for the Clippers, who have the league’s longest active winning streak at seven games. And that’s come despite the absence of Griffin, the team’s leading scorer with an average of 23.2 points a game, because of a partially torn left quadreiceps tendon. “Now we’re playing a lot smoother; we’re just trying to hold it down until the big fella gets back,” Paul said. “I’m going to keep saying this, we’re holding this together `till 32 gets back.”DeAndre Jordan had 14 points and 14 rebounds for his sixth consecutive double-double for the Clippers. Damian Lillard had 20 points and nine assists, while Mason Plumlee had a season-high 19 points for the Blazers, who trailed by as many as 23 points but closed the gap in the fourth quarter. Mo Harkless dunked to narrow Portland’s deficit to 97-91 with 4:35 left. Paul Pierce’s 3-pointer pulled the Clippers out front 101-91 and the Blazers couldn’t catch up. The uncertainty over McCollum, who is second on the team with an average of 21 points a game, marred the start of the game for the Blazers. center_img Allen Crabbe started in place of McCollum, who was dressed and on the bench at the start of the game but left for the locker room after the first quarter. Shortly before the break, the Blazers announced that McCollum was inactive “due to a clerical error in the NBA’s active list reporting.”Afterward, Blazers coach Terry Stotts took full responsibility for the error. “I signed the paper without really noticing it, but it’s my fault for not looking at it,” Stotts said. “Although we caught the error, we thought we’d caught it in time, apparently we did not, so CJ was ruled inactive, and that’s that.”McCollum said he was putting it all in the past. “It’s unfortunate, but it’s over with. Just moving on to the next game,” he said. The Clippers jumped out to an early 22-10 lead on Pierce’s 3-pointer. They extended the lead to 35-23 on Jamal Crawford’s 3-pointer and free throw. It was his 45th 4-point play, an ongoing NBA record.Los Angeles led 63-40 at the half, the team’s largest lead of the game. Lillard hit a 3-pointer that pulled the Blazers within 70-58 in the third quarter, then added another 3 that pulled Portland within 89-79 with just under 10 minutes left. Gerald Henderson’s tip and Harkless’ fast break layup and free throw closed the gap to 89-83. Wesley Johnson answered for the Clippers with a 3-pointer his first basket of the game to stop Portland’s momentum. It didn’t help Portland that Lillard was still getting back into form after missing seven games with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. The Blazers’ All-Star came back on Monday against the Memphis Grizzlies, but Portland fell 91-78. The Clippers were coming off a 130-99 victory over Philadelphialast_img