Date: Apr 5, 2000 [ 0: 0: 0]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 3 Apr 2000 to 4 Apr 2000

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 3 Apr 2000 to 4 Apr 2000
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There are 4 messages totalling 246 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Saddam accuses Iran of mistreating Iraqi POWs
2. Update 1-Passover furlough sought for Iran Jews
3. Head of Russian College Suspended
4. Iran court takes custody of shooting suspects

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Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2000 07:09:11 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Saddam accuses Iran of mistreating Iraqi POWs

Saddam accuses Iran of mistreating Iraqi POWs


BAGHDAD, April 4 (Reuters) - President Saddam Hussein has slammed Iranian
rulers for mistreating Iraqi prisoners captured by Iran during the 1980-88
war between the two neighbours, newspapers said on Tuesday.

They said Saddam's comments came after reading a newly- published novel
written by an Iraqi prisoner who was recently released by Iran. Saddam was
amazed by ``the way the criminal Iranian rulers tortured Iraqi prisoners, in
a manner which was not even used by Nazis,'' the papers said.

``By doing so they want to prove that they have nothing to do with humanity
and the logic of God and human being,'' Saddam said.

The papers said Saddam ordered the novel entitled ``Martyrs without
Coffins'' to be translated into several languages and to be turned into a
radio and television series.

On Monday an Iraqi newspaper said that the International Committee of the Red
Cross (ICRC) had registered an additional 1,188 Iraqi prisoners captured by
Iran during the Iraq-Iran war.

A Red Cross official said that some 424 messages had arrived recently from
Iraqi POWs detained in Iran, and most of them had been passed on to their
families.

Tension between the two countries has escalated in recent weeks over
cross-border attacks by the Iraq-based Mujahideen Khalq, the main exiled
Iranian opposition group.

Baghdad and Tehran routinely swap accusations over POWs, one of several
issues hampering the normalisation of relations between the two former
enemies.

Iraq says Iran still holds 13,000 of its soldiers. Iran says several thousand
Iranian POWs are jailed in Iraq. Baghdad denies holding any.

Iranian authorities say thousands of Iraqi prisoners have sought asylum in
Iran through the (ICRC).

------------------------------

Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2000 07:09:57 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Update 1-Passover furlough sought for Iran Jews

Update 1-Passover furlough sought for Iran Jews

By Mehrdad Balali


TEHRAN, April 4 (Reuters) - A leading Jewish group in Iran asked on Tuesday
that Iranian Jews imprisoned on spying charges be freed on bail to spend
Passover with their families.

``Since the Jewish religious ceremony Passover is to be held on (April
20-26), we would kindly request that the prisoners be released on bail to
spend these sacred days among their families,'' Tehran Central Jewish
Committee said in a statement.

It also asked the authorities to delay ``for a few days'' a trial set for
April 13 in the southern city of Shiraz for the 13, who could face the death
penalty, to allow them to find lawyers and contact their families.

The Jews were arrested with eight Moslems last year on charges of spying for
Israel, Iran's arch foe. Three of the 13 have been freed on bail.

Authorities have not revealed the charges, saying only that the accused
allegedly passed secret information to Israel, which has denied any links to
the group.

Iran's judiciary had said on Monday that the accused had been assigned
experienced lawyers by the independent bar association because they had
failed to name their own. Judiciary spokesman Hossein Sadeqi also said that
the trial could be delayed if defence lawyers asked for more time to prepare.

The committee said the accused had not been allowed contact with members of
the Jewish community to help choose lawyers.

``Unfortunately, all our efforts for a constructive contact have gotten
nowhere. We ask that the prisoners be allowed to exchange views with their
families and use their legal right to choose an attorney,'' the group said.

The case has triggered an international outcry and hampered reformist
President Mohammad Khatami's drive for better ties with the West.

France had said that it wanted a fair trial for the accused, and said that
Europe would be watching the case carefully.

Iran warned foreign countries not to meddle.

``The trial of the suspects is an internal matter and any interference and
prejudgement is rejected,'' Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said.

``We have repeatedly said that Iran's judiciary will investigate the case
with maximum independence, and the position of other countries will have no
effect,'' he said.

Iran's Jewish community has shrunk to about 35,000 members from more than
80,000 before the 1979 Islamic revolution. Many have emigrated to the United
States and Israel.

------------------------------

Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2000 15:12:31 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Head of Russian College Suspended

Head of Russian College Suspended

.c The Associated Press


MOSCOW (AP) - The head of a Russian engineering university has been suspended
following allegations that the school helped Iran develop missiles by
teaching Iranian students, a newspaper said Tuesday.

Yuri Savelyev, the rector of Baltic State Technical University in St.
Petersburg, was suspended by an Education Ministry decree in early March but
was still receiving his pay, the daily Moscow Times reported, citing a
ministry spokeswoman.

The suspension came two weeks after the Russian Hard-Currency and Export
Control service advised the school to stop training postgraduate students
from Iran, the report said.

Baltic State, also known as Voenmekh, is an engineering school that
specializes in rocket science and has close ties to the Russian military. Its
professors helped design the Soviet Union's nuclear missile fleet in the
1960s and 70s.

The school's curriculum includes classes on secret military technologies, but
university officials denied that the Iranians had access to any of that
information, the Moscow Times said.

The United States had repeatedly accused the university of selling missile
technology to Iran, and in 1998 the U.S. State Department introduced
sanctions against the school.

Savelyev claimed his suspension was the result of political maneuvering, and
said he and the university were unfairly victimized.

In a letter to President Vladimir Putin, Savelyev called his suspension the
``butchery of Voenmekh by bureaucratic authorities in the name of political
ambitions and the interests of the United States,'' the Moscow Times
reported.

Savelyev is known for his less-than-amicable attitude to the U.S.
administration. Last spring, when NATO launched airstrikes against
Yugoslavia, he fired four American professors teaching business at an
institute affiliated with Baltic State.

He hired them back several days later, after they signed a letter saying they
did not approve of NATO bombings, the Moscow Times reported.

------------------------------

Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2000 15:13:07 EDT
From: Sohrab68@AOL.COM
Subject: Iran court takes custody of shooting suspects

Iran court takes custody of shooting suspects

By Mehrdad Balali


TEHRAN, April 4 (Reuters) - Iran's secret police has handed over to a court
suspects held for the shooting of a top reformer, in an apparent bid to avert
a row with the conservative-controlled judiciary.

The suspects are Islamic extremists detained in connection with last month's
attempted assassination of Saeed Hajjarian, an ally of President Mohammad
Khatami.

An unnamed intelligence ministry official told the state news agency IRNA on
Tuesday that they had been turned over to a revolutionary court.

The move followed a blunt warning from Tehran's top judge Abbasali Alizadeh
to the secret police to hand over the eight suspects, suggesting they were
being mistreated in detention.

``To prevent any conceivable punishment, threats, pressure, or injury to the
accused, it is necessary that they be turned over...so that interrogations
are carried out under the supervision of a judge,'' Alizadeh said on Monday.

Judiciary spokesman Hossein Sadeqi told state television on Tuesday that the
suspects' transfer to the court paved the way for their trial, possibly on
April 19.

But the intelligence ministry official said the handover was premature,
suggesting that the probe was still incomplete. ``We believe the case was not
yet ready to go to court,'' he said.

Last month, Khatami ordered the intelligence ministry to root out political
violence, widely believed to be waged by Islamic hardliners to undermine his
liberal reforms.

REFORMERS OPPOSE QUICK TRIAL

Reformers, whose influence is growing in the secret police, say Hajjarian's
shooting may be part of a wider scheme by hardliners within the clerical
establishment and the elite Revolutionary Guards to destabilise Khatami's
government.

Reformers fear that a quick trial of the suspects may spoil the opportunity
to shed light on the roots of the violence.

``The judiciary is apparently in a hurry to try this case, but we believe a
meticulous probe is needed to discover the origin of violence,'' newspapers
quoted Mohammad Reza Khatami, a brother and senior aide of the president, as
saying.

The judiciary is independent of the Khatami government and remains in
conservative hands despite a recent reshuffle in its top echelon.

One of the suspects is a low-ranking member of the Revolutionary Guards.

The Guards, who arrested the suspects, denied suggestions by some reformers
that the hardline-led force may have had a role in the shooting.

``It is surprising that the Revolutionary Guards who have always been at the
forefront of the fight against terrorism should be subjected to cowardly
attacks and propaganda,'' said a Guards statement read on state media.

Hajjarian remains under intensive care at a hospital with a bullet lodged in
his neck.

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End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 3 Apr 2000 to 4 Apr 2000
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