An appeal court judge in Kenya accused of having links with suspected drug traffickers appeared before a special tribunal yesterday, the first of a series of trials aimed at tackling corruption in the judiciary. \nPhilip Waki is one of eight of the country's most senior judges accused of taking bribes. \nPresident Mwai Kibaki's government was elected in December 2002 on a platform of zero tolerance for sleaze, and this purge of the courts is seen as crucial to its campaign to clean up public life. \nUnder the former president, Daniel arap Moi, the judiciary was regarded with cynicism by Kenyans, who joked that it was "cheaper to buy a judge than hire a lawyer." \nGladwell Otieno of Transparency International, a global anti-corruption organization, said: "The new government found itself being stymied in their fight against corruption by the judiciary. Prosecution is one of the more difficult ways of fighting corruption, but it's what the public wants to see. I think the government has made a political decision to go and do one-off radical surgery." \nWaki, who was appointed to the high court in 1995 and became an appeal court judge last year, denies the charges and has vowed to prove his innocence. \nThe outcome of this first tribunal is expected to influence whether the trials of the other seven judges will go ahead, and there are fears that the judiciary may close ranks. \nOtieno said: "Kenya is a small country, and they definitely all know each other. These are colleagues trying each other."
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
They stand as eyesores to most passers-by and potential public health risks to authorities, decaying buildings wrapped in tangles of exposed wire, studded with protruding leaky plastic pipes, vegetation billowing from cracks and terraces where particulates from polluted air have accumulated over time. With skyscrapers and ultramodern developments on every side, some of these “nail houses” are also sitting on land worth millions of dollars in Shenzhen’s inferno of a property market, where new-unit and second-hand home prices rival London. In battles over land and development, the nail house phenomenon has become widespread throughout China over the past two decades, with owners
An Italian alpine resort on Friday remained on high alert over fears that a vast chunk of a glacier on the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif could plummet in high temperatures. “No one gets through! No cars, bikes or pedestrians,” was the message at a checkpoint where an automatic barrier and two guards blocked the small road snaking up into a lush valley below the Planpincieux glacier, near the town of Courmayeur and the Italian-French border. The blockade has largely been greeted with contempt by the locals, one of whom said: “It’s a joke.” The huge ice block measuring around 500,000 cubic
SHOW OF SOLIDARITY: The publisher’s ‘Apple Daily’ newspaper has had to raise the number of copies printed from 70,000 to 550,000 to meet a huge surge in demand They have occupied Hong Kong’s central business district, marched by the hundreds of thousands through the territory’s streets and endured tear gas and pepper spray in pitched battles with riot police. Hong Kong’s pro-democracy supporters are now wielding a new protest weapon: their stock-market trading accounts. To show support for Jimmy Lai (黎智英), the publisher and outspoken government critic who was on Monday arrested under the territory’s new national security legislation, Hong Kongers have been piling into shares of his media company Next Digital. The result: a more than 1,100 percent surge in two days that propelled the stock to a seven-year