Sat, Sep 19, 2009 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■NEW ZEALAND

Banjo killer gets 12 years

A Hungarian tourist who used a banjo to kill a 69-year-old gay man, whom he claimed had made homosexual advances, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for manslaughter yesterday in the Auckland High Court. The judge said that Ferdinand Ambach, 32, a dive master, had committed a “truly cruel and brutal crime” and there was no evidence that the victim, Ronald James Brown, had sexually assaulted him, Radio New Zealand reported. At Ambach’s trial in July, he was said to have beaten the victim with a banjo and rammed the handle down Brown’s throat. A jury cleared Ambach of the more serious charge of murder after he pleaded that Brown provoked him with unwanted advances when he took him back to his apartment after they met at a bar in December 2007. The court was told that police were called by a neighbor and arrived to find Brown badly injured and Ambach screaming in Hungarian and throwing furniture through an upstairs window. Brown died three days later in hospital.

■AUSTRALIA

Fugitive gives himself up

A fugitive on the run after breaking his dog from the local pound’s death row is appealing for his pet to be spared and thousands of dollars of fines waived. Police said yesterday that 41-year-old former boxer Ronnie Gilbertson had been in contact and wanted to be reunited with his wife and young family after more than a week on the run. “He’s basically given himself up, so I suggested that he does the right thing and brings the dog with him and gets the whole situation over and done with,” Mount Gambier police spokesman Andy Stott told national broadcaster ABC. Total surrender, however, could mean death for Max, a big black mongrel, who was awaiting a lethal injection after being ordered destroyed for killing sheep and attacking other dogs. Giving himself up could also mean big bills for odd-job man Gilbertson, who racked up thousands of dollars in legal costs trying to save Max.

■MALAYSIA

Couple to be caned for sex

An Islamic court has ordered an unmarried couple to be caned for trying to have sex in a car in the latest of a series of harsh punishments for Muslims in Malaysia, a lawyer said yesterday. The Shariah High Court in central Selangor State sentenced the couple on Wednesday to six strokes of the cane after they pleaded guilty to trying to have sex out of wedlock in their car, prosecutor Shafezan Rusli said. Shafezan said Islamic religious police caught Mohamad Shahrin Abdul Majid, 29, and Nadiah Najat Hussin, 24, with only their undergarments on in a car at an office parking lot in May.

■AUSTRALIA

Roo freaks out shrink

A psychologist had to be rescued from her office after a “frantic” kangaroo crashed through the window and leapt around the room, toppling furniture, a colleague said on Thursday. Suzanne Habib jumped screaming atop her desk in the Queensland town of Atherton as the 1.5m marsupial burst through the window behind her with a “big bang,” colleague Tony Baddock said. “Poor old Suzanne just screamed and went straight up in the air,” he said. “The roo was bounding around all over the place, it really was quite frantic.” Baddock said he helped his colleague escape over a toppled bookshelf. After smashing around the room for six minutes, the kangaroo hopped into the main part of the building. “I was then able to block its pathway and encourage it to head out the front door,” he said.

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