Politician jailed for insults
A court yesterday sentenced main opposition leader and former legislator Mussallam al-Barrak to five years in prison after he was convicted of insulting the emir. “The court has sentenced the defendant Mussallam al-Barrak to five years in prison with immediate effect,” Judge Wael al-Atiqi said. Barrak was convicted of making statements deemed offensive to Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah at a public rally on Oct. 15 last year. He was detained for four days that month and released on bail. He is also facing trial on several other counts, including charges of storming parliament and taking part in protests. On Monday last week, his defense team walked out of the court after the judge refused requests to hear defense witnesses. Al-Barrak had asked al-Atiqi to postpone the trial until he found a new lawyer, but the judge refused and insisted he would issue the verdict.
Bodies found in Cancun
Seven bodies were found blindfolded and stacked on top of each other in a courtyard in a Cancun house, a top state police official said on Sunday. “They were blindfolded with tape tan. The presumed cause of death is suffocation,” State Judicial Police Director Arturo Olivares Mendiola told local reporters. According to the preliminary investigation, the victims had been kidnapped on Saturday night near a park and were murdered in the early hours of Sunday. The bodies were thrown on the courtyard of a house apparently used to sell drugs and guarded by thugs.
Official security alert issued
The government on Sunday warned over insecurity in South Darfur State, where rebels said they destroyed an army garrison and the top local official has been replaced by a retired general. The Sudan Liberation Army’s Minni Minnawi faction said they killed an unspecified number of government troops in an attack on the Donki Dreisa Base, about 50km south of the state capital, Nyala. Vice President Ali Osman Taha “confirmed the importance of security and stability,” justice and rule of law in South Darfur, the official SUNA news agency reported. Taha made the comments at a meeting with new South Darfur Governor Adam Mahmoud. The ex-general replaced civilian governor Hamad Ismail, who was removed on Friday.
Bush becomes grandfather
Former president George W. Bush has become a grandfather after his daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, gave birth to her first child, a daughter, on Saturday night in New York City. The former president announced the birth in a statement on Sunday. The baby’s name is Margaret Laura “Mila” Hager. The former president said the baby was named after her grandmothers, adding that “Jenna and Mila are healthy. And our family is elated.”
Thousands of people demonstrated against the monarchy on Sunday, demanding the return of a democratically elected head of state in another blow for embattled King Juan Carlos I. The marchers thronged Marid’s Puerta del Sol on the 82nd anniversary of the establishment of the nation’s last democratically elected republic, which was overthrown by an army uprising that led to a civil war and the 36-year military dictatorship of General Francisco Franco. Franco appointed Juan Carlos as his successor as head of state, a job the royal took over upon Franco’s death in 1975.