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Spain ex-policeman denies Franco-era torture claim

A retired Spanish policeman denied Thursday torturing people during the country's Franco dictatorship and repeated his refusal to be extradited to Argentina for trial on alleged crimes against humanity. A judge in Argentina in September 2013 called for the extradition of Antonio Gonzalez Pacheco, known as "Billy the Kid", along with another former Spanish policeman, accusing them of torturing prisoners in the latter years of General Francisco Franco's regime.

Spain ex-policeman fights extradition on 'torture' claim

A Spanish ex-policeman Thursday fought against extradition to Argentina where a judge wants to try him for alleged torture decades ago during the Franco dictatorship in Spain, a judicial source said. A federal judge in Argentina has issued an international arrest warrant for Jesus Munecas Aguilar, 75, under a principle of universal jurisdiction, which allows courts to judge certain cases of human rights abuses committed in other countries.

U.N. Arms Trade Treaty takes leap toward entry into force

By Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty took a major step forward on its eventual entry into force on Wednesday as 18 countries, including five of the world's top 10 arms exporters, delivered proof of its ratification to the United Nations. Exactly one year ago, the 193-member U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the treaty, which aims to regulate the $85 billion arms industry and to keep weapons out of the hands of human rights abusers and criminals.

Judge orders former NFL star Darren Sharper to remain in jail

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former professional football star Darren Sharper, who is accused of drugging and raping two women in California, must remain in jail in Los Angeles pending a possible extradition request from Arizona over sexual assault charges in that state, a judge ruled on Monday.

Russia steps up customs checks on goods from Ukraine: officials

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian border guards have stepped up checks on goods entering from Ukraine, officials from the customs services and an agricultural inspection service said on Thursday. "Russian customs have increased customs checks, acting on information about possible attempts to bring contraband in from Ukraine," said Dmitry Kotikov, a customs spokesman. (Reporting by Maria Kiselyova and Tatyana Ustinova, writing by Thomas Grove)

Spain judge draws fire over Iraq killing case

A judge in Spain drew criticism Wednesday for defying the government by pushing on with an investigation into the 2003 killing of a Spanish journalist by US fire in Iraq. Judge Santiago Pedraz at the National Court had refused on Monday to shelve the case of Jose Couso, a Spanish cameraman killed in Baghdad, despite a recent reform to restrict such probes. Pedraz in 2010 issued international warrants for three US soldiers held responsible for the shelling of the Palestine Hotel which killed Couso, a cameraman for Spanish network Telecinco.

Spain judge draws fire over Iraq killing case

A judge in Spain drew criticism Wednesday for defying the government by pushing on with an investigation into the 2003 killing of a Spanish journalist by US fire in Iraq. Judge Santiago Pedraz at the National Court had refused on Monday to shelve the case of Jose Couso, a Spanish cameraman killed in Baghdad, despite a recent reform to restrict such probes. Pedraz in 2010 issued international warrants for three US soldiers held responsible for the shelling of the Palestine Hotel which killed Couso, a cameraman for Spanish network Telecinco.

Spain rolls back universal jurisdiction

Madrid, Mar 12 (EFE).- Spain's Senate approved on Wednesday a bill to restrict courts' application of the principle of universal jurisdiction, which holds that courts in any country may act in cases involving crimes against humanity no matter where they are committed. The measure passed the lower house in late February and is set to become law. As was the case in the lower house, the measure was approved in the Senate with only the votes of the conservative Popular Party.

Spain rolls back universal jurisdiction

Madrid, Mar 12 (EFE).- Spain's Senate approved on Wednesday a bill to restrict courts' application of the principle of universal jurisdiction, which holds that courts in any country may act in cases involving crimes against humanity no matter where they are committed. The measure passed the lower house in late February and is set to become law. As was the case in the lower house, the measure was approved in the Senate with only the votes of the conservative Popular Party.

Terrorism cannot be ruled out in missing Malaysia jet

The head of the US Central Intelligence Agency said Tuesday that terrorism could not be ruled out in the disappearance of a Malaysian airliner. CIA Director John Brennan said there had been "some claims of responsibility" over the missing jet that had "not been confirmed or corroborated," and that he could not exclude the possibility of a terror link. ddl/sst
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