The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, December 01, 1998, Page 2, Image 2

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    Tuesday, December 1,1998__■ Page 2
Israel may step away from peace process
■ Palestinian leader’s
remarks on statehood
threaten to end agreements.
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threat
ened Monday to walk away from the
Mideast peace agreements if Palestinian
leader Yasser Arafat unilaterally
declares statehood in May.
Netanyahu’s warning came a day
after Arafat said in Washington that “I
hope that this (coming) year will be the
year of the independent Palestinian
Palestinian negotiator Hassan
Asfour said the Palestinians are paying
no heed to Netanyahu’s threats.
“Let him shout as much as he pleas
es,” Asfour said.
The Palestinians say the peace
agreements between Israel and the
Palestinians do not prevent Arafat from
declaring statehood May 4,1999, the
day the five-year period of Palestinian
autonomy in the West Bank and Gaza
The new acrimony came just over a
week after the implementation of stage
one of the land-for-security agreement
between Israel and the Palestinians.
Under the plan, Israel is to withdraw
from 13 percent of the West Bank by the
end of January in exchange for
Palestinian measures against Islamic
Israel also agreed to free 750
Palestinian prisoners. In the first stage,
Israel released 250, most of them crimi
nals, prompting Palestinian complaints
that die agreement was breached. The
Palestinians demand that Israel free
political activists and those jailed for
anti-Israeli activities.
The chief Palestinian negotiator,
Saeb Erekat, flew to Washington on
Monday to raise the issue with the
Clinton administration.
“This is a crisis situation, and we
have asked for American intervention,”
Erekat said Sunday.
Netanyahu said he would not com
“I do not free murderers. I do not
release people with blood on their
hands,” he told Israel radio.
Israel holds about 2,500 prisoners.
Popular pressure on Arafat has grown,
with prisoners’ relatives demonstrating
daily against the Palestinian Authority
and accusing it of abandoning the pris
Netanyahu described Arafat’s latest
remarks concerning statehood as “a
gross violation” of the Oslo peace
The prime minister’s office issued a
statement saying that if Arafat declares a
state “this will mean the collapse of the
Oslo agreements.”
Netanyahu has warned that he
would respond by annexing parts of the
West Bank.
Monday, Netanyahu did not make
specific threats, saying only that “we
can do a great deal.” He said he would
raise die issue when his Cabinet meets
again to consider the next stage of the
Wye River peace accord.
GOP expands Clinton queries
Republican-led House Judiciary
Committee is expanding its impeach
ment investigation to fund-raising
allegations against President Bill
Clinton, committee sources said
The panel will seek subpoenas for
internal Justice Department memos
debating whether an independent
counsel should have been named in the
fund-raising inquiry, said the sources,
speaking on condition of anonymity.
Republicans also will seek testi
mony this week from FBI Director
Louis Freeh and Justice Department
prosecutor Charles LaBella, both of
whom advocated an independent
counsel be named to investigate
Clinton’s 1996 fund-raising activities.
The Republicans will vote behind
closed doors today also to send docu
ment subpoenas to Attorney General
Janet Reno and Clinton demanding
that the secret memos Freeh and
LaBella wrote advocating their posi
tions be turned over to the committee,
the sources said.
They said Republicans also plan to
send a subpoena to Independent
Counsel Kenneth Starr seeking evi
dence and testimony that his investiga
tors gathered from John Huang, a key
figure in the fund-raising controversy.
Republicans control the Judiciary
Committee, 21-16.
The abrupt move by Republicans
came as the panel’s chairman, Rep.
Henry Hyde, R-Ill., sharply attacked
Clinton’s answers to 81 questions
posed by impeachment investigators.
He contended the president “chose to
evade” questions in a manner that
could force the panel to accept allega
tions against Clinton as fact.
“He has made it very clear he is
going to stick with his reliance on
bizarre technical definitions and legal
istic defenses,” Hyde said.
Meanwhile, the White House
brushed off an invitation to have
Clinton testily in the panel’s impeach
ment inquiry. “I don’t think it’s very
likely you’ll see the president appear
before that committee,” spokesman
Joe Lockhart said.
Hyde said he still would welcome
Clinton or his lawyers to make a pre
sentation of facts before the committee
to rebut evidence concerning allega
tions of perjury and obstruction of jus
tice submitted by Starr.
Bosnian Serb faces war crimes tribunal
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP)
- To his Muslim prisoners, Bosnian
Serb Goran Jelisic was a genocidal
monster who, prosecutors say, once
bragged that “he had to kill 20 or 30
Muslims before his morning coffee.”
The 30-year-old mechanic used
the nickname Adolf “with a perverse
pride in the genocidal symbolism it
represented,” U.N. prosecutor Terree
Bowers said at the start Monday of
Jelisic’s genocide trial at the Yugoslav
war crimes tribunal.
Jelisic pleaded guilty in October
to murdering 12 Muslims and Croats
in and around the Serb-run Luka
camp in Brcko, northern Bosnia, in
May 1992, during the Bosnian war.
Prosecutors accuse him of the
even graver crime of genocide, and
they plan to present evidence about
the killings that includes the possible
involvement of more senior Serbs.
The trial also gives survivors of
Jelisic’s killing rampage a chance to
tell their story in court.
Bowers, an American, told a
three-judge panel that Jelisic admitted
in interviews with investigators to
having committed many.more mur
ders than the dozen to which he has
pleaded guilty.
Jelisic will be convicted of those
murders and sentenced at the end of
his trial, which is expected to last well
into next year. He faces a maximum
sentence of life imprisonment.
“We will never be able to fix the
exact number” of victims, Bowers
said. “But if we are to believe even a
small percentage of the totals which
Goran Jelisic claimed, then his vic
tims certainly number well over 100.”
The U.N. court, set up in 1993, has
already convicted two Muslims, two
Bosnian Croats and a Bosnian Serb of
murder, rape, torture and other war
crimes, but it has yet to register a
genocide conviction.
The first witness, a 37-year-old
Muslim who testified on the condi
tion that he be identified only as
Witness A, said he saw Jelisic, helped
by Serb guards, murder two men by
shooting them once each in the head
despite the victims’ pleas for mercy.
“It was my impression that they
enjoyed it more when the victim
pleaded with them,” Witness A said.
Jelisic’s campaign of murder
stands out for its cold-bloodedness,
even at a tribunal set up to deal exclu
sively with atrocities.
“Once, Goran Jelisic even
declined assistance from a guard, not
ing that he was still in ‘good form’
even though he had killed over 60
people,” Bowers said, citing state
ments by witnesses who were to
testify later.
Bowers told the judges that
Bosnian Serb authorities released
Jelisic from jail, where he had been
serving three years for fraud, and sent
him to Brcko to murder Muslims.
“Goran Jelisic was not a reluctant
tool of the genocide who was being
compelled by Serb authorities to act
against his will. Quite to the contrary
... Jelisic was an efficient and enthusi
astic participant,” Bowers said.
“To victims in Brcko, the face of
genocide was the face of Goran
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Reno to decide on counsel
for former White House aide
WASHINGTON (AP) - Attorney
General Janet Reno postponed a deci
sion Monday on whether an indepen
dent counsel should investigate a for
mer top White House aide who is
accused of lying about aid for a union
that contributed to Democrats.
A special court gave Reno up to
60 more days to review the case of
former White House deputy chief of
staff Harold Ickes.
Justice aides were divided on how
Reno should handle the allegation
that Ickes committed perjury before a
Senate committee about the adminis
tration’s efforts on behalf of the
Teamsters Union in a 1995 strike
against Diamond Walnut Co.
Ickes has denied any wrongdoing
in the matter, which stems from one
question he was asked during the
third day of a private deposition he
gave the Senate Governmental
Affairs Committee on Sept. 22,1997.
In 1995, Ickes meft with Teamsters
leaders about the Diamond Walnut
strike. An administration memo pre
pared for him noted that the union had
given $2.4 million for Democratic
candidates in 1992 and suggested that
the party should consider helping the
Teamsters on key issues, like the
strike, if it wanted to continue to
receive that support.
GOP, Clinton battle in court
about 2000 census results
money and votes across the nation at
stake, the Clinton administration
asked the Supreme Court on Monday
to reject a Republican challenge and
let it adjust the 2000 census results to
make up for an expected undercount
of minorities.
No census finds everyone, but the
government’s plan “will best achieve
the Constitution’s goal of determin
ing the number of persons in each
state,” Solicitor General Seth
Waxman told the court. “It is in effect
a quality check” on the initial head
count to be conducted April 1,2000.
But lawyers for the Republican
led House and a group of private citi
zens insisted the proposal violates the
Constitution and federal law.
“A 100 percent head count is the
only permissible means of apportion
ing the population,” said Michael A.
Carvin, representing private citizens
from six states. So far, two lower
courts have ruled the government’s
plan unlawful.
AIDS virus may develop
into South African crisis
(AP) - AIDS has rapidly crept up on
South Africa and poses a tragedy
worse than apartheid, the United
Nation’s AIDS branch said Monday.
“We are faced with an unprece
dented crisis,” said Dr. Peter Piot,
head of the U.N. AIDS program. He
said the scourge is worse than South
Africa’s former system of white
minority rule or natural tragedies
such as drought.
Global AIDS figures released last
week show the crisis is burning
hottest in Africa, particularly the
southern part.
HIV infection rates in Botswana,
Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe -
South African neighbors - hover
between 20 percent and 25 percent of
the adult population, the United
Nations said.
Apartheid, which ended in 1994,
helped isolate South Africa and made
it a latecomer to the AIDS epidemic.
But it is fast catching up with its
An estimated 3.2 million South
Africans are HIV positive, or about
12 to 14 percent of adults.
Quebec voters choose
separatist government
MONTREAL (AP) - Quebec vot
ers, courted more persistently than
voters almost anywhere, chose a
provincial government Monday in an
election that could move Canada
closer to another traumatic show
down over secession.
The separatist Parti Quebecois,
under the charismatic leadership of
Premier Lucien Bouchard, was wide
ly favored to return to power.
If victorious, Bouchard planned
to call another referendum on inde
pendence whenever he felt conditions
were right for a separatist triumph.
Bouchard’s main rival was Jean
Charest, leader of the anti-separatist
Quebec Liberal Party, who tried to
convince voters that the province
would prosper only if the decades-old
threat of secession was abandoned.
Charest, 40, was an early favorite,
but despite his family roots in
Quebec, he was widely perceived by
the province’s French-speaking
majority as more of an outsider than
the 59-year-old Bouchard and less
likely to do battle for the province in
any confrontations with the federal