The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 25, 1999, Page 2, Image 2

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    News Digest
Court denies Pinochet immunity
LONDON (AP) - In a precedent-setting ruling
cheered by both his detractors and his supporters,
Britain’s highest court on Wednesday denied Gen.
Augusto Pinochet immunity from arrest, but threw
out almost all the charges leveled against him.
The former Chilean dictator now faces only
three of 32 counts for crimes allegedly committed
during his 1973-90 regime: torture, conspiracy to
torture and conspiracy to murder.
In a 6-1 decision, the House of Lords dismissed
the remaining 29 counts in a Spanish warrant seek
ing his extradition, saying he could not be held
accountable for acts of torture committed before
1988, when Britain signed a law making it an inter
national crime.
Pinochet, 83, must remain in Britain under
police guard while Spain seeks his extradition on the
remaining counts. But the court said Home
Secretary Jack Straw should reconsider whether to
allow the extradition to go forward in light of the
greatly reduced case.
“The basis of this case has now changed and now
there is really not much left,” said Louise Delahunty,
an extradition expert with the law firm of Peters and
Peters, which is not connected with the case.
In Chile, a close associate of Pinochet, retired
Gen. Luis Cortes, said the former dictator “is very
happy because this ruling has made justice.”
After speaking with Pinochet by phone, Cortes
said, “He now has no doubts whatsoever that he will
come back home.”
The ruling marked the first time a national court
has denied immunity to a foreign head of state
accused of an international crime.
Legal experts said it should put heads of state on
notice that they could be at risk when they leave
power - and when they leave their own countries.
Pinochet was arrested in London Oct. 16 on the
Spanish warrant, which alleged abuses by his secret
police after the bloody 1973 coup in which he top
#pled Chile’s elected Marxist president, Salvador
In his decision, Lord Justice Nicholas Phillips
wrote that if Pinochet was still in office, “he and
Chile would be in a position to complain that the
entire extradition process was a violation of the
He now has no doubts
whatsoever that he will come
back home.”
Luis Cortes
Retired Chilean general and associate of Pinochet
duties owed under international law to a person of
his status.”
But, Phillips said, Britain has no legal obligation
now Pinochet is no longer head of state.
The general’s supporters were jubilant that the
case was so drastically reduced.
But his opponents were just as thrilled that the
case still can go forward, and that the general must
remain confined in the rented mansion west of
London where he has resided under police guard for
Suspect goes on trial for
Shepard heating death
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - One of
two men arrested in the beating death
of gay college student Matthew
Shepard went on trial Wednesday with
the defense attorney asking prospec
tive jurors not to punish his client to
redeem this small town’s image in the
eyes of the nation.
The killing “has literally injected
into our community a feeling of guilt.
The press wants us to think that we are
somehow responsible for what went
on Oct. 6,” said Wyatt Skaggs, the
lawyer for Russell Henderson, 21.
“Are any of you here going to
judge this case because you feel guilty
and want to make a statement to the
nation?” he asked the prospective
jurors. They replied, “No.”
Prosecutor Cal Rerucha told the
prospective jurors that Shepard was
“not the same as you and I” but that
every individual should be treated
equally under the Constitution.
Authorities said Henderson and
Aaron McKinney, 21, posed as homo
sexuals and lured the 5-foot-2, 105
pound Shepard out of a bar Oct. 6, kid
napped and pistol-whipped him and
left him tied to a fence in the cold. The
University of Wyoming student died
five days later at a hospital.
The crime led to demands for
stronger hate-crime laws.
McKinney will be tried later. Both
men could get the death penalty.
For the first time since Henderson
This case is not
about hate. All
crimes... aren’t
about hate.”
Wyatt Skaggs
defense lawyer
was arrested, Skaggs revealed a part of
his strategy, saying he will argue that
Henderson didn’t participate in the
beating and that the slaying wasn’t
premeditated. t
Skaggs also told the jury candi
dates that the case “is not about
lifestyles.” “This case is not about
hate. All crimes ... aren’t about hate.
They all come down to some real sim
ple motives,” he said.
One prospective juror, a man in his
40s, objected quickly: “No, I disagree.
... I think Matthew Shepard’s lifestyle
was part of this.”
By midday, 10 of the 71 prospec
tive jurors in the first pool had been
dismissed for financial, medical or
child-care related decisions. Opening
statements are set for April 6.
The prospective jurors will be
questioned individually in the judge’s
Court wants ban on
media ‘ride-alongs’
■ Justices and lawyers
argue allowing reporters
and cameras on police
arrests and searches.
Supreme Court appeared determined
Wednesday to stop police from letting
TV cameras and other news media
accompany them into people’s homes
to observe arrests or searches.
Justice David H. Souter balked
most emphatically at being told “media
ride-alongs” can help deter crime and
police excesses, and should trump con
cerns for personal privacy.
“What’s the help provided here?”
he asked. “I don’t see why you have to
take the news media people into some
one’s home... it sounds like fluff”
When a lawyer contended that such
ride-alongs are commonplace, Justice
Sandra Day O’Connor shot back in
incredulous tones, “Ride right into the
house?” She later called one such inci
dent “an amazing invasion.”
Six of the court’s nine members
asked questions or voiced concerns,
suggesting a willingness to let people
sue law enforcement officers who let
journalists enter someone’s home.
For such liability to exist, the court
must rule that police with court war
rants violate the Fourth Amendment’s
protection against unreasonable
searches and seizures when they take
journalists witn tnem. ir so, anotner
legal issue looms: Can the journalists
be punished financially, too?
Twenty-four news organizations
have sided with officers in two cases
from Maryland and Montana. They
cite the media’s role as a watchdog, but
First Amendment rights were barely
mentioned Wednesday.
The police practice of letting jour
nalists accompany them has been given
higher visibility in recent years by true
life programs that focus on police
“The only authority police have is
to enter the home, (not) bring along the
media on a news-gathering expedi
tion,” Washington lawyer Richard
Willard argued. He represents a
Maryland couple photographed by The
Washington Post in their nightclothes
in an unsuccessful search for their fugi
tive son.
Lawyer Richard Cordray of Grove
City, Ohio, who represents the federal
agents, urged the court not to ban every
instance of the media entering some
one’s home at the invitation of police.
But, under rapid-fire questions from
the bench, he was hard-pressed to
explain when such access is justified.
No one doubted that police are free
to take along some outsiders to help
them - such as translators or owners of
searched-for stolen property - but
Willard contended that journalists do
not offer that kind of specific assis
McDougal testifies, says
husband wanted claim
McDougal’s late ex-husband encour
aged her to claim she had an affair with
Bill Clinton so Kenneth Starr’s prosecu
tors could “get” the president
McDougal testified Wednesday.
She also said James McDougal
tried out versions of an “outlandish”
story about Clinton and a fraudulent
loan in an effort to satisfy Starr’s office
and get out of having to go to jail.
Board: Rudder problems
caused airline crashes
737 rudder problems caused two fatal
airline crashes - including the 1994
crash of US Air Flight 427 outside of
Pittsburgh - and nearly triggered a
third, a federal safety board concluded
Although the Boeing Co. and the
Federal Aviation Administration say the
rudder problems are being eliminated,
the National Transportation Safety
Board called for them to work together
to device further improvements.
■Washington, D.C.
Childrens’cars recalled
for electrical flaws
The Associated Press - Peg Perego
USA Inc. is recalling 274,000 battery
powered children’s vehicles for repair
after receiving more than 300 reports of
electrical components overheating or
accelerator pedals getting stuck, the
Consumer Product Safety Commission
said Wednesday.
According to the government and
the Fort Wayne, Ind.-based company,
30 fires have been reported, resulting in
one child suffering third-degree bums
to his hand.
■Washington, D.C.
Congress members urge
cancellation of game
The Associated Press -Two Cuban
American members of Congress urged
the government Wednesday to cancel
an exhibition baseball game this week
end in Havana between the Baltimore
Orioles and the Cuban national team.
But Michael Ranneberger, the
Clinton administration’s coordinator of
Cuban affairs, defended the contest as
part of a U.S. effort to reach out to the
Cuban people.
Editor: Erin Gibson Questions? Comments?
Managing Editor: Brad Davis Ask for the appropriate section editor at
Associate News Editor: Sarah Baker [402) 472-2588
rSSSK; SSZ, or eHMil
Opinion Editor: Qiff Hicks
Sports Editor: Sam McKewon General Manager: Dan Shattil
A&E Editor: Bret Schulte Publications Board Jessica Hofmann,
Copy Desk Chief: Tasha Kelter Chairwoman: (402) 466-8404
Asst Copy Desk Chief: Heidi White Professional Adviser: Don Walton,
Photo Co-Chief: Matt Miller (402) 473-7248
Photo Co-Chief: Lane Hickenbottom Advertising Manager: Nick Partsch,
Design Chief: Nancy Christensen (402) 472-2589
Art Director: Matt Haney Asst Ad Manager: Andrea Oeltjen
Web Editor: Gregg Steams Classified Ad Manager: Mary Johnson
Asst Web Editor: Amy Burke
Fax number: (402) 472-1761
World Wide Web:
The Daily Nebraskan (USPS144-080) is published by the UNL Publications Board, Nebraska
Union 34,1400 R St, Lincoln, NE 68588-0448, Monday through Friday during the academic yean
weekly during the summer sessions.The public has access to the Publications Board.
Readers are encouraged to submit story ideas and comments to the Daily Nebraskan by calling
Subscriptions are $55 for one year.
Postmaster: Send address changes to the Daily Nebraskan, Nebraska Union 34,1400 R St.,
Lincoln NE 68588-0448. Periodical postage paid at Lincoln, NE.
By Kim Sweet
After scrutinizing the funds allocat
ed earlier this semester by the
Committee for Fees Allocation, AS UN
voted to approve the budget submitted
by the budgetary arm of student govern
ment Wednesday night
But what was initially predicted to
be a $14 increase in student fees for the
1999-2000 school year turned into a
$15 increase, after a .75 percent
increase was added for staff salary hikes
that are pending in the Nebraska
The increase means students will
pay $255 in student fees next year,
which is a 6.25 percent jump over the
1998-99 school year.
Originally, only a 4 percent salary
increase was figured into the fee projec
tion for next year. But after the NU
Board of Regents requested a higher
increase, it was necessary to add a .75
percent into the calculations, said James
Griesen, vice chancellor of student
affairs and adviser to CFA,
Technically, the fee per student adds
up to $255.33, but Griesen said he
hoped to eliminate the 33 cents - which
adds up to $ 14,906 - by working with
the Fund B fee users to come up with the
money. One solution to is to estimate
lower increases in the operation of the
student ID card system, Griesen said.
After debate over die appropriations
for the Daily Nebraskan, Uampus
Recreation and the Nebraska Unions,
the senate voted to approve all the
amounts passed earlier by CFA.
Each semester, students will pay
$4.81 to support ASUN, $1.19 for the
Daily Nebraskan and $4.77 for the
University Program Council.
To support Fund B users each
semester, students will pay $98.07 for
the University Health Center, $50.44 for
Campus Recreation’s operating budget,
$9.50 for its repair and improvement
budget and $48.55 for the Nebraska
Unions’ budget j
CFA chairman Paul Schreier said he
was glad that the senate voted to accept
the recommendations of his committee.
At the end of the meeting, Griesen
tried to put die $15 increase in perspec
tive to the senate.
Two percent of the more than 6 per
cent increase from last year simply
comes from fewer students paying fees,
Griesen said.
“When there are less students pay
ing fees, students have to pay more,”
Griesen said.
But he pointed out there was hope
for lower increases in fees for the future.
“The bright point is that in future
years as we continue to increase, we’ll
be able to avoid increases on the upside
as more students pay fees,” he said.