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January 21, 2000 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-01-21

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Suicide adds to
Christian Dems'
scandal woes

NATION/WORLD

The Michigan Daily - Friday, January 21, 2000 - 7
Investigators say
EgyptAir crash
seems deliberate

BERLIN (AP) - The senior
accountant in parliament for the scan-
dal-plagued Christian Democrats
committed suicide yesterday, stun-
ning lawmakers as new questions
arose about the financial dealings of
the party that has dominated postwar
German politics.
*arty officials sought to quell
speculation that the death was linked
to the scandal, saying a suicide note
had been found citing "personal
motives."
Berlin prosecutors, however, said
they were conducting a preliminary
investigation into possible breach of
trust based on the note. The Berlin
B.Z. tabloid reported the note refers
t Wolfgang Huellen's concerns that
a upcoming audit would reveal he
had diverted money from official
accounts.
Huellen's suicide - disclosed
hours after lawmakers sparred in par-
liament over the affair - compound-
ed the sense of despair consuming the
conservatives since their former
leader, ex-chancellor Helmut Kohl,
admitted last month that he managed
secret accounts in the 1990s.

A parliamentary committee issued
a summons yesterday for Kohl to tes-
tify in its'investigation into whether
the $1 million he acknowledges hav-
ing taken - or millions more in other
allegedly illicit funds uncovered since
- were tied to political favors.
Kohl has repeatedly denied such
charges, but his refusal to reveal the
source of the cash has kept alive sus-
picions of bribery.
The tiny Alpine tax haven of
Liechtenstein said yesterday it has
frozen bank accounts in connection
with a Swiss investigation into
alleged payoffs in the 1992 sale of the
Leuna oil refinery in former East
Germany to France's Elf-Aquitaine.
Norbert Marxer, head of
Liechtenstein's legal service, declined
to give details. But a Berlin daily, the
Berliner Zeitung, reported the
accounts were linked to Dieter
Holzer, a businessman living in
Monaco, who is suspected of having
funneled the alleged payoffs to Kohl's
Christian Democrats.
Holzer denied in Die Welt newspa-
per donating money to any German
party.

AP PHOTO
German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer and Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder listen
to Christian Democrats chair Wolfgang Schaeuble apologize to the German
Parliament in Berlin yesterday for the party's ongoing financial scandal.

Social Democratic Chancellor
Gerhard Schroeder, who ended Kohl's
16 years in office in 1998, sat quietly
during yesterday's parliament debate
while other lawmakers from his cen-
ter-left coalition accused the
Christian Democrats of money laun-
dering.
Peter Struck, floor leader of the
governing Social Democrats, accused
Kohl - who did not attend - of hin-
dering efforts to clear up the scandal
with his stubborn refusal to identify
the donors.
"Do your country one last service
and cleanse it of the suspicion that

shady figures influenced German pol-
icy for years," Struck said, declaring
the Christian Democrats "morally
discredited."
Kohl, who was humiliated into
resigning this week as honorary party
chair, said on national television last
month that the money he accepted
came from "patriotic" donors wanting
to help build up the party in the for-
mer communist eastern states.
But some critics, noting that no one
has come forward to back his version,
have suggested that there are no
donors and the money came from
shady sources.

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP)-
Weeks after the last pile of debris from
EgyptAir 990 was pulled from the sea,
investigators say they are more con-
vinced than ever of their original theory:
The jet was crashed deliberately.
The examination of the shattered
Boeing 767, some 70 percent of which
was recovered from the ocean floor, has
revealed no signs of a mechanical fail-
ure that would have caused the plane to
plummet 40 minutes into its 11-hour
flight, according to three officials close
to the investigation who spoke on con-
dition of anonymity.
"Everything leads everyone to
believe that the plane was mechanically
sound and it was doing what it was sup-
posed to,' one government official told
The Associated Press. "There's just no
smoking gun" to indicate mechanical
failure.
The National Transportation Safety
Board has said there are no plans to
reconstruct the aircraft, which speaks
volumes about the investigation,
experts said.
"I think they're fairly convinced they
know what happened based on the radar
data, flight data and voice data," said
Barry Schiff, a TWA pilot for 34 years
who instructed trainees on the Boeing
767 and now serves as an aviation safe-
ty consultant.-
Investigators have said the cockpit
voice recorder contained some utter-
ance, perhaps a prayer, before the plane
went into its fatal plunge. Schiff said
the flight and radar data alone make it
clear someone forced the aircraft down
Chechen r

Oct. 31 off the Massachusetts island of
Nantucket, killing all 217 aboard.
"My feelings and conclusions are
based on the factual data made avail-
able through various sources, and to me
it seems rather compelling that is what
happened," Schiff said.
The NTSB's working theory remains
the plane was sent into a nose dive by
relief co-pilot Gamil El-Batouty, who
took control of the aircraft shortly after
takeoff from New York's Kennedy
Airport, according to two officials
close to the investigation.
The FBI has been involved from the
start and has uncovered no evidence of
terrorism or conspiracy, according to
one of the federal officials.
EgyptAir and El-Batouty's family
have angrily rejected the theory of an
intentional crash.
"If the pilots were American
would they dare to say the same
things?" El Batouty's nephew, Walid
El-Batouty, told The Associated
Press in an interview last week in
Egypt. "We've been shattered,
humiliated and accused."
EgyptAir chair Mohamed Fahim
Rayan said in Cairo that the plane's
nearly sonic-speed descent was the
result of "something happening" in the
tail apparatus.
Jim Danaher, who retired as an
NTSB supervisor in 1998 after 2
years, said recovering debris from the
crash was important to rule out any
other possibilities. But he said that
reassembling the plane is unnecessary
given the other evidence.
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Los Angeles Times
MOSCOW - As street fighting
raged yesterday for control of Grozny,
the Chechen capital, rebel comman-
ders in the separatist republic
announced that they had captured a
Russian general who had been super-
vising the army's assault on the city.
The Russian Defense Ministry
acknowledged that Gen. Mikhail
Malofeyev has been missing since
Tuesday, when he and a group of sol-
diers were caught in an ambush in
Grozny. Russian officials said they
didn't know if the general had been
captured or killed.
The general's disappearance under-
cuts government attempts to project
the image that its army is steadily
gaining control of Chechnya with a
minimum of casualties. The last time a
Russian general went missing in action
was during World War II, one military
expert said.
The army's four-week-old campaign
to seize Grozny has evolved into a
guerrilla war in which the invading
forces are becoming increasingly vul-
nerable. One Chechen leader said this
week that the rebels are lying in wait
for Russian troops now trying to seize
the city center.
"The Chechen military strategy does
'U' offciaLk
Engler ' sc
ENGLER
Continued from Page 1
cussed making a college education and
job training more affordable.
Rogers said he hopes to enact his
plan by May.
Smith said she wished Engler "had
been a lot more forthcoming on plan to
make higher education more afford-
able."
Smith said she has a plan, which
Engler told her will be included in
Posthumus' Michigan Commission on
Financing Postsecondary Education
report.
The governor announced the
report's upcoming release in his
address.
The governor sounded a lot like a

not envisage the containment of the
Russian army on the outskirts of the
city," rebel commander Mumadi
Saidayev told the Interfax news service.
"On the contrary, we wish armored
vehicles to appear on the streets, since
(rebel) mobile groups, which know
how to destroy armor, are ready.
Apparently, Malofeyev disappeared
while he was touring forward positions
in Grozny to inspectdcombat opera-
tions there. He holds the post of
deputy commander of the northern
group of Russian forces in Chechnya
and is responsible for combat training.
The government, which has been
accused of systematically under
reporting its casualties, did not
announce that the general was missing
until the rebels claimed credit for cap-
turing him.
The Chechen rebels' Website report-
ed yesterday that the general was cap-
tured and taken to a safe place where
he was "being examined." The
Chechens also reported capturing a
Russian colonel and 30 other "aggres-
sors" during the previous 24 hours.
Although the circumstances of the
ambush were unclear, Russian media
cited unnamed officials as saying that
the general had been shot in the head
and back by snipers.
// re.a ct to
ite address
Democrat on Wednesday night, Smith
said, and Republican legislators may
be disappointed by him in the near
future.
"I am convinced that they are
alarmed by the spending proposals,"
Smith said.
The Republicans "are looking to
make larger tax cuts than the governor
has in mind to offer."
Issues like education and health care
can be helped by smaller tax cuts,
Smith said.
"The governor understands that;'
Smith said. "I'm not sure that the legis-
lators do."
But Rogers said he was pleased with
the speech. "After 10 State of the
States, he still has a lot of innovation
left," he said.

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ISRAEL
Continued from Page I1
Last year the High Court finally,
addressed the issue, officially outlaw-
ing any type of torture by federal inves-
tigators, Maron said.
D - . "1 eo-Fir.tvnp of hvs

"It is important to see the other view-
points," Ibn-Alkhattab said.
"I came to the event because I knew
the situation on torture in Palestine and
I wanted to see what was being done
about it by a group that is dedicated to
it," he added.
I tniprsit 2alm fDena Rabiah said

I

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