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News Briefs I

Bosnian Croat War Crimes Suspects Surrender

Los Angeles Times
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia

Following months of secret negotiations with U.S. officials, one of the most notorious war crimes suspects to emerge from the Bosnian war surrendered Monday with nine of his comrades-in-arms, to await international trial.

Dario Kordic, the most senior Bosnian Croat leader under indictment, and nine other Bosnian Croats were taken by Dutch military aircraft from Croatia to The Hague, Netherlands, where they face prosecution for crimes against humanity and related charges stemming from the 1993 massacres of hundreds of Muslim civilians in Bosnia's Lasva Valley.

The surrenders marked a long-sought breakthrough in the repeatedly stymied efforts of international officials to bring war criminals to justice, and were expected to give a significant boost to the flagging Bosnian peace process.

Kordic was the most wanted Bosnian Croat suspect publicly named by the international war crimes tribunal formed to prosecute wartime murders, rapes and torture committed in the former Yugoslavia. He is accused of masterminding the formation of paramilitary squads ordered to "kill, terrorize or demoralize" Muslims, according to the indictment.

Court Rejects Bid to Hold U.S. Liable for Immigrant Influx

Los Angeles Times

The Supreme Court, despite its states' rights sympathies, rejected a claim from California and Arizona Monday that sought to hold the U.S. government liable for an "invasion" of undocumented immigrants crossing the borders.

Though understandably unhappy with the outcome, lawyers for the two states need not feel they were singled out for rejection. The high court said "no" to more than 1,500 appeals on the opening day of its term.

In general, the justices vote to hear cases only when they raise a legal question that has divided the lower courts. Even a momentous issue is usually ignored until such a split has developed.

Monday's list of rejected appeals left intact scores of important lower court rulings.

In one case, the Federal Election Commission suffered a setback in its effort to limit campaign spending.

The justices let stand a ruling that allows corporations and interest groups to spend their money freely to put out information on candidates and their positions. If the information stops short of saying "vote for," it is protected free speech, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston said.

In the immigration case, California Gov. Pete Wilson sought a court order forcing the federal government to pay costs incurred by the estimated 1.7 million undocumented immigrants in the state.

Ickes to Go Before Senate Panel

The Washington Post

Harold Ickes is the custodian of the secrets, a man of unswerving loyalty and towering rage who served for more than two years as the gatekeeper for President Clinton's re-election campaign. His name is on thousands of pieces of paper and thousands of pages of testimony.

When witnesses tell Senate investigators about questionable campaign practices, they invariably point to Ickes as the mastermind, and Tuesday the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee will finally hear from Ickes himself. The witness's wit and intellect forecast an entertaining day, but not necessarily an informative one.

"Do I know things that are highly sensitive to the president?" Ickes, Clinton's former deputy chief of staff, asked rhetorically in a recent interview for the New York Times Magazine. "Yes. I most certainly do. Am I going to tell you about them? No."

Committee sources said senators will ask Ickes about most of the questionable administration fund-raising activities for the 1996 campaign, including coffees on the White House lawn, urging Clinton and Vice President Gore to telephone rich contributors from the White House, and the hiring of John Huang as a Democratic fund-raiser.

As chief fund-raising strategist for the Clinton-Gore campaign, Ickes was by his own admission a central figure in virtually every aspect of the re-election effort, even appearing in several of the recently released videotapes of White House coffees.

But "he's a very difficult guy to get a glove on, because there's no proof he ever knew about" improprieties, one committee source said.