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January 16, 2013

Local Briefs – January 16, 2013

Romanian ex-official can be extradited to U.S.

A Romanian court has ruled that a former defense ministry official indicted in the U.S. for trying to illegally export military equipment to Iran can be extradited.

The Bucharest Appeals Court said Jan. 15 that it agreed to surrender Aurel Fratila to U.S. authorities.

Romanian Intelligence Service spokesman Sorin Sava said Romanian authorities assisted U.S. counterparts in the case. He said Fratila had tried to export equipment that was under embargo.

Iran Watch, a site tracking Iran’s mass destruction weapon capacities, reported Fratila had been indicted in 2006 in the U.S District Court in Southern California for allegedly conspiring to export military equipment without required U.S. licenses to Romania for ultimate shipment to Iran.

The U.S embassy had no immediate comment on the case Jan. 15. AP

Afghan massacre suspect to be arraigned Jan. 17

The Army says the staff sergeant accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers during nighttime raids last year is due to be arraigned Jan. 17 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.

SSgt. Robert Bales could face the death penalty if convicted in the massacre early on March 11. He faces premeditated murder and other charges in the attack on two villages in southern Afghanistan.

Prosecutors say Bales left his remote base, attacked one village and then returned to the base before slipping away again to attack another nearby compound. Of the 16 people killed, nine were children.

Bales, an Ohio native who later moved to Washington State, is being detained at Lewis-McChord. AP




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