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Daily Briefing

Prosecutor quits; evidence issue cited

September 25, 2008
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CUBA
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba - A US military prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay has quit because his office suppressed evidence that could clear a young Afghan detainee of war crimes charges, defense lawyers said yesterday. The prosecutor, Army Lieutenant Colonel Darrel Vandeveld, is now supporting a defense bid to dismiss the charges against Mohammed Jawad, according to Michael Berrigan, the deputy chief defense counsel for the Guantanamo tribunals. The chief prosecutor, Army Colonel Lawrence Morris, denied that his office withheld evidence and said Vandeveld told him he was leaving his post for personal reasons. (AP)

FLORIDA
Police: Driver in crash on cellphone
CITRA - A tractor-trailer driver was on his cellphone when he slammed into a school bus in north Florida Tuesday, police said yesterday. A 13-year-old girl died, but officials are crediting passersby who pulled students off the burning bus with preventing an even bigger tragedy. (AP)

French art thief gets US sentence
MIAMI - A French art thief who admitted stealing and trying to sell paintings by Claude Monet and other artists will serve more than five years in US prison. A federal judge in Miami imposed a 62-month sentence yesterday on Bernard Jean Ternus, 56. He pleaded guilty in July to conspiracy to steal paintings. The paintings were taken by robbers in 2007 from a museum in Nice, France, and have been returned. The FBI had agents pose as potential buyers when Ternus tried to sell the paintings. (AP)

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