”I really think both countries are serious. They are committed to the cease-fire.”
Javier Perez de Cuellar, United Nations Secretary General
Today, the cease fire between Iraq and Iran, arranged by the United Nations, went into effect at 7 A.M. local time. No violations have been reported.
A team of 350 United Nations observers is on the ground monitoring the entire common border. ”The cease-fire is holding,” Col. William Phillips, the Irish operations chief of the Iran-Iraq Military Observer Group said.
”We will abide by the cease-fire completely, and there will be no shooting,” the Iranian President, Hojatolislam Ali Khamenei, told Iranian soldiers.
”There should be no violations on the front, and God forbid not one unauthorized bullet should be fired,” Hojatolislam Hashemi Rafsanjani, Speaker of the Iranian Parliament, said.
Iraq resumed oil exports through the Persian Gulf and reopened the international airport at its southern port of Basra.
Kalid Jaafar flies from Chicago to Amman with RJA 313, and then to Beirut with ME.
Back to the Present (2008)
Yesterday, during the seventh procedural hearing for the second appeal of Megrahi, the court addressed the appellant’s two petitions for access to material used at the Zeist trial. Regarding the first petition, the Crown, represented by Ronnie Clancy QC, no longer opposes the demand of the defense to have access to the photographs relevant to the so-called identification of Abdelbaset Megrahi by the Maltese shopkeeper Tony Gauci.
“It is unprecedented that I should have to ask judges to order the handover of the original photos,” Margaret Scott QC had said.
The defense for Abdelbasset al Megrahi claims an identity parade line-up was unfair because of the way photos were shown to potential witnesses. Scott is seeking the expert opinion of UC Riverside Professor Steve Clark  who specializes on identification procedures.
In fact, the judgment (§ 69) recognizes that Gauci never positively identified Megrahi. On February 15 1991, Gauci was shown 12 photos, among them a picture of Megrahi 1986 passport.
“Number 8 [The photo of Megrahi] is similar to the man who bought the clothing. The hair is perhaps a bit long. The eyebrows are the same. The nose is the same. And his chin and shape of face are the same. The man in the photograph number 8 is in my opinion in his 30 years.”
“He would perhaps have to look about 10 years, or more, older and he would look like the man who bought the clothes. It’s been a long time now, and I can only say that this photograph 8 resembles the man who bought the clothing, but it is younger,” Gauci said.
In the second petition, the appellant claims to be allowed access to documents and productions used at the Zeist trial, as well to other material referred to in such documents, in order to subject them to forensic scientific examination.
Although the crown initially maintained its opposition, the court granted the prayer of the petition, “subject to satisfactory arrangements being agreed between the Crown and the appellant’s representatives for the security of the productions during the forensic examination.”
“The fact that the court, without reserving judgment, granted the application makes it unnecessary for me to try to explain the convoluted grounds on which the Crown opposed the application. This is something that (despite having taken ten pages of notes during the hearing) I would have found it difficult to do for a (predominantly) lay readership. Perhaps the most important aspect of today’s hearing is the ease and speed with which the court dismissed the Crown’s submissions and granted the appellant’s requests,” Pr Black wrote.
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