Briefs, January 30, 2013

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 January, 2013, 4:45am

Bodies of financier and wife found in Japan

TOKYO - Bodies believed to be those of an international financier and his wife have been unearthed in Japan. Makoto Shimomi, 51, who reportedly runs a Liechtenstein-based investment fund, and Mie Shimomi, 48, disappeared after leaving their Tokyo home on December 7. They told friends they were going to a party 150 kilometres outside the capital. Police say there was no such event and believe the pair were kidnapped and strangled. AFP


Briton gets six years in grandmother drug case

BALI, Indonesia - An Indonesian court sentenced a Briton to six years in prison yesterday for his role in a cocaine-smuggling case that led to a death sentence last week against a British grandmother. Julian Anthony Ponder, 43, was convicted of receiving cocaine from 56-year-old Lindsay June Sandiford, who was found guilty of smuggling US$2.5 million worth of the drug in her suitcase onto the resort island of Bali. Sandiford was sentenced to death. AP


South Korea sets up nuclear test task force

SEOUL - South Korea's military said yesterday it had formed a crisis management task force to monitor North Korea's nuclear site ahead of an expected atomic test, which Seoul said could be imminent. The task force has been set up by the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff and is cross-referencing data and intelligence collected by state institutions and independent experts, the defence ministry said. AFP


Judges reject plea to move gang-rape trial

NEW DELHI - India's Supreme Court rejected a plea to move the trial of five men accused of the fatal gang-rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi. A three-judge bench dismissed the petition, which argued the men could not get a fair trial in the capital, as the lawyer who filed it had ceased to represent one of the defendants. Legal experts have raised concerns over the public pressure on the judge in New Delhi hearing the case. AFP


Two Cambodian girls are killed by bird flu

PHNOM PENH - Two Cambodian girls have died from bird flu, health authorities said, raising the toll from the deadly infection in the kingdom to four so far this year. The girls, one aged nine and the other 17 months from the southern provinces of Kampot and Kampong Speu, died on Monday in hospital, the World Health Organisation said in a joint statement with the Cambodian health ministry. AFP