Briefs, February 3, 2013

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 03 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 03 February, 2013, 7:07am

Sri Lanka shuts door to Western legal group

COLOMBO - Sri Lanka has blocked entry of a London-based group of lawyers who planned to investigate the impeachment of the island's chief justice, the International Bar Association said. The group expressed "serious concern" over the withdrawal of visas for the Human Rights Institute lawyers, who were due to visit Colombo on Friday. The government dismissed chief justice Shirani Bandaranayake despite two court rulings that the impeachment was illegal. AFP


Body of corruption investigator exhumed

MULTAN, Pakistan - Forensic experts exhumed the body of an official investigating a corruption scandal involving the prime minister, after the graft investigator was found dead last month. Kamran Faisal was found hanging from a ceiling fan on January 18, three days after the Supreme Court ordered Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf's arrest over the long-running scandal. An initial autopsy said Faisal committed suicide, but his family believes he was murdered. AFP


Northern Japan jolted by strong earthquake

TOKYO - A 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck off Japan's northern Hokkaido Island late last night, the US Geological Survey reported. Kyodo news agency said there was no threat of tsunami, citing the Japan Meteorological Agency. The quake hit at a depth of 103 kilometres, about 109 kilometres west of Kushiro, Hokkaido, the USGS said. There are no immediate reports of major damage from the quake, according to Kyodo. AFP


Indonesia to begin executions again

JAKARTA - Indonesia is set to execute some convicts on death row for murder and drugs offences this year, after not carrying out an execution for several years, a senior official said. There were 17 convicts, among them foreigners, who "can be executed starting from this year as they have exhausted all legal avenues for appeal", Mahfud Mannan said. AFP