Briefs, March 1, 2012

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 01 March, 2013, 3:43am

UN court clears Serbian general of war crimes

THE HAGUE - A UN war crimes tribunal acquitted Yugoslav ex-army chief Momcilo Perisic on appeal and overturned his 27-year sentence for war crimes and crimes against humanity during the bloody Balkan wars of the 1990s. Judge Theodor Meron of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) appeals chamber ordered "the immediate release of Momcilo Perisic", a former right-hand man of late Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic. The judgment is the latest in a string of acquittals at the ICTY, but the freeing will be welcomed in Belgrade where the court has been perceived as biased. AFP

Wrestler one of those killed in Swiss shooting

BERLIN - A Swiss athlete was one of the victims of a shooting at a wood-processing company in central Switzerland and the assailant was originally from Kosovo. Benno Studer, 26, was among the three people who died in the shooting in the small town of Menznau. The assailant, 42, was among the dead, and seven other people were wounded. Studer was a wrestler in the traditional sport of Schwingen, also known as Swiss wrestling - considered one of the country's national sports. AP

Bulgarian president seeks end to deception

SOFIA - Bulgaria's president called for a new political culture that would prevent citizens being "robbed" and "lied to" as he named an election date of May 12 to try to stem a surge of popular discontent. Prime Minister Boiko Borisov quit last week after nationwide protests against high electricity prices - the final straw to many citizens in the European Union's poorest country, who have begun to despair of any improvement in living standards or governance. While Bulgaria has avoided the debt problems of many of its peers, economic growth is sluggish and unemployment has risen to 12 per cent. Reuters

'Great Train Robbery' mastermind dies

LONDON - The mastermind behind Britain's Great Train Robbery, a 1963 hold-up that turned its perpetrators into celebrities, has died aged 81. Bruce Reynolds' death came a few months before the 50th anniversary of the infamous theft that was at the time Britain's largest robbery. In August 1963, Reynolds and his 11-member gang tampered with railway track signals and stopped a Royal Mail night train that was travelling from Glasgow to London with letters, parcels and large amounts of cash. Reynolds and his men stormed the train and made off with £2.6 million, equivalent to about £40 million (HK$469.4 million) in today's money. Reuters