Wikinews Shorts: January 10, 2010

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A compilation of brief news reports for Sunday, January 10, 2010.

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Croatian president pardons convicted war criminal

File photo of Stjepan Mesić

Outgoing Croatian president Stjepan Mesić pardoned 36-year-old Siniša Rimac, a convicted war criminal, jailed for eight years for participating in executions of Serb civilians back in 1991, when Croatia was at war with Serb forces. Among other crimes, he is guilty of killing a 12-year old girl. At that time he was part of a military unit led by Tomislav Merčep, who was never prosecuted.

Rimac's jail term was shortened by one year, following president Mesić's decision.

Serbian president Boris Tadić described the act as "anti-european" and "anti-civilisational" that cannot be justified.


Saudi Arabian court commutes Canadian's death sentence

Mohamed Kohail, a Canadian resident convicted after a deadly school fight in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia will not be executed as originally sentenced. The country's highest court, the Supreme Council, cancelled the death sentence but ordered that Kohail face retrial in the case. The Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade confirmed this development on Saturday.

Kohail's younger brother Sultan is also charged in this case and could also be sentenced to death as his case was moved from the youth court to the adult system. Both brothers deny that they had caused the death of Munzer Haraki during the 2007 brawl.

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Thousands attend murdered Ottawa police officer's funeral

More than 4,000 police officers attended the funeral of Constable Ireneusz "Eric" Czapnik in Ottawa, Ontario on Thursday. Czapnik was stabbed to death outside the Ottawa Hospital's Civic campus the previous Tuesday while completing paperwork at his vehicle. He was the first Ottawa police officer to be killed on duty since 1983.

Kevin Gregson, a suspended RCMP officer, is charged in connection with Czapnik's murder.


Gunman opens fire at ABB Factory in St Louis, Missouri

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At 6:30a.m. Friday local time (1230 UTC) a gunman entered an ABB factory in St. Louis, Missouri, and began shooting. At this time it appears that he had killed three and injured five others, then himself. St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom says, ""We are very confident that this is the shooter." Reports say that there were two bodies found on the outside of the factory and two bodies, including that of the shooter, found on the interior.


Sarkozy wins fraud case; awarded one Euro

File photo of Sarkozy

A French court ruled in favor of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in a fraud case where fraudsters stole money from his bank accounts. He was awarded one Euro (US$1.43, 0.89) in damages.


Creator of Gumby, Art Clokey, dies at age 88

File:Gumby and Pokey - Bendable Figures.jpg

Gumby and Pokey figurines
Image: Bridget DeVries.
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)
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Art Clokey, a pioneer in the field of claymation, died Friday due to chronic disease. Clokey was well know for one of the characters he created, Gumby.