U.N. questions Sudan terror trial

Aug. 7, 2008 at 6:21 PM
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KHARTOUM, Sudan, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Sudan's counter-terrorism court handed down death sentences Thursday to a group of Darfur rebels, prompting concerns from the United Nations.

Ashraf Qazi, U.N. special representative of the secretary-general to Sudan, Thursday called for a review of the trial after 30 members of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement were convicted and sentenced to death for carrying out an attack in Khartoum, Sudan's capital.

Qazi's call for a review was prompted by concerns over an unfairly prosecuted trial, the United Nations reported.

"The United Nations Mission in Sudan has concerns that the judicial process may not have met international standards," Qazi said in a statement.

"It would appear that the accused were only given access to lawyers after the trials began; confessions were obtained while the accused were held incommunicado and in the absence of legal counsel; and the court did not investigate allegations of ill treatment."

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