Central Africa says Boris Becker’s diplomatic passport is ‘fake’

first_img\R Bangui (Central African Republic), Jun 20 (AFP) The Central African Republic (CAR) said on Tuesday that a diplomatic passport that tennis star Boris Becker claims entitles him to immunity in bankruptcy proceedings in Britain “is a fake”. “The diplomatic passport that he has is a fake,” foreign ministry chief of staff Cherubin Mologbama told AFP. The document’s serial number corresponded to one of a batch of “new passports that were stolen in 2014,” he said. In addition, the passport — a copy of which has been seen by AFP, and bears the date of March 19, 2018 — does not carry the signature or the stamp of the foreign minister, Charles Armel Doubane, Mologbama said. Becker, responding through a German magazine, insisted that he held genuine diplomatic status. “It’s the truth. It is a fact that I am, today, a diplomat” of the CAR, he said in a filmed interview with Top Magazin Frankfurt. On Friday, lawyers for Germany’s three-time Wimbledon champion lodged a claim in the High Court in Britain saying that he had been appointed a sports attache for the CAR to the European Union (EU) in April. This, they argued, granted him immunity under the 1961 Vienna Diplomatic Convention on Diplomatic Relations from bankruptcy proceedings over failure to pay a long-standing debt. “Becker’s job profile does not exist” in the CAR’s records, Mologbama said.Furthermore, the passport says that Becker’s diplomatic function is “financial charge de mission,” a role that “has nothing to do with sporting questions,” he noted. In April, the 50-year-old former tennis star had tweeted a picture of himself shaking hands with CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadera at a meeting in Brussels.advertisement Becker shook up the tennis world at Wimbledon in 1985 when, as an unseeded player, he became the then youngest-ever male Grand Slam champion at the age of 17, defending the trophy the following year. The German went on to enjoy a glittering career and amassed more than USD 25 million (21.65 million euros) in prize money. – Shadowy reputation – ====================== The CAR is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking at the very bottom of the 188 nations in the UN Development Programme’s 2016 Human Development Index. Landlocked, rich in gold, diamonds, oil and uranium, the country of 4.6 million people has been chronically unstable since it gained independence from France in 1960. Presidents have traditionally been surrounded by “sleazy courtesans” and “dodgy counsellors who talk loud,” French writer Jean-Pierre Tuquoi wrote in a book published last year. Its modern history has been studded with coups, foreign mercenaries, assassination attempts, shadowy business deals and improbable figures, he says. They include Jean-Bedel Bokassa, a former army corporal and fan of Napoleon who became president, then president for life — and finally declared himself emperor before being ousted by France in 1979 after a massacre of school children. One of his successors, Francois Bozize, was named in a law suit filed in France in 2015 by the CAR government, which said that during his tenure, “numerous advisors and relatives… benefitted from passports of convenience” in exchange for money. These including a Kazakh opposition figure, Mukhtar Abiazov, a female advisor to former Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi, and an Israeli businessman, according to the suit filed by the CAR’s attorney, William Bourdon. Bozize was overthrown in 2013 by a mainly Muslim rebel alliance, the Seleka. His elected successor, Faustin-Archange Touadera, has effective rule over only a fraction of the country as most of it is in the hands of militias. Poor governance and a tradition of graft make for a toxic mixture, says Thierry Vircoulon, a CAR specialist at the French Institute for International Relations (IFRI). “Given the authorities’ extreme weakness and corruptibility, crooks and conmen of every stripe always find a way to gain access to the president and make money,” he says. “This country is perfect for business pirates.” (AFP) AHAHlast_img read more

LUKE Walsh says last seasons heavy loss in Catala

first_imgLUKE Walsh says last season’s heavy loss in Catalan will be in the players’ minds when they face the Dragons on Saturday – but only to sharpen their minds on the task in hand.The scrum half is set to play his fifth game since returning from injury and knows Saints will have to play well to get the win.“It’s always difficult playing them over there – I remember last year we went over and got touched up,” he said. “We have to play really well to beat them.“I’ve played a fair bit of footy against the likes of Scott Dureau, Todd Carney and Willie Tonga and we will have to be on our game.“Willie was outstanding last week and Scottie is a smart player. Todd has the whole lot and if he plays our defence has to be spot on.”Saints’ record in Perpignan is pretty good.Before last season’s loss they’d won five straight in France – and they head into the clash on the back of three wins in their last four Super League matches.Luke continued: “We didn’t play our best against Widnes but got a good win. The performance against Wakefield was much better and we can take a fair bit of confidence from that.“We scored some great tries and it was good to have Mark Percival back in the side. Hopefully this week we can put another performance in.”Luke won the man of the match award for his display in the 44-4 win over Wakefield.He bagged a brace and had a hand in the majority of Saints’ other seven tries.“It’s great to be back; it’s been a long time and I’m enjoying it. I thought it would be hard for me to pick it back up but the boys have made it quite easy for me.“Keiron has helped too with easing me back into the side and starting against Widnes and then Wakefield really stepped up my game.“I know there is still more work to do.”last_img read more

Watch Trumps Yemen veto tragically missed opportunity – Schembri

first_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrint The Norwegian Refugee Council’s Middle East Media Adviser, has described the US President’s decision to veto an end to military support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, ‘a tragically missed opportunity.’Karl Schembri told Newsbook.com.mt that this would have been a chance for the US President to set an example, holding their ally in the region accountable for their attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure.U.S. President Donald Trump walks from Marine One as he returns from Kansas City, Missouri, to the White House in Washington, DC, U.S., July 24, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts‘They are not doing that. What President Trump has done is condemn more Yemeni civilians to more death and suffering.’Schembri’s comments come after shortlived efforts by the US Congress to try and invoke what is known as the 1973 War Powers Resolution or ‘War Powers Act’. The resolution actively limits the President’s executive powers to use US military forces in a foreign conflict or intervention without the approval of Congress.The Act says that the President must formally notify Congress that within 48 hours, US forces will be deployed to engage in military hostilities on foreign soil. The President would have up to 60 days, roughly two months to carry out the objectives. If Congress do not authorize the action, the President has to repatriate US forces within another 30 days, 90 days in total if the operation isn’t sanctioned.Attacks on civiliansSchembri says that had the President agreed, it wouldn’t mean an end to the conflict but it would be an important step in coming to terms with the suffering which the civilian population has been enduring for the past 5 years of the conflict and the further threat of civilian attacks and casualties.Although both sides of the conflict, the Houthis (Ansar Allah) and the Saudi-led coalition are accused of attacking civilians, there is evidence of schools and hospitals, even displacement camps, being attacked using US made munitions heavily supplied to the Saudi-led coalition.Credit: Norwegian Refugee Council‘This is US taxapers money being used here. It means there has to be an account of how it’s being used. These are being used to attack schools and hospitals. These are war crimes. Instead the Saudi-led coalition is getting away with murder.  I even know of there being attacks on funerals and wedding halls. This cannot go on. President Trump had an opportunity to move towards accountability and towards protection of civilians. Instead, he squandered this by vetoing the resolution,’ Schembri said.Dying silentlyWhen asked about the current situation on the ground, Schembri explains that Yemen is host to an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in which 24 million people are in need of aid.The country is understood to be crippled both politically and economically linked in part to a blockade of Yemen’s air and sea ports, preventing commercial items and aid distribution to reach its people. Instead, they are reliant on what is allowed to enter via the Saudi-led coalition.Schembri explains that the fluctuation of the fighting also means that a number of those who have fled their homes, have actually been internally displaced multiple times from what were initially safe displacement camps or more peaceful parts of the country.Credit: Norwegian Refugee CouncilThen there are the millions who have hit the poverty line. Schembri says that as the crisis worsens, so to the number of people impacted increases.‘There are public servants; nurses, doctors, teachers, people working with the government, who have not been paid their salaries. They continue to report to work because they feel its important to continue to keep doing their work. But it means they cannot aford to buy meals for their famiies … Millions of people are starving. There are children that are so malnourished you can’t tell if they will survive, many die silent and cruel deaths,’ Schembri adds.What have I done to deserve this?Majed Al WahidiCredit: Norwegian Refugee CouncilConcluding our interview, Schembri talks about the father of one of the families affected by the fighting, Majed Al Wahidi.One night in November 2018 his house was hit by a tank shell. The explosion killed four of his six daughters and serious injured the other two who are understood to still be recovering in hospital.Schembri explains that when he spoke with the school teacher, Majed asked him ‘What have I done to deserve this? I try to teach these children how to co-exist.’‘These are people who have no say in what is happening politically or militarily. They are losing their families in the middle of the night and they end up baring the brunt of this brutal horrific war.’center_img WhatsApplast_img read more