Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for April 25, 2012

Newsline: U.S. Embassy prostitution incident in Brazil detailed

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Tuesday that three Marines on a U.S. Embassy security team and one embassy staff member were punished for allegedly pushing a prostitute out of a car in Brasilia late last year after a dispute over payment. The incident is similar, but unrelated, to the scandal involving Secret Service agents at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, before President Barack Obama arrived. Panetta, speaking to reporters in Brasilia, said the Marines were pulled out of the country. Two had their ranks reduced, and the embassy staffer was removed from his post. Panetta said he had “no tolerance for that kind of conduct.” A senior defense official said the three Marines — including one supervisor — were members of the embassy security team in Brasilia. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an investigation, said the woman broke her collarbone when she was pushed from the car in late December. The official said the embassy tracked the woman down and paid for her medical expenses. But in the wake of the Cartagena scandal, she has hired an attorney and is suing the embassy.



Newsline: Indonesian police probing French embassy threat

Two French embassy staff in the Indonesian capital were put in isolation in hospital after coming into contact with a suspicious package, police said. But intelligence chief Lieutenant General Marciano Norman later said no harmful material was found in the envelope, which had been labelled “ANTRAC” and was suspected of possibly containing anthrax. “It has been confirmed that it’s not anthrax. It was just a threat,” Marciano said. “It was just the writing, but we will investigate it further.” Neither police or the embassy were immediately reachable for an update on whether the two French nationals had now been released. Earlier, the French embassy confirmed a suspicious package was received. Anthrax is a potentially lethal bacterium which has been used as a biological weapon by terrorists. A homemade bomb exploded outside the Indonesian embassy in Paris in March, causing damage but no injuries.


Newsline: Iraqi Diplomat in Ankara Summoned

Charge d’affaires with the Iraqi Embassy in Ankara has been summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry headquarters over recent remarks by Iraqi prime minister. He was summoned to convey Turkey’s “strong rejection” of statements made by Nuri al-Maliki who accused Ankara of intervening in Iraq’s internal politics and branded Turkey “a hostile state.” Sources said the Iraqi diplomat was told that Iraq’s peace and stability was a top priority as they directly had repercussions in Turkey and that Turkey opposed any ethnic or sectarian discrimination.


Newsline: Charges filed against US embassy shooter in Bosnia

The Bosnian state prosecutor’s office says it has filed terrorism charges against three people involved in a shooting attack on the U.S. embassy in Sarajevo last October. Prosecutors said in a statement that Mevlid Jasarevic, Emrah Fojnica and Munib Ahmetspahic are charged with preparing and carrying out the attack to try to force NATO to pull out of Afghanistan. Jasarevic, 23, fired with an automatic rifle for 50 minutes on the embassy in Sarajevo, injuring one local policeman before authorities ended his spree with a shot in his leg. The other two are accused of obtaining the weapon and later trying to hide evidence.