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KUWAITI COURT SENTENCES 6 TO DIE

A martial-law court on Saturday convicted 16 people of working on an Iraqi-run publication during Baghdad's occupation of Kuwait, sentencing six to be hanged and 10 imprisoned for a decade.

Eight employees of the Al-Nida daily were acquitted. Most of those tried Saturday were Palestinians.A seventh defendant, not connected to the newspaper, also was condemned to death Saturday. Mohan Majid Khalaf, who is stateless, was sentenced in absentia for being an informant and for forgery.

His sentence brought to nine the number of people sentenced to death by Kuwait's martial-law court since June 8.

Screams broke out in the packed courtroom when the verdicts and sentences were read. Relatives collapsed to the floor crying hysterically.

Human rights groups have condemned the martial-law courts for not producing witnesses in court, and the defense lawyers in this case told the judge that they could not defend their clients against "ghost witnesses."

The United States has repeatedly cautioned Kuwait's ruling family that the world would be watching the trials.

There is no appeal in the martial-law courts. But the martial-law governor must approve all sentences in consultation with three judges from the court of appeals.