2002- Malaysia’s High Court freed an Italian businessman embroiled in a weapons kickback scandal which has dogged Indian politics for well over a decade. Ottavio Quattrocchi, friend of assassinated former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and resident in Malaysia since the early 1990s, had been accused in India of receiving $7 million (Dh25.7 million) in illegal payments as a middleman in the $1.2 billion purchase of artillery from Swedish arms maker Bofors AB in 1986. India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said it was “distressed” by the verdict and had asked Malaysian prosecutors, who were arguing New Delhi’s case, to appeal against the ruling. “I’ve never done anything wrong. Now, of course, I feel more relieved, “ Quattrocchi told reporters after the judge set him free.
Other important events
1789 - Austrian Netherlands declares independence as Belgium.
1916 - About 9,000 Austro-Hungarian troops are killed in avalanche in the Alps.
1950 - South Africa refuses to place Southwest Africa under UN trusteeship.
1969 - Britain announces agreement to withdraw all its forces from Libya within next few months.
1972 - US Apollo 17 astronauts, on last US moon mission, unveil plaque dedicated to peace on lunar surface.
1974 - Malta declares itself a republic.
1981 - Martial law is imposed in Poland.
1989 - South African President F.W. de Klerk meets for the first time with imprisoned African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, at de Klerk’s office in Cape Town.
1989 - The kidnapped daughter of Indian Home Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed is released in exchange for five Kashmiri militants.
1991 - North and South Korea sign a historic non-aggression accord.
1993 - Eduardo Frei becomes Chilean President in the first democratic election in two decades.
1995 - Turkey celebrates EU customs union.
1995 - Hundreds of youths riot on the streets of Brixton following the death of a black man in police custody.
2000 - Republican George W. Bush claims the presidency after Democrat Al Gore abandons his fight for the White House.
2003 - Former Iraqi president Saddam Hussain is captured near his hometown of Tikrit.
2010 - Kuwait closes Al Jazeera Arabic channel and withdraws accreditations of its reporters.
2011 - The Palestinian flag is raised at the Paris headquarters of Unesco, the first UN agency to admit Palestine as a member state.
2012 - The European Union reaches a landmark deal to make the European Central Bank the bloc’s top banking supervisor.
2015 - 17 women win seats on local municipal council election in Saudi Arabia.
2016 - Malaysia installs its 15th king, Sultan Mohammad V.