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GERMANY: Dissident says he was kidnapped

An Iranian dissident reported missing for almost two weeks in Germany told The Associated Press on Thursday he was kidnapped by four Arabic-speaking men who threatened to kill him for a film he made that is critical of the Iranian regime. Daryush Shokof said he thought the kidnapping was orchestrated by the regime in Tehran, even though his captors didn't speak in Farsi. He was under police protection in Cologne. The Iranian Embassy in Berlin did not respond to requests for comment. Shokof, a 55-year-old Berlin resident, said one of his captors accused him of blasphemy in making the film, He described the man as about 40 years old and speaking English with a heavy Arabic accent. Shokof disappeared May 24 in Cologne, the day he planned to board a train to Paris to promote his new film "Iran Zendan," or "Iran Prison." On June 5, almost two weeks after he went missing, Shokof was found by a group of teenagers, drenched, exhausted and confused, near the Rhine River in Cologne, police said.


PERU: Charges readied for Van der Sloot

Police moved Joran Van der Sloot to a cell at the prosecutor's office in Lima Thursday as officials prepared charges following what they called a remarkably complete confession in the beating and strangling death of a 21-year-old woman. Criminal police chief Gen. Cesar Guardia said Van der Sloot, who remains the lone suspect in the case of Natalee Holloway, 18, the Alabama student missing in Aruba, "confessed with a wealth of details that have been corroborated through criminal investigative rigor" in the death of Stephany Flores. Guardia denied any suggestion that the confession was forced.

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