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Page last updated at 18:27 GMT, Thursday, 29 October 2009

Honduras takes Brazil to UN court

Ousted President Manuel Zelaya inside the Brazilian Embassy
President Zelaya has been living in the Brazilian embassy since 21 September

The interim government of Honduras has taken Brazil to court for allowing ousted President Manuel Zelaya to remain in its embassy.

Mr Zelaya has been inside the embassy since he secretly returned from a three-month exile on 21 September.

At the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Honduran officials said Mr Zelaya had threatened the "peace and internal public order of Honduras".

Brazil said the interim government had no authority to lodge such proceedings.

The interim government wants the court to order Brazil to stop providing refuge for Mr Zelaya.

'Illegal activities'

Mr Zelaya was sent into exile on 28 June after trying to hold a non-binding vote on whether a constituent assembly should be set up to look at rewriting the constitution.

His opponents said his actions were in violation of the constitution and aimed at removing the current one-term limit on presidents - a charge Mr Zelaya has denied.

Brazil said the case had no basis as the current government, led by Roberto Micheletti, was illegitimate.

"The de facto Honduran government has no legitimacy to lodge a lawsuit at the International Court of Justice," a Foreign Ministry spokesman in Brasilia said.

Proceedings at the UN court usually take years to settle, but "provisional measures" can be handed down much faster if requested, as Honduras is considering doing, according to Reuters news agency.

In its filing, Honduras requested the court declare that Brazil did not have the right to allow its Tegucigalpa embassy to be used to promote "manifestly illegal activities" by Honduran citizens.

Honduran elections are due on 29 November, with Mr Zelaya's term of office due to end at the end of January.



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