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Legal news from Friday, June 2, 2006
by Joshua Pantesco

Dr. Wen Ho Lee, the US nuclear scientist at one time suspected of stealing nuclear secrets for China, Friday settled a civil lawsuit he had brought against the US Department of Justice and the Department of Energy alleging they leaked false and misleading information about him to reporters, contrary to the Privacy Act …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A federal judge on Friday approved a $153 million settlement between tax firm KPMG and 200 of its former clients in a class action lawsuit based on illegal tax shelters sold by the firm from 1996 to 2002 which were categorized as abusive by the IRS. The settlement, preliminarily approved by US District Court Judge …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Canadian Conservative Party Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Friday that he will ask MPs to vote this fall on a federal law permitting same-sex marriage. The Liberal Party of former prime minister Paul Martin, which now controls only 103 of 308 seats in the House of Commons, passed the bill last summer, making Canada …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Friday sentenced Joseph Serugendo to six years in prison for direct and public incitement to commit genocide and persecution as a crime against humanity under a plea agreement where the ICTR dropped the more serious charges of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and complicity to …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Nearly 200,000 people rallied in Kathmandu outside the palace of King Gyanendra Friday in a protest organized by Nepal's Maoist rebel insurgency to pressure the new government into speeding up plans to elect a special assembly to draft a new Nepal constitution. Krishna Bahadur Mahara [eKantipur.com interview], the Maoist negotiator with the recently reinstated parliament, …

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by Jaime Jansen

A federal district judge sitting in Florida has ruled that a 2005->Ch1003->Section%2044#1003.44">state law requiring students to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional and that a student does not need a parent's permission to be excused from reciting the Pledge. Boynton Beach junior Cameron Frazier sued [complaint, …

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by Jaime Jansen

US Ambassador to Afghanistan Ronald Neumann has said that US troops cannot be prosecuted under Afghan law, striking a sharp contrast to statements made Thursday by Afghan Deputy Chief Justice Abdul Malik Kamawi that all foreigners who commit a crime in Afghanistan can be prosecuted under Afghan law. Neumann added that the US military …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A federal judge in Michigan has ordered the National Security Agency to respond to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union challenging the legality of the NSA's domestic surveillance program. US District Court Judge Anna Diggs Taylor denied the NSA's motion to stay consideration of the ACLU's motion for partial …

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by Jaime Jansen

US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller plan to resume talks on Friday with major internet service providers on retaining customer data on internet activities that would allow them to better combat child pornography and terrorism. An initial meeting last Friday included American Online, Microsoft, Google, Verizon and Comcast; this week's meeting will include …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has criticized the UN-funded International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) as inefficient, and said that several ICTR employees should be testifying before the court for their involvement in the 1994 genocide the court was established to investigate. In a press conference Wednesday, Kagame noted …

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by Jeannie Shawl

AP is reporting that US Army Sgt. Santos A. Cardona has been sentenced to 90 days hard labor without confinement and a reduction in rank for abusing detainees at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison. Cardona was convicted Thursday of dereliction of duty and aggravated assault in connection with the use of unmuzzled …

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by Jaime Jansen

Russian Prosecutor-General Vladimir Ustinov unexpectedly quit Friday after Russian President Vladimir Putin recommended to the Russian upper house - the Federation Council - that Ustinov be asked to step down from office. The upper house approved Ustinov's removal by a vote of 140-0, with two abstentions. According to the speaker of …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Court-martial proceedings for 15 US soldiers implicated in the abuse of detainees at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, including the beating deaths of two Afghanis, ended in Fort Bliss, Texas on Thursday with only one conviction, resulting in a demotion in rank and three months in prison for …

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by Jaime Jansen

Canada's Federal Court Thursday stayed the deportation to China of Lai Changxing, the alleged leader of a Xiamen-based network suspected of smuggling up to $10 billion of goods such as cigarettes, automobiles, heating and cooking oil, textiles, chemicals and other raw materials under the protection of corrupt Chinese government officials. Justice Carolyn Layden-Stevenson …

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by Jaime Jansen

New Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Friday that he will ask the United States to turn over its files pertaining to the investigation into the alleged killing of 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians in Haditha by US Marines last November, after the Iraqi cabinet on Thursday decided to launch its own probe into the Haditha …

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by Jaime Jansen

US military prosecutors plan to file conspiracy and murder charges against seven enlisted Marines and one Navy corpsman for the alleged murder of an Iraqi civilian and subsequent cover-up on April 26 in Hamandiya, according to a defense lawyer for one of the men involved. US commanders in Iraq ordered the Naval Criminal Investigative Service to investigate …

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