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Legal news from Tuesday, June 6, 2006
by James M Yoch Jr

Fifteen of the 17 Canadian terror suspects arrested Friday on suspicion of planning attacks in southern Ontario and Toronto appeared in court in Brampton, Ontario, near Toronto Tuesday. Although an eight-page document prepared by Crown prosecutors detailing precise charges against the accused that were initially set out in summary Monday …

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by James M Yoch Jr

Prosecutors in Egypt on Tuesday added 15 days to the detention time for 185 people who have participated in pro-reform demonstrations since April. All but 21 of the detainees are members of the Muslim Brotherhood; most of the others belong to the opposition reform group Kifaya. …

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by Joe Shaulis

A former civil servant was found guilty Tuesday of defrauding the Canadian government of more than $1.6 million in the so-called sponsorship scandal that helped bring down Canada's Liberal Party government in January. After seven days of deliberations, a jury in Montreal convicted Chuck Guité, a former bureaucrat in the Department of Public Works …

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by Joe Shaulis

A UK court-martial found three British soldiers not guilty of manslaughter Tuesday in the drowning death of a 15-year-old Iraqi boy. The infantrymen - two members of the Irish Guards and one member of the Scots Guards, formerly of the Coldstream Guards - were accused of threatening to shoot four looting suspects unless …

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by Jaime Jansen

Both the Philippines Senate and House of Representatives on Tuesday passed bills repealing the country's 12-year old death penalty law in a move that brings the country one step closer to abolishing the death penalty. The bill will replace all current death penalty sentences with a life imprisonment term. Because both the …

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by Joe Shaulis

The head of the criminal division of the US Justice Department, testifying Tuesday at a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, reiterated the DOJ's position that the federal government has the authority to prosecute journalists who disclose classified information. Matthew Friedrich, principal deputy assistant attorney general, said provisions in the US Code [18 …

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by Jaime Jansen

A British lesbian couple married in British Columbia, Canada, in 2003 argued in the High Court in London Tuesday that their same-sex marriage should be recognized in British law, challenging the Civil Partnership Act 2004 which only accords same-sex couples who legally marry overseas the recognition of a civil union. Complaining that British law automatically recognizes …

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by Joe Shaulis

A committee of the Kenyan National Assembly has shelved the latest version of a long-pending anti-terrorism bill, saying it will not be debated until the United States accepts responsibility for attacks on American interests in Kenya. MP Amina Abdala, who on Monday announced the position of the Committee on Administration of Justice …

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by Jaime Jansen

The sole surviving hostage-taker in the 2004 Beslan school siege has filed an appeal of last week's guilty verdict with the Supreme Court of North Ossetia. Claiming Nurpashi Kulayev's conviction was "unlawful and groundless," lawyer Albert Pliyev argued that the prosecution failed to present evidence implicating him in the terrorism and murder charges. …

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by Jaime Jansen

Progress in eliminating human trafficking which victimizes some 800,000 worldwide is slow, and countries such as Belize, Burma, Iran, Laos, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Uzbekistan, Venezuela and Zimbabwe have failed to effectively combat it, the US Department of State said Monday in its annual report on human trafficking. Describing the report, …

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by Jaime Jansen

The US Senate continues debate Tuesday on the Marriage Protection Amendment, a proposal for a constitutional amendment defining marriage exclusively as a union between a man and a woman. Sponsored by Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO), the amendment effectively prohibiting same-sex marriage came to the Senate floor Monday. …

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by Jaime Jansen

Former Yukos oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has been placed in solitary confinement for violating a prison rule for the third time, Khodorkovsky's lawyer Denis Dyatlev said Monday. Khodorkovsky was placed in the one-man cell Saturday, after allegedly violating a prison rule prohibiting prisoners from selling, buying, accepting or …

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by Jaime Jansen

The father of a fallen Marine has filed the first lawsuit brought by the family of a servicemember against the renegade Westboro Baptist Church [WARNING: readers may find material at this church website offensive; Wikipedia backgrounder] of Topeka, Kansas, seeking unspecified damages for defamation, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress relating to the protest …

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by Jaime Jansen

The American Civil Liberties Union on Monday requested that the Federal Communications Commission hold back approval of a merger [AT&T press release] between telecommunications giants AT&T and BellSouth until the FCC investigates allegations made last month that the two companies, along with Verizon Communications, handed over customer …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Louisiana Senate voted unanimously Monday to send a bill that would ban nearly all abortions in the state to Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who is expected to sign it into law. Doctors who perform abortions could face up to 10 years in prison and $100,000 fines. The bill, banning all …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday extended a deadline he set for the governing Hamas party to accept a "national reconciliation" document which would establish a Palestinian state and implicitly recognize Israel. Abbas has said that if Hamas, which controls the Palestinian Legislative Council, does not accept the document he …

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by Jaime Jansen

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki on Tuesday announced plans to release 2,500 prisoners held in US detention facilities and Iraqi custody if the detainees "are not Saddam Hussein loyalists or terrorists or anyone who has Iraqi blood on their hands." Maliki's move comes in the name of "national reconciliation," while his government struggles with his own Shiite …

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