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Legal news from Tuesday, June 13, 2006
by James M Yoch Jr

The US Department of Defense has rejected a demand by Amnesty International for an independent investigation into last weekend's three detainee suicides at the Guantanamo Bay detention center. A Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday that no independent probe was needed and maintained that the military would investigate the deaths itself. Military …

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by James M Yoch Jr

The new US Army Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogation will not contain a classified section, despite warnings from some in the Department of Defense that disclosing certain techniques would undermine the ability of interrogators to extract information, military officials said Tuesday. Interrogation techniques originally slated to be classified will be released publicly in the new …

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by James M Yoch Jr

Former Atlanta mayor Bill Campbell was sentenced to 2 1/2 years imprisonment Tuesday for three tax evasion charges on which he was convicted in March. Judge Richard Story of the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia also ordered Campbell to pay $62,823 in unpaid taxes and $6,300 in fines. Campbell, …

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by Joe Shaulis

A former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration testified in a deposition that the agency postponed a decision to allow over-the-counter sales of Plan B emergency contraceptives while it considered how to restrict nonprescription access only to females 17 and older. Dr. Lester Crawford, a veterinarian who led the …

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by Joe Shaulis

Lawyers for three men Arab Muslim men argued before the Supreme Court of Canada Tuesday that a program allowing the government to indefinitely detain and deport foreigners with suspected ties to terrorism is unconstitutional. The three men - Adil Charkaoui, Hassan Almrei and Mohamed Harkat - contend that their detentions breach the Canadian Charter of …

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by Joe Shaulis

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the UN Security Council Tuesday that he has asked the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to establish an independent commission that will investigate the recent surge in violence in East Timor. "The sad events of recent weeks reflect shortcomings not only on …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Egyptian Parliament has sent an anticipated judicial reform bill prepared by the Ministry of Justice back to Egypt's Cabinet to iron out controversial points, including the Justice Ministry's right to assess the performance of judges, the role of the Supreme Judiciary Council (SJC) in supervising judges, and government control over SJC appointments. Reformist judges have criticized …

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by Joe Shaulis

A federal judge has granted a defense request to dismiss a criminal charge that W.R. Grace & Co. and its executives knowingly endangered miners and residents of Libby, Montana by concealing health risks from asbestos contained in vermiculite. Chief US District Judge Donald Malloy of the District of Montana …

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by Jaime Jansen

The American Medical Association has passed a measure clarifying its ethical guidelines, which prohibit doctors from participating in torture or coercive interrogations. The AMA on Monday reiterated its contention that a doctor's duty is to heal a patient, and cannot take any part in prisoner interrogations. The AMA added that doctor-patient confidentiality still applies to …

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by Joe Shaulis

As expected, the new government of Nepal dropped terrorism charges against 190 Maoist rebels on Tuesday and freed them from jails in nine cities, a Home Ministry spokesman said. About 160 rebels are still incarcerated but will be released once courts issue individual orders. The communist rebels faced charges such as murder …

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by Jaime Jansen

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will visit the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in the coming days, in an effort to assess the overall mood of the camp in the wake of three detainee suicides last weekend. Though the unscheduled visit will not be an inquiry into the …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Libyan retrial of five Bulgarian nurses and one Palestinian doctor accused of infecting over 400 patients, primarily children, with the HIV virus, resumed Tuesday before presiding judge Mahmoud Haouissa adjourned until June 20, stating that the prosecution and defense both need additional time to prepare evidence and witness lists. Haouissa postponed the retrial once before [JURIST …

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by Jaime Jansen

US District Judge Frank Damrell of the US District Court for the Eastern District of California dismissed a lawsuit brought by atheist Michael Newdow against the US government, arguing that the words "In God We Trust" on US currency violate Newdow's rights under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. In his 18-page …

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by Jaime Jansen

Australian Attorney General Philip Ruddock said on Tuesday that Australia's national government has overturned the recent Civil Unions Bill 2006 enacted by the legislature in the Australian Capital Territory, the federal district that includes the capital city Canberra. The government of Australian Prime Minister John Howard and his Cabinet …

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by Jaime Jansen

Judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman, the chief judge in the Saddam Hussein trial, told the courtroom Tuesday that this would be the last day the court would hear defense witnesses, fostering speculation that the trial will end soon. Abdel-Rahman cut off defense witnesses despite complaints by American defense lawyer Curtis Doebbler on Monday that …

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by Jaime Jansen

The American Civil Liberties Union on Monday asked the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to force the US Central Intelligence Agency to turn over two documents relating to the CIA's overseas interrogation practices under the ACLU's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The ACLU wants the documents …

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by Jaime Jansen

Karl Rove, President Bush's top political advisor, will not face criminal charges in the three-year investigation into the leak of a CIA operative's name, according to a letter Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald sent to Rove's attorney Robert Luskin on Monday. Fitzgerald investigated whether Rove tried to conceal his …

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