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Legal news from Wednesday, June 14, 2006
by Jeannie Shawl

Luis Moreno Ocampo, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, told the UN Security Council Wednesday that his investigation into crimes against humanity in Darfur has documented thousands of killings of civilians, large scale massacres, and hundreds of rapes that he anticipates will result in multiple cases rather than a single proceeding [UN …

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by Joe Shaulis

The US House Budget Committee on Wednesday approved legislation that would give the president a line-item veto over individual provisions in spending bills. The Legislative Line-Item Veto Act of 2006 is weaker than the 1996 line-item veto legislation that the US Supreme Court struck down as violating …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Council of Europe (COE) Secretary General Terry Davis concluded in a new report published Wednesday that many European governments do not have adequate administrative, judicial, or parliamentary control mechanisms to ensure that their airspace and aircraft are not being used for illegal rendition programs. As part of an ongoing Council probe into alleged CIA rendition flights [JURIST …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Three independent UN experts in the areas of judicial independence and freedom of expression expressed "grave concern" for "recent attacks against the judiciary of Egypt," and for detaining protesters who rallied in support of several reform-oriented judges. Specifically, the experts condemned a disciplinary panel decision to reprimand pro-reform judge Hisham Bastawisi for "exercising his …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Serbian Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld 40-year prison sentences for four former members of a special police unit that took orders from then-Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic to kill ex-Serb President Ivan Stambolic in August 2000. Belgrade's special court convicted eight men of the assassination last year, sentencing them each to 4 …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking to force the US Department of Defense to reveal information collected for a domestic terrorist threats database that was allegedly used to spy on peaceful anti-war protesters across the United States. In February, the ACLU submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) …

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by Jaime Jansen

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE) has arrested over 2,000 illegal immigrants since May 26 in an effort to crackdown on deported gang members, pedophiles and violent felons who snuck back into the US, officials said Wednesday. Under the nationwide "Operation Return to Sender," half of the illegal immigrants arrested had criminal records …

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by Joshua Pantesco

France's Court of Cassation, the highest court in the country, on Wednesday upheld the conviction of American financier George Soros [Soros.org profile] on insider trading charges. Soros said he plans to appeal the ruling to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). An appeals court ruled in 2005 that Soros' 1988 purchase of …

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by Joshua Pantesco

UK Attorney General Lord Goldsmith and Home Secretary John Reid have agreed to meet to consult on procedures to govern the appeal of sentences for sex offenses after Reid objected to a judge's sentence as "too lenient" and demanded that Goldsmith's office take it to the Court of Appeal. Craig Sweeney was sentenced to life …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Lawyers for the three Guantanamo Bay detainees who committed suicide have questioned why it took the US military Wednesday three days to notify them of their clients' deaths, saying the delay caused unnecessary distress for the detainees' families. The lawyers also said the failure to notify counsel of the suicides suggests that the military …

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by Jaime Jansen

Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi is calling for a renewed effort to pass the European constitution after next year's French elections. Prodi spoke in Vienna on Tuesday during a meeting with Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schussel to kick off a tour of EU capitals. The …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A lawyer for a Guantanamo Bay detainee who was formally cleared of terror charges said Wednesday that the US State Department is speaking with the Canadian government to secure his client's release to that country. Canada would have to issue a minister's permit under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to either allow the …

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by Jaime Jansen

The UK law lords ruled Wednesday that three British men and one Canadian man who claim to have been tortured in Saudi Arabian jails after confessing to participating in a series of terrorist bombings in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 2000 and 2001 cannot sue Saudi officials responsible for their imprisonment in British courts because …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A French court on Wednesday convicted 24 Muslim defendants of "criminal association in relation with a terrorist enterprise" for helping terrorist combatants in Chechnya and for planning an attack to take place in Paris. Another defendant was convicted of using forged papers, and two were acquitted. Prosecutors brought the criminal association charge against the Paris-area group after investigators raided …

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by Jaime Jansen

Amnesty International on Wednesday accused European states of being "partners in crime" with the United States in the alleged circuit of CIA rendition flights transporting terror suspects to third countries known to use torture. The human rights group, in an open letter addressed to the Council of the European Union …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Australian Prime Minister John Howard said Wednesday that the country was "extremely disappointed" and "distressed" at the release from prison of Abu Bakar Bashir, the Indonesian Muslim cleric jailed in connection to the 2002 Bali bombings. Bashir was released Wednesday after serving 26 months in prison following his conviction on conspiracy charges [JURIST …

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by Jaime Jansen

The United Nations on Wednesday renewed its calls for the US to immediately close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay in the wake of three detainee suicides last weekend, saying the suicides were predictable because of the conditions there. In a statement issued Wednesday, five UN human rights experts who have …

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