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Legal news from Tuesday, June 27, 2006
by Bernard Hibbitts

A proposed constitutional amendment to prohibit physical desecration of the American flag failed by one vote late Tuesday to get the two-thirds Senate approval necessary to send it on to the states for ratification. Senators voted 66 in favor, and 34 against. The US House of Representatives passed the amendment …

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by Natalie Hrubos

A federal judge in Manhattan ruled Tuesday that the US government violated the constitutional rights of 16 former employees of KPMG by pressuring the professional services firm to stop paying the employees' defense costs in an ongoing criminal tax shelters case. US District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan found that the tactic …

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by Joe Shaulis

A Bosnian immigrant to the United States accused of concealing his role in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre to gain entry went on trial Tuesday in Boston, where survivors described their ordeals in court. Marko Boskic was charged in August 2004 with five counts of making false declarations on US immigration applications and …

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by Joe Shaulis

The parliament of Egypt has passed a bill that restricts the government's influence over the judiciary but falls short of the reforms demanded by some judges. Although the Judicial Authority Law approved Monday by the People's Assembly ends the justice minister's authority over the attorney general, it does not incorporate other changes proposed by …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly on Tuesday passed a resolution adopting the report of Swiss legislator Dick Marty accusing European countries of colluding with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in transporting terror suspects in a "global spider's web" of secret prisons and rendition flights. The Assembly also called for …

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by Joe Shaulis

East Timor prosecutors have summoned former prime minister Mari Alkatiri for questioning about allegations that he formed a hit squad to target opponents. Alkatiri resigned from office Monday amid public protests. The government lawyers said Alkatiri could be charged. A close associate of Alkatiri's, former Interior Minister Rogerio Lobato, is already facing …

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by Jaime Jansen

The European Court of Human Rights has rejected a request by three British bankers wanted in the US in connection with the Enron scandal to stay their extradition. David Bermingham, Gary Mulgrew, and Giles Darby, formerly of NatWest, will likely be extradited to the US in mid-July to face charges …

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by Joe Shaulis

President Bush on Tuesday again pressed the US Senate to pass a line-item veto bill that was approved by the House last week. Speaking in Washington to members of the Manhattan Institute, Bush emphasized that the bill was crafted to pass constitutional muster: We figured out that, …

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by Jaime Jansen

The FBI on Monday dropped its investigation into the library records of a Connecticut library, concluding that the identity of patrons using a particular computer last February no longer posed a threat to national security. Four librarians mounted a challenge against the National Security Letter (NSL) they received last year, refusing to turn …

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by Jaime Jansen

An investigative committee for Thailand's Attorney General's office on Tuesday unanimously recommended that five of Thailand's political parties be dissolved because of fraud surrounding an April general election. The recommendation includes the ruling Thai Rak Thai led by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, as well as the opposition Democrats and …

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by Joe Shaulis

Lawyers for David Hicks, an Australian held by the US at the Guantanamo Bay detention center, may seek judicial review of the UK Foreign Office's decision not to petition the US for his release. Hicks' Australian lawyer, David McLeod, said that another approach being considered is to press the …

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by Joe Shaulis

A lawyer for the US Department of Justice on Tuesday defended President Bush's frequent use of signing statements to interpret legislation passed by Congress, in testimony before the US Senate Judiciary Committee. Deputy Assistant Attorney General Michelle E. Boardman testified during the committee's hearing on signing statements that …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Chinese government said Tuesday that a law imposing fines on media organizations reporting national emergencies without gaining local government approval could go into effect by October. The law, which has been sent to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, would fine media organizations up to $12,000 for reporting on emergencies such as …

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by Jaime Jansen

A group of media organizations has asked a Canadian judge to consider vacating a media blackout in the cases of 17 men arrested in Ontario earlier this month and charged with a terrorist plot. Under Canada's Criminal Code, a judge may order a publication ban on details from court hearings in order to …

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by Jaime Jansen

US District Judge Fernando Gaitan Jr. halted all executions in Missouri Monday until Missouri can ensure that inmates do not suffer when given a lethal injection. Gaitan gave the Missouri Department of Corrections until July 15 to find a new way to execute inmates, ruling in the case of death row inmate Michael Taylor. The US Supreme …

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by Jaime Jansen

Lawyers for two of the seven men indicted last week on terrorism charges for allegedly conspiring to bomb the Sears Tower in Chicago and the FBI headquarters in Miami said Monday that their clients were entrapped by an FBI informant posing as an al Qaeda operative. Albert Levin, the court-appointed attorney for Patrick Abraham, told Bill O'Reilly …

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by Jaime Jansen

Saddam Hussein and at least six co-defendants will face a second trial beginning August 21 for allegedly killing 100,000 Kurds during the so-called "Anfal" operation in northern Iraq in the 1980s, the Iraqi High Tribunal said Tuesday. The tribunal filed genocide and crimes against humanity charges against Hussein and his co-defendants in …

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by Jaime Jansen

John Bellinger, the top legal adviser for the US State Department, said Monday that the US would like to close its detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, but must first make sure that detainees will not pose a security risk or face torture when returned to their native countries. Bellinger added that several …

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by Jaime Jansen

Iraq's council of ministers on Monday took the first steps to elaborate on Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's national reconciliation initiative, which he unveiled to parliament Sunday. In a statement, the council said that government employees who had been detained would be reinstated to their positions and for purposes of promotion and retirement, …

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by Natalie Hrubos

Opening arguments began Tuesday in the fraud trial of Tongsun Park, who has been charged with money laundering, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and acting as an unregistered agent of the government of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in connection with the now-defunct UN oil-for-food program. The prosecutor in …

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