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Legal news from Thursday, June 29, 2006
by Tom Henry

Former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy on Thursday were convicted of federal bribery and fraud charges. Siegelman was convicted on 10 counts, including bribery, conspiracy, and mail fraud. Scrushy was found guilty of fraud and both were also convicted in …

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by Tom Henry

Lawyers for Omar Khadr, the Canadian citizen who is detained at Guantanamo Bay and charged with killing a US Special Forces soldier in Afghanistan, said Thursday they will seek his extradition to Canada. The request follows Thursday's US Supreme Court ruling in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, which held …

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by Tom Henry

The UN Human Rights Council on Thursday adopted a resolution endorsing the draft International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, which would require signatories to refrain from engaging in forced disappearances. The convention defines forced disappearances as "detention, abduction, or deprivation of liberty by state …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has said that the ruling coalition government in the Netherlands will resign Friday after losing the support of one of the parties making up the coalition due to the treatment of a Dutch lawmaker whose citizenship was nearly revoked. Democraten 66 (D66), a social-liberal party, pulled out …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Defense lawyers for I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby have requested a one-month delay in the trial, which would push the scheduled start date back to February 12, 2007. Lead defense attorney Theodore V. Wells Jr. requested the delay to accommodate a securities fraud trial he believes will take longer than previously expected. Special Counsel Patrick …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Jordan should criminalize torture and end the use of special courts that protect accused police and intelligence officials, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak told a press conference following the conclusion of his two-day visit to Jordan. Nowak said he has evidence that torture is systematically practiced at two detention centers in Amman …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The Arkansas Supreme Court Thursday struck down a regulatory provision barring same-sex couples from raising foster children, saying that it found no connection between homosexuality and child-rearing ability. The state child welfare agency had appealed a lower court ruling against section 200.3.2 of the Arkansas Minimum Licensing Standards of the Child Welfare, which states in …

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by Jaime Jansen

Ta Mok, the former military chief of the Khmer Rouge communist movement in Cambodia who was indicted for genocide in 1999, entered a hospital Thursday as his health continues to deteriorate since becoming sick in jail last week, according to his lawyer. The hospitalization has revived speculation that Ta Mok, 80, will be …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The administration will work with Congress within the boundaries set by the Supreme Court in Thursday's Hamdan v. Rumsfeld decision to "determine whether or not the military tribunals will be an avenue in which to give their day in court," President Bush said during a meeting later Thursday with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro …

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by Jaime Jansen

A leading member of the Catholic Church expressed concern Thursday that the Church could be prosecuted for some of its traditional religious positions against abortion, same-sex marriage and stem cell research. In an interview with leading Italian Catholic magazine Famiglia Cristiana, the head of the Pontifical Council for the …

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by Joshua Pantesco

South Korea's Constitutional Court on Thursday struck down as unconstitutional provisions in the controversial Newspaper Law and the Press Arbitration Law that restrict the circulation of three conservative daily newspapers and authorize the government to compel newspaper retractions without a court order. The Wednesday ruling is based on Article 21 of the Korean Constitution, which reads …

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by Jaime Jansen

Franco Frattini, the EU commissioner for justice, freedom and security, has proposed that national governments of EU member states shift regulation of law enforcement cooperation, cross-border policing and basic rights for criminal suspects to the European level. Referencing the "bridging" clause found in Article 42 of the EU Treaty, Frattini said that EU member …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The UN's top humanitarian expert told the UN Security Council Wednesday that immediate action must to be taken to prevent civilian deaths in ongoing armed conflicts in several countries. Jan Egeland, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said that "In Iraq, Sudan, Uganda, Somalia, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, civilians continue …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Campaign Against Impunity, a group of 300 African and international civil society bodies, has urged the African Union Assembly to call on Senegal to try former Chad President Hissene Habre, Human Rights Watch said Thursday. The AU will meet in Gambia on July 1 to review a …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic ordered the 2000 killing of communist-era Serbian President Ivan Stambolic, his former mentor, to consolidate his hold on power in the former Yugoslavia, Serbia's Supreme Court said in a ruling Thursday that rejected the appeal of eight policemen convicted in 2005 in connection with the plot whose …

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by Joe Shaulis

A federal judge in Los Angeles has given preliminary approval to a settlement in a class-action lawsuit alleging that Yahoo! Inc. overcharged for pay-per-click advertising. As part of the agreement, approved Wednesday by US District Judge Christina Snyder of the Central District of California, Yahoo will offer a claims process …

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by Jaime Jansen

A group of nine low-income citizens filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Wednesday seeking to enjoin legislation requiring proof of citizenship for Medicaid beneficiaries from taking effect on July 1. Families USA sued US Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt arguing …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Wire services are reporting that the US Supreme Court has ruled that military commissions at Guantanamo Bay are illegal under military law and the Geneva Conventions, holding in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, that President Bush did not have authority to establish the commissions as constituted. Salim Hamdan …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The US Supreme Court on Thursday upheld Arizona's law governing insanity defenses in criminal cases, ruling in Clark v. Arizona that the state's approach does not violate constitutional due process. In June 2000 at the age of 17, Eric Clark, a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, shot and killed police …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Recent British court rulings against the legality of control orders restricting terror suspects have precipitated a "constitutional crisis" in the UK, according to Labour Party MP John Denham, chair of the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee, speaking Thursday on BBC Radio 4. Denham was responding to Wednesday's High Court ruling …

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by Joe Shaulis

Kazakhstan's parliament has approved legislation that would subject the news media to more state control. It will not take effect unless signed by President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who vetoed a similar law in 2004. The new legislation provides for high administrative fines and registration fees for media organizations, …

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by Jaime Jansen

Australian-born terror suspect David Hicks will serve his prison sentence in Australia if convicted by a US military commission at Guantanamo Bay, Australian Justice Minister Chris Ellison said Thursday. Hicks, captured in Afghanistan by US forces in 2001 with suspected ties to the Taliban, is one of ten …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A commission headed by the chief judge of New York has recommended that a permanent state commission be established to assume control of the state's indigent legal service systems to ensure that they meet the constitutional requirements for providing adequate representation. Speaking at a news conference Wednesday, Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye unveiled the …

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by Jaime Jansen

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed a civil lawsuit in federal court Wednesday alleging that at least six current and former employees of BP North America manipulated propane prices in 2004 by using BP's dominant market position to increase heating costs in the middle of winter. The CFTC is …

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by Joe Shaulis

The US House of Representatives has defeated a measure that would have barred the US Justice Department from collecting evidence in violation of the "knock and announce" rule. The House voted 310-109 late Wednesday to reject an amendment offered by Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) in reaction to the US Supreme Court's decision two …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Israeli military arrested seven Palestinian Cabinet ministers and some 20 lawmakers Thursday as tensions mounted between Israel and Palestinians sparked by the Sunday abduction of Israeli soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit in Gaza. Israel Army Radio indicated that Israel may trade some of the arrested leaders from the Hamas party …

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