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Legal news from Friday, June 30, 2006
by Jaime Jansen

The International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on Friday convicted Naser Oric, a former senior commander of Bosnian Muslim forces in Srebrenica, for failing to prevent the murder and inhumane treatment of Serb prisoners. Oric, sentenced to two years in prison, will be released immediately for time …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Iraqi High Tribunal said on Friday that while coalition forces still provide physical protection for former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, he has been safe and in no danger in the legal custody of the Iraqi judiciary since June 30, 2004, when the US-led coalition forces handed Iraq over to the transitional government. …

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by Joshua Pantesco

USA Today reported Friday that its inside sources at BellSouth and Verizon are unable to "document a contractual relationship" between the two phone companies and the National Security Agency, or document that "the companies turned over bulk calling records" for the alleged NSA phone records database. Lawmakers sitting on the House and Senate …

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by Jaime Jansen

Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said on Friday that he would like the state legislature to consider reinstating a ban on same-sex foster parents after the Arkansas Supreme Court Thursday struck down a regulatory provision barring same-sex couples from raising foster children. The court upheld a lower court decision, saying that it …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The US military is investigating reports that five US soldiers raped a young woman in the city of Mahmudiyah [globalsecurity.org backgrounder; also "Mahmoudiyah", "Mahmoudiya" or "Mahmudiya"] and then killed her and three family members last March, an anonymous official told AP Friday. According to another official, one of the soldiers under investigation came forward on June 22 to confess …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Uzbekistan moved closer to abolishing the death penalty on Thursday as Uzbek President Islam Karimov ordered the establishment of a commission charged with drafting anti-death penalty legislation as well as new criminal laws, both substantive and procedural, to implement the change. The order establishing the working group directed attention to amending the Criminal Code of Uzbekistan [excerpted …

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by Jaime Jansen

A panel of federal judges in Texas has given parties to a lawsuit over Texas' congressional district two weeks to propose a solution to the 2003 Texas redistricting plan for the 23rd Congressional District, which the US Supreme Court scrapped on Wednesday. US District Judge T. John Ward of the Eastern …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz has said that a group of two dozen Hamas MPs and ministers who were detained Thursday will not be held in administrative detention [B'Tselem backgrounder] under the Incarceration of Unlawful Combatants Law. Mazuz said he will instead use standard criminal warrants under the Prevention of Terror Ordinance. …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Tenet Healthcare has agreed to pay $900 million to resolve federal allegations of illegal Medicare billing practices. Tenet was charged in 2003 with violating the False Claims Act by billing the government for services not provided to patients, billing it for "outlier" costs "substantially in excess" of the actual …

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by Joshua Pantesco

In a victory for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a package of constitutional reforms aimed at separating and clarifying the powers of the federal and state governments passed Germany's lower house of parliament in a 428-162 vote Friday, with three lawmakers abstaining. After World War II, Germany's government was organized under an inefficient system …

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by Jaime Jansen

A federal judge has extended a temporary restraining order preventing the state of Georgia from fully enforcing a law that restricts where convicted sex offenders can live. The restraining order issued Monday applied only to the eight plaintiffs in the case, but US District Judge Clarence Cooper in the Northern District of Georgia …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Turkish Grand National Assembly broadened the country's anti-terror laws Thursday by adopting new legislation that delays a suspect's guaranteed access to a lawyer for the first 24 hours of detention and expands the definition of offenses classified as terrorism. New acts classified as terrorism include human trafficking, drug smuggling, obstruction of education, …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The French Senate and National Assembly gave final approval Friday to the so-called "iTunes" copyright legislation, meaning the bill will soon become law assuming the failure of a constitutional challenge filed last week by the Socialist party. The government still has the option of amending the bill before it is signed. Though the original bill, …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The US House of Representatives voted 232-187 Thursday to approve the Deep Ocean Energy Resources Act, which "provide for exploration, development, and production activities for mineral resources on the Outer Continental Shelf." The bill, a version of which was approved in a House committee in October, would end the offshore …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Former East Timor Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, who resigned on Monday, on Friday refused to respond to a prosecutor's summons to appear for questioning in connection with allegations that he organized and armed a private militia. Instead, Alkatiri wrote a letter back to prosecutors saying he is waiting for his lawyer, and that he intends …

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by Jaime Jansen

The UN Human Rights Council (HRC) has adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a document which asserts that indigenous peoples worldwide should have the right to restitution of land and resources taken from them. Bypassing objections from Canada and Russia, the HRC voted by a margin of …

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by Jaime Jansen

Australian Prime Minister John Howard said Friday that he wants Australian-born terror suspect David Hicks to be tried in American courts even after the US Supreme Court on Thursday struck down military commissions set up to try terror suspects detained at the US detention center in Guantanamo Bay …

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by Jaime Jansen

Ta Mok, the former military chief of the Khmer Rouge communist movement in Cambodia who was indicted on crimes against humanity charges in 1999 and has been in detention since 2002, demanded a swift trial Friday. An unexpected hospitalization has renewed fears that he will not live through the …

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by Jaime Jansen

China has approved stiffer penalties for people responsible for industrial accidents and white collar crimes, state media said on Friday. The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) increased the maximum jail sentence from seven to 15 years for individuals who make employees work in dangerous conditions that ultimately result in industrial accidents, and …

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