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Legal news from Monday, July 10, 2006
by Joe Shaulis

The US military on Monday released the identities [MNF-Iraq press conference transcript] of five Army soldiers charged in connection with the rape and murder of an Iraqi woman and the murders of several of her relatives in March at Mahmudiya, 20 miles south of Baghdad. The soldiers and the charges against them are: Spc. …

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by Joe Shaulis

A three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeals heard oral arguments Monday in six cases focusing on same-sex marriage - the first time a California appeals court has considered the issue. The state Attorney General's Office argued that California should be allowed to maintain its traditional definition …

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by Joe Shaulis

US Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) told reporters Monday that floor action on legislation governing procedures for military commissions at Guantanamo Bay is unlikely until after Labor Day. Frist said that Senate Republicans are busy discussing the legislation with Democrats and the White House and that several Senate committees with …

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by Jeannie Shawl

AP is reporting that a federal judge has ruled that an FBI raid on the congressional office of US Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) was legal and has denied Jefferson's request that documents seized during the raid be returned to him. 4:45 PM ET - After the FBI raided his congressional office as part of an …

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by Joe Shaulis

The parliament of Egypt passed a new press law on Monday but removed a particularly controversial provision that would have allowed journalists to be imprisoned for reporting on alleged financial impropriety by public officials. Still, journalists and rights groups fear that other provisions threaten the freedom of the press. Although the law abolishes jail sentences for …

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by Joe Shaulis

A lawyer for the US Justice Department (DOJ) argued in federal court again Monday that a lawsuit challenging the National Security Agency's warrantless domestic surveillance program must be dismissed because defending it in court would jeopardize national security. In the hearing in US District Court in Detroit, DOJ special litigation counsel Anthony J. Coppolino …

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by Jaime Jansen

Prosecutors working for Cambodia's Khmer Rouge genocide tribunal began formal investigation Monday of criminal acts allegedly committed by surviving leaders of the communist Khmer Rouge regime, which ruled Cambodia from 1975-1978 and was responsible for the deaths of at least 1.5 million Cambodians by execution, forced hardships, or starvation in the …

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by Joe Shaulis

The government of Iraq plans to ask the UN Security Council to lift Coalition troops' immunity from Iraqi law, Human Rights Minister Wijdan Michael said Monday. She indicated that a committee formed last week is preparing reports for the Iraqi Cabinet, adding that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki could present Iraq's request to …

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by Jaime Jansen

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe said on Monday that Japan is considering whether launching a pre-emptive strike on North Korean missile bases would violate its constitution if there is no other option to prevent an attack from North Korea. Though Article 9 of the post-World War II Japanese constitution bars …

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by Joe Shaulis

Prisoners at the US detention center at Guantanamo Bay have been subjected to "systematic physical, psychological, sexual, medical and religious abuse," according to a report released Monday by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). CCR describes the 51-page "Report on Torture and Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment of Prisoners at …

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by Jaime Jansen

The government of Sri Lanka said Monday that it will propose constitutional reform in a series of meetings beginning Tuesday in a bid to end a two decade old civil war with Tamil Tiger rebels, who want a separate ethnic homeland in the north and east of the country. The Tamil Tigers …

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by Jaime Jansen

Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker on Monday filed an emergency appeal with the Georgia Supreme Court on behalf of Governor Sonny Perdue, asking the court to overturn a lower court judge's Friday decision to issue a temporary restraining order blocking the implementation of a law requiring Georgia voters to produce photo …

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by Jaime Jansen

The British government is sending Home Office minister Baroness Scotland to the US on Thursday to push for US ratification of the treaty aligning extradition requests between the two nations, which the UK has already ratified. Under the UK Extradition Act 2003 which enshrines the treaty in British law, three British bankers …

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by Jaime Jansen

Mexican leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has asked Mexico's Federal Electoral Court to order a manual recount of returns from the July 2 presidential election, which conservative Felipe Calderon won by just 0.6 percent. Lopez Obrador turned over to …

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by Jaime Jansen

Saddam Hussein, along with several co-defendants and defense lawyers, boycotted trial proceedings Monday at the Iraq High Tribunal as the defense was scheduled to begin closing arguments. The court did hear from a lawyer for defendant Ali Dayih Ali, but Hussein sent a letter to the court saying "the tribunal is lacking in all procedures established …

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by Jaime Jansen

Cyrus Kar, the Los Angeles-based filmmaker of Iranian descent and US Navy veteran detained by US forces in Iraq for 55 days, has sued Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and other top military officials in the US District Court for the Central District of California. Kar argues that his detention in Iraq, which …

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by Jaime Jansen

The trial of six men accused of war crimes in Kosovo in 1999, including former Serbian President Milan Milutinovic, began at the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Monday. Milutinovic and his five co-defendants - former Serbian Prime Minister Nikola Sainovic, former Yugoslav army chiefs of staff Dragoljub Ojdanic and Nebojsa Pavkovic, …

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by Jeannie Shawl

AP is reporting that the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts has ruled that a proposed state constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage can be placed on the ballot for voter approval, if the amendment is approved by the state legislature. Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage …

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by Jaime Jansen

The first federal trial relating to insurance coverage for property damage caused by Hurricane Katrina begins Monday in Gulfport, Mississippi. In the lawsuit against Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, a Mississippi homeowner is disputing the insurance company's decision not to cover his property damage claim. Nationwide denied the claim because it contends the …

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by Jaime Jansen

US Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said that the Bush administration may have violated the law by failing to brief the committee on intelligence activities, in a May 18 letter to President Bush that was first disclosed in the New York Times Saturday. In his letter to President …

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