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Legal news from Wednesday, July 12, 2006
by Joshua Pantesco

US Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and other leading Republican members of the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday pushed for legislation authorizing military commissions for terror suspects detained at Guantanamo Bay during a committee hearing on how the government should proceed in bringing terror suspects to justice following the Supreme Court decision in Hamdan v. …

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by Tom Henry

The US military revealed Wednesday that Saddam Hussein and three of his co-defendants are five days into a hunger strike in protest of trial court procedures and the killings of three of their defense lawyers, which they believe occurred because of inadequate security provided by US forces. Defense lawyer Khalil al-Dulaimi, who claims the hunger strike …

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by Tom Henry

Bosnian immigrant Marko Boskic was convicted Wednesday when a US federal jury found that he had failed to reveal his role in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre while trying to enter the US as a refugee. Boskic was charged in August 2004 with five counts of making false declarations on US immigration applications …

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by Tom Henry

US Reps. Christopher Shays (R-CT) and Martin Meehan (D-MA) have filed a lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission (FEC) challenging new rules regarding campaign communications that can be narrow FEC standard of what constitutes "coordination" would permit groups or individuals with economic or political clout to have too strong a voice …

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by Joshua Pantesco

US District Judge Harold Murphy on Wednesday issued a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of Georgia's voter ID law until a full trial can be held in a challenge brought by civil rights groups. Murphy, the same federal judge who struck down a previous version of the law last year, …

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by Joshua Pantesco

House Republicans have agreed to hold a vote Thursday on extending provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act for another 25 years, House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) announced Wednesday. In June Southern lawmakers unexpectedly balked at two key provisions - one requiring nine mostly Southern states with a history of race-based voter discrimination to …

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by Joshua Pantesco

British Members of Parliament voted to adjourn the House of Commons early Wednesday in protest against the pending extradition of three British NatWest bankers to the US to face charges in the Enron fraud scandal. During a three-hour debate before the vote, Liberal Democrat shadow Home Secretary MP Nick Clegg criticized Prime …

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by Jaime Jansen

Ugandan Security Minister Amama Mbabazi on Wednesday asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to retract its indictments against several leaders of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) for war crimes in an effort to encourage senior LRA rebels to attend peace talks with the Ugandan government. The peace talks, scheduled to begin Wednesday, have been delayed …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The Malaysian Federal Court on Wednesday upheld the expulsion of three students who refused to abide by School Regulations 1997, which prohibits the wearing of Islamic turbans at school. The challenge to the religious dress regulation was brought under Article 11(1) of the Malaysian Constitution, which reads, "very person has the right to …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), part of Europe's human rights watchdog the Council of Europe, called on Albania Wednesday to improve prisoner treatment in the country's network of prisons. The CPT published reports from a July 2003 visit and a May-June …

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by Jaime Jansen

Ohio authorities on Wednesday morning executed the first inmate under new lethal injection guidelines implemented last month in a move to prevent extreme pain during an execution. In a June report and letter to Ohio Governor Bob Taft, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction director Terry Collins set forth several changes …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The fundamental rights of two terror suspects were not violated when EU member states froze their assets, the European Court of First Instance ruled Wednesday. Ireland and the UK froze the bank accounts of a Tunisian and Libyan national, respectively, after European Council Regulation 881/2002, which implemented several UN Security Council resolutions, …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal Wednesday overturned a lower court decision that had allowed law enforcement to temporarily carry out covert surveillance. Justice Michael Hartmann of the Hong Kong High Court ruled in February that an executive order on covert surveillance operations made last year by …

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by Joe Shaulis

The US Supreme Court's recent decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld has not changed the Justice Department's position on the legality of the National Security Agency's anti-terrorism surveillance program, according to a senior DOJ official writing to Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY). Assistant Attorney General William E. Moschella wrote …

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by Jaime Jansen

Serbian President Boris Tadic said Tuesday on the 11th anniversary of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of some 8000 Muslim men and boys that all war criminals should be punished, regardless of their nationality. In a statement, Tjadic said that the "Hague tribunal" - the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The UK will not implement an amnesty program for illegal immigrants, Immigration Minister Liam Byrne said Wednesday, and will instead seek "fair but tough" enforcement of current rules. Byrne's comments came at the conclusion of an official review of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND), the UK office charged with controlling the country's borders, which was ordered …

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by Joe Shaulis

Indonesia's House of Representatives has passed a bill giving more autonomy to Aceh province and writing into law the terms of last year's peace agreement with rebels. But former rebels have criticized the law as not going far enough, and transportation workers in Aceh - which was devastated by …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said Tuesday that a proposal to limit ACLU board members from publicly speaking about their internal policies has been withdrawn by a committee of the National Board of Directors. The proposal drew criticism from editorialists, donors, and board members as a hypocritical limit on board members' ability to …

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by Jaime Jansen

The US Army plans to discontinue a contract to provide logistical support to US troops with oil services giant Halliburton, the Washington Post reported Wednesday. Halliburton has served as the exclusive contractor in Iraq, and Army officials said cutting ties with Halliburton is a move to employ multiple contractors in a bid …

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by Jaime Jansen

The US House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a bill to effectively ban most Internet gambling by a margin of 317-93. The legislation would prohibit people from using credit cards and other forms of Internet payments to settle Internet bets, and also allow law enforcement and Internet providers to block access to …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak on Wednesday revealed that Karl Rove, President Bush's top political advisor, was one of two secondary sources who confirmed that former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame Wilson, was employed by the CIA and helped initiate the ambassador's 2002 mission to Niger. It was Novak's July 2003 column that publicly outed …

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by Joe Shaulis

Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of the British intelligence agency known as MI6, has said that two components of the US war on terrorism would be illegal under British law. Dearlove, who led the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) from 1999 to 2004 and is now master of Pembroke College, Cambridge, said the CIA's …

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by Jaime Jansen

William Haynes, the Pentagon general counsel nominated to the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, struggled to defend defense policies Tuesday during a Senate confirmation hearing, drawing bipartisan questions relating to coercive interrogation techniques employed by the military in questioning terrorism suspects. Haynes helped draft the Defense Department's detention and interrogation …

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by Jeannie Shawl

US Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, told reporters Tuesday that the Defense Department has been too lenient in its policies on custody of terror suspects, questioning the release of detainees from Guantanamo Bay. Hunter's comments came ahead of a scheduled Wednesday committee hearing on …

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by Jaime Jansen

European Commission antitrust regulators imposed a $357 million fine on Microsoft Wednesday for not complying with a 2004 European Union antitrust ruling. Early in July, the EC approved in principle new fines against Microsoft, after it warned last December that Microsoft may face fines …

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