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Legal news from Thursday, July 20, 2006
by Tom Henry

A federal judge Thursday rejected a US Department of Justice (DOJ) motion to dismiss on state secrets grounds a class action lawsuit brought against AT&T alleging that the telecommunications giant violated citizens' rights to privacy as well as several federal statutes when it allowed …

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by Tom Henry

US authorities announced Thursday that compensation payments totaling $112,000 had been approved for victims of a May accident involving an American cargo truck in Kabul, Afghanistan, that set off an anti-American riot in which at least seven people died. According to conflicting reports, either US soldiers or Afghan police fired into a crowd to …

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by Tom Henry

Cambodian genocide suspect Ek Choeun, also known as Ta Mok, died Thursday after having slipped into a coma in Phnom Penh earlier this week. He was 80. The former zone secretary and central committee member of the Khmer Rouge, who had been suffering from high blood pressure, tuberculosis, respiratory and other …

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by Tom Henry

The US Senate voted Thursday to extend the Voting Rights Act (VRA) Thursday by 25 years rather than allowing portions of it to expire. The bill reauthorizing the VRA, which over the past four decades has helped to end election schemes that kept blacks from the polls, was approved by a …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Former US Rep. Bob Barr on Thursday filed a complaint on behalf of Georgia firearms dealer Adventure Outdoors in a Georgia state court alleging that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg violated state and federal laws while preparing to file a federal lawsuit against fifteen out-of-state gun dealers. The complaint [PDF …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A lawyer for Tariq Aziz, former deputy prime minister and foreign minister for ousted Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, has filed a habeas corpus petition with the US Supreme Court, seeking his release from the custody of coalition forces in Iraq. Aziz lawyer Giovanni Di Stefano [law firm website; Aziz case …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Responding to recent controversy over UK sentencing guidelines and following up on a major June policy address by Prime Minister Tony Blair, Home Secretary John Reid on Thursday released a criminal justice system review making several recommendations aimed at putting the rights of victims before the rights of criminals. To …

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by Jaime Jansen

Paul Hunt, the UN Human Rights Council's Special Rapporteur on the right to the highest attainable standard of health, has called for an independent inquiry into war crimes in Gaza, saying that some Israeli attacks on Gaza are a violation of international humanitarian law. In a statement issued Wednesday, Hunt noted that the humanitarian situation …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Amnesty International (AI) took Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo! to task for "Undermining Freedom of Expression in China" as part of a campaign, launched Thursday, to "combat internet oppression" worldwide. The report alleges that the Internet companies have been complicit in efforts by the Chinese government to silence government critics, in violation …

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by Jaime Jansen

Nicolo Pollari, chief of the Italian Intelligence and Security Services, told a closed door meeting of the Italian Senate defense committee that Italian intelligence was not involved in the alleged CIA extraordinary rendition of Egyptian cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, also known as Abu Omar. Italian police arrested two intelligence officials [JURIST …

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by Jaime Jansen

Prosecutors in East Timor questioned former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri Thursday about allegations that he illegally distributed weapons to local militias and ordered them to kill political opponents. An investigation began after Vincent "Railos" da Concecao, claiming he was the leader of the alleged hit squad, told reporters that Alkatiri and former Interior Minister …

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by Joshua Pantesco

During an uncommon open session of the US House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, several legal heavyweights debated whether the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) should be revamped to meet the challenges presented by terrorism. Under the current procedure authorized by FISA, the US Justice Department (DOJ) must seek a warrant from the court established by …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Relatives of four Iraqi citizens who were allegedly murdered by US soldiers in the town of Mahmudiya (also "Mahmoudiya") are refusing US requests to exhume the bodies, complicating the US case against the six soldiers. No rape test was performed on the body of a 14-year-old girl who US officials believe was raped, forcing the prosecution …

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by Jaime Jansen

A federal grand jury in Atlanta has indicted two US citizens charged with participating in paramilitary training in Georgia in anticipation of terrorist acts. The suspects, Syed Haris Ahmed and Ebsanul Islam Sadequeee, allegedly developed contacts with jihad supporters and have been connected with at least three of the 17 men arrested on terrorism charges in …

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by Jaime Jansen

The US House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a measure to seize land on Mount Soledad in San Diego to resolve a dispute over whether a 29-foot cross honoring Korean War veterans on the property is a government endorsement of religion. The House agreed to transfer the land to the Defense …

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