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Legal news from Friday, July 21, 2006
by Bernard Hibbitts

Israel found itself on the defensive with the United States as its most vocal ally in a Friday UN Security Council open meeting in which ambassadors from the Arab world and beyond condemned it for breaching international law in its attacks on Lebanon and, to a lesser extent, in its operations in Gaza in immediate response to …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Six high-level UN human rights officials Friday urged all parties in the Middle East conflict to respect and protect the rights of civilians eight days after the conflict spread to Lebanon. UN rights rapporteurs and representatives on internally displaced persons, housing, food, freedom of expression, health and education issued a rare joint statement expressing "grave concern" …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Christine Chanet, the chair of the UN Human Rights Committee, criticized the United States in comments to reporters Friday, accusing the US of avoiding its duty to submit to hearings regarding US conformity to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. On Monday, the US told the committee that the Covenant …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Bahrain's King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa has ratified a controversial protest law that some rights groups suggest could be inconsistent with common international rights standards. The Amendments to Law 18/1973 criminalizes unauthorized protests, prohibits foreign nationals from demonstrating, and bans demonstrators from certain public places such as hospitals, airports, and near diplomatic offices and other international organizations. …

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by Jaime Jansen

A federal judge presiding over the case of former US Army soldier Steven Green has granted a three-month delay in Green's arraignment on rape and murder charges of an Iraqi civilian and the murder of her family in Mahmudiya. US District Judge Thomas Russell of the Western District of Kentucky agreed Thursday …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A federal judge in Texas has ruled that the US Internal Revenue Service improperly applied 2003 Treasury Department regulations retroactively when it determined that the BLIPS tax shelter, which stands for "bond linked issue premium structure," is invalid. US District Judge John T. Ward's ruling comes in a civil lawsuit where plaintiffs are seeking refunds for IRS …

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by Jaime Jansen

African and black American leaders this week considered a proposal to grant dual citizenship to American descendants of African slaves in a bid to increase investment and interest in Africa [AllAfrica.com report]. Presidents from 12 African countries and American private sector leaders discussed the idea at a four-day summit that concluded Friday in Abuja, Nigeria hosted by …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Omar Khadr, the nineteen-year-old Canadian citizen who has been detained at Guantanamo Bay for more than four years, wrote a letter to his mother last week telling her that he has fired his US lawyers, the Globe and Mail reported Friday. A US military lawyer appointed to represent Khadr, Lieutenant-Colonel Colby Vokey, said …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The editor of Indonesian online newspaper Rakyat Merdeka will face trial for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad on the website in February, his lawyers said Friday. Editor Teguh Santosa was arrested by Indonesian prosecutors on Wednesday night and was held for 24 hours before his release late Thursday night. He is charged with "inciting animosity …

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by Jaime Jansen

The US Marine Corps has denied a request by defense lawyers representing seven Marines and a Navy corpsman accused of murdering an unarmed Iraqi man in April to visit the Hamdania site where the alleged murder occurred. The lawyers requested a site visit in an effort to interview locals and view topographical details that are not accurately …

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by Jaime Jansen

A vote this week by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) at its annual meeting in Seattle to change its name to the American Association for Justice (AAJ) has drawn derision from critics of trial lawyers and the American litigation process. Incoming president Mike Eidson, a south Florida product liability attorney, …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The top legal advisor to the US Secretary of State assured the UK on Friday that the three British bankers who were extradited to the US in connection with the Enron fraud scandal will receive a fair trial, and that the extradition treaty is fair. In the first official US response to the extradition controversy [JURIST …

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by Jaime Jansen

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor on Friday made his first court appearance in The Hague since leaving Sierra Leone last month. Taylor's lawyer Karim Khan told the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), sitting at International Criminal Court (ICC) facilities, that Taylor is unhappy with prison conditions at …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Doctors have warned Saddam Hussein that his now two-week-long hunger strike could have adverse health effects, according to a US military spokesman Thursday. Hussein drinks coffee and fortified water, but has refused to eat since July 7. Hussein began the hunger strike in protest of trial court procedures and the killings of three defense …

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by Andrew Wood

Following the death of former Khmer Rouge military leader Ta Mok Thursday, local observers say that with few top Khmer Rouge officials left to be prosecuted before the new Khmer Rouge genocide tribunal scheduled to begin holding trials next year, the process may already be in trouble. Former head …

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by Jaime Jansen

Americans for a Republican Majority (ARMPAC), a political committee set up by former House Majority leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), has agreed to shut down and pay a fine for improperly reporting financial activity. ARMPAC agreed to the $115,000 penalty, imposed by the US Federal Election Commission, late …

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by Jaime Jansen

Virginia executed a man Thursday night using the electric chair, the first execution by electrocution in the country in over two years. Brandon Wayne Hedrick, convicted of the rape and murder of a 23 year old women in 1998, chose electrocution over lethal injection. Virginia allows death row inmates to …

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by Jaime Jansen

Indian authorities arrested three men Friday in connection with the July 11 Mumbai train bombings that killed over 180 people. The three suspects arrested by authorities - Khaleel Aziz Sheikh, Kamal Ahmed Ansari and Mumtaz Ahmed Chowdhury - are not the same three suspects Indian authorities named last week. Mumbai police, …

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