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Legal news from Monday, July 31, 2006
by Holly Manges Jones

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour on Monday "strongly condemned" the weekend Israeli bombing of the Lebanese village of Qana that resulted in the deaths of some 60 civilians - including 37 children - and said that an independent investigation is necessary "in order to establish facts and conduct an impartial legal …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Two British men who face fraud charges in the US related to the Enron scandal are searching for new lawyers, according to papers filed Monday by counsel for a third British man also facing trial. The trial date for the three former NatWest bankers is set for September 11, but the men claim they …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Several hundred thousand protestors camped out in Mexico City's major business district Monday to rally against the defeat of presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in the country's July 2 election and call for a ballot recount. The protestors, who were led by Lopez Obrador, brought the capital city's Reforma boulevard …

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by Joe Shaulis

Corruption charges filed last week against former Malawi President Bakili Muluzi have been dropped after the head of the country's Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) was suspended, Malawi's director of public prosecutions said Monday. President Bingu wa Mutharika, Muluzi's hand-picked successor, suspended ACB director Gustave Kaliwo on Thursday, leaving …

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by Joe Shaulis

The parliament of Afghanistan on Monday confirmed Abdul Salam Hazami as chief justice of the Afghan Supreme Court after rejecting an earlier nominee put forward by President Hamid Karzai. Hazami's new nomination was approved by a vote of 158-16, with five abstentions. Hazami, who graduated from Kabul University and Al-Azhar …

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by Joe Shaulis

Lawyers for the Texas Republican Party argued before the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Monday that the GOP should be allowed to remove former US House Majority Leader Tom DeLay from the November ballot because he no longer lives in Texas. The party is appealing a decision [text, PDF; …

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by Joe Shaulis

A senior Italian intelligence official has told prosecutors that the US Central Intelligence Agency had planned to kidnap more than 10 Muslims suspected of terrorism from Italy and elsewhere and deliver them to Middle Eastern countries for interrogation and detention, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday. Gen. Gustavo Pignero, who along with a colleague was arrested …

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by Jaime Jansen

A federal judge has blocked a Minnesota law scheduled to take effect Tuesday that would have imposed a fine of up to $25 on minors who purchase video games rated for adults and would have required retailers to post notice of the fines. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) argued before US District Judge James Rosenbaum that …

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by Joe Shaulis

Former telecommunications executive Clark McLeod has agreed to pay $4.4 million to settle a lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, Spitzer's office announced Monday. Spitzer filed the lawsuit in 2002, alleging that McLeod, former chairman and CEO of McLeodUSA Inc., had received stock …

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by Joe Shaulis

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday that a state law prohibiting felons from voting while on parole does not violate the Colorado Constitution. The unanimous court affirmed the decision of the Denver district court, holding that parole is part of a convict's "full term of imprisonment," even though parole did not exist when the voting provisions of …

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by Jaime Jansen

The judge presiding over the much-anticipated corruption trial of former South Africa deputy president Jacob Zuma Monday postponed proceedings until September 5. The prosecution sought to have the trial postponed for further investigation, while the defense sought to have the case withdrawn. Zuma was indicted on corruption charges last November, and has said the charges …

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by Jaime Jansen

Israeli authorities have sentenced an army officer to 28 days in a military prison for refusing to serve in the ongoing Israeli military campaign in Lebanon, according to Israeli media reports Monday. Reserve Captain Amir Paster, 32, an infantry officer and a student at Tel Aviv University, is the first Israeli soldier punished for refusing to …

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by Jaime Jansen

The UK High Court on Monday denied a bid by a British lesbian couple married in Canada to have their marriage recognized by British law, saying that the traditional British definition of marriage refers only to a union between a man and a woman with the purpose of reproduction. Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger [advocacy …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

The UN Security Council Monday passed a resolution giving Iran until August 31 to halt uranium enrichment and threatening sanctions if it does not comply. Resolution 1696, adopted 14-1 with Qatar voting against, nonetheless requires additional Security Council discussion before sanctions can actually be imposed. Russia and China pressed for the additional flexibility. …

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by Jaime Jansen

US federal judges grant and deny asylum to asylum seekers at a disparate rate in the United States, according a study by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) released Sunday. The report examined nearly 300,000 immigration cases from 1994-2005, and found that ten percent of immigration judges denied asylum in 86 percent of their cases, while …

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by Jaime Jansen

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Monday in the immediate wake of Israel's airstrike on the south Lebanon village of Qana that it was "alarmed" at what it described as the "recurring lack of respect for international humanitarian law by the warring parties." Condemning the Israeli attack on a civilian target, the …

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by Jaime Jansen

ICTY Chief Prosecutor Carla del Ponte has appealed the two-year prison sentence for Naser Oric, a former senior commander of Bosnian Muslim forces in Srebrenica convicted of war crimes. The International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) convicted Oric in June for failing to prevent the murder and …

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by Jaime Jansen

Sexual violence in US prisons, perpetrated by both inmates and prison staff, often goes unreported because abused inmates fear a reprisal or do not trust prison staff, according to a US Department of Justice report released Sunday. The Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) examined reports to prison administrations comprising …

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