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Legal news from Tuesday, August 1, 2006
by James M Yoch Jr

The US Senate voted 71-25 Tuesday to approve the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006, which would allow oil and gas drilling in about 8.3 million acres of federal waters in the central Gulf. The bill garnered broad support in the wake of soaring gas prices, but its critics asserted …

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by James M Yoch Jr

Authorities in Burundi on Tuesday arrested five former government officials, including Vice President Alphonse Kadege, as well as a rebel leader and two others suspected of plotting a coup to overthrow the African nation's government, according to intelligence chief Brig. Gen. Adolphe Manirakiza. Police were also searching for former President Domitien Ndayizeye's spokesman, Pancrace Cimpaye, and have …

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by James M Yoch Jr

Amnesty International urged Haiti's government Tuesday to release political prisoners being held indefinitely pending trial. According to the human rights group, about 2,000 people are under "prolonged detention," and close to 100 of them could be political prisoners. Amnesty called on Haiti to initiate trial proceedings under legitimate criminal charges or release the political prisoners, including hundreds …

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by Joe Shaulis

Federal prosecutors may review two New York Times reporters' phone records while trying to determine who leaked information about a terrorism investigation, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled Tuesday. A three-judge panel held that "on the present facts," neither common-law privilege nor the First Amendment protected the Times from disclosing the subpoenaed …

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by Joe Shaulis

A US magistrate in Houston agreed Tuesday to delay the trial of three former British bankers facing fraud charges related to the Enron scandal so that two of the defendants can hire American lawyers. A trial had been scheduled for Sept. 11, but Magistrate Stephen Smith granted the defendants' request and ordered the men …

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by Jaime Jansen

A US military court on Tuesday began Article 32 hearings, similar to civil grand jury proceedings, to determine whether four Army soldiers charged with premeditated murder of Iraqi detainees will face courts-martial. The four men from the Third Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division - Sergeant Raymond Girouard, Specialist …

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by Joe Shaulis

Democratic senators criticized the acting director of the US Food and Drug Administration Tuesday for the timing of the agency's announcement that it would reconsider allowing some over-the-counter sales of emergency contraception. Monday's surprise announcement came on the eve of a confirmation hearing for Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, the acting …

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by Joe Shaulis

A Russian arbitration court judge declared oil company Yukos bankrupt Tuesday and said the company may be liquidated to pay creditors. The decision, which had been expected, confirms a vote taken by Yukos' creditors last week. A Yukos lawyer described Tuesday's decision as a "death sentence" for the company, once …

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by Jaime Jansen

The UK Court of Appeal ruled Tuesday that six terror suspects cannot be detained without charge under so-called control orders, which are used when there is not enough evidence to prosecute. UK Home Secretary John Reid had appealed a High Court ruling, arguing that it had contained "misunderstandings and errors." The High …

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by Joe Shaulis

Iran will not abide by a UN Security Council resolution ordering it to stop enriching uranium, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday in an address on state television. Ahmadinejad said "the peaceful use of nuclear fuel production technology" is Iran's "right," promising not to give in to pressure …

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by Jaime Jansen

Eliza Manningham-Buller, the head of Britain's domestic spy agency MI5, has refused to testify before a joint parliamentary human rights committee investigating terror practices, saying she can appear before only the Intelligence and Security Committee because it safeguards sensitive information. The human rights committee released correspondence with Manningham-Buller on Tuesday in …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD), an opposition group and former rebel group, on Tuesday alleged widespread election fraud in Sunday's election, and threatened to challenge the election in court if the results are not fixed. The RCD noted cases of ballot stuffing and biased election officials during the poll - …

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by Jaime Jansen

US Army Major General Geoffrey Miller, the former commander of Guantanamo Bay, retired from the Army Monday with honors. Miller ran Guantanamo from 2002 to 2004, and served as a consultant at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq during 2003, where he has is alleged to have recommended the …

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by Jaime Jansen

Attorneys representing I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the former chief of staff for Vice President Cheney, on Monday asked US District Judge Reggie Walton to allow expert testimony from a memory specialist at Libby's upcoming trial relating to his role in the CIA leak case. In a court filing, Libby's attorneys said …

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by Jaime Jansen

Lawyers from the US Department of Justice on Monday appealed a federal court decision that allowed a challenge to the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program to go forward, arguing to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that the lawsuit could expose state secrets and jeopardize national …

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by Jaime Jansen

Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was questioned Monday by Judge Alejandro Solis about the assassination of General Carlos Prats shortly after Pinochet came to power following a 1973 coup. Prats, the army chief before Pinochet, opposed the coup. Solis said Pinochet answered all the questions and that there …

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by Jaime Jansen

Detainees at the US detention center at Guantanamo Bay have used items found in their cells to attack military guards hundreds of times, according to Pentagon memos released through a Freedom of Information Act request by conservative legal group Landmark Legal Foundation. The Defense Department documented more than 440 reports of detainee …

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