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Legal news from Friday, August 18, 2006
by Joshua Pantesco

The Supreme Court of Chile on Friday stripped former dictator Augusto Pinochet of immunity from additional tax fraud charges, allowing prosecutors to continue with a $27 million fraud case stemming from an investigation of Pinochet's secret offshore back accounts that was established by the former dictator under false names. Chilean …

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by Joshua Pantesco

After a federal judge ruled the NSA domestic surveillance program unconstitutional on Thursday, President Bush said Friday in an appearance at Camp David that he believes the ruling will be overturned on appeal. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a notice of appeal hours after the opinion was released, …

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by Jaime Jansen

New statistics from the Office of Immigration Statistics in the US Department of Homeland Security estimate that there were 2.5 million more illegal immigrants living in the United States in January 2006 than there were in January 2000, with an increase of half a million since January 2005. The report, released Friday, comes amidst animated …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon announced Friday that he will formally resign from his position on Sunday over allegations that he kissed a woman at a party without her consent. On Thursday, Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz decided to indict Ramon on the allegations, and on Friday, Ramon relinquished his parliamentary immunity and declined his …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The trial of blind Chinese human rights legal activist Chen Guangcheng for illegal assembly and intent to destroy public property was thrown into confusion Friday when Chinese police arrested three of his lawyers, who were accused of stealing a wallet. Two were later released, but Chen refused to accept court-appointed substitutes, insisting they were not familiar …

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by Jaime Jansen

The governing party in Rwanda is proposing legislation to eliminate the death penalty for genocide in an effort to encourage other countries to extradite suspects in the 1994 genocide that left at least 937,000 Tutsis and Hutus dead, according to Rwanda Attorney General Martin Ngoga speaking to AP Friday. Rwanda has …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The Tokyo High Court on Friday upheld Masami Tsuchiya's death sentence, handed down in 2004 after Tsuchiya was convicted for leading a Japanese cult's development of Sarin nerve gas used in the 1995 Tokyo subway attack. The Aum Shinrikyo attack killed 12 people and left thousands ill. Tsuchiya was sentenced to death in …

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by Jaime Jansen

US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff urged state legislatures to support the federal Real ID Act at the annual meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) on Thursday. The legislation, drafted after the September 11 attacks and designed to discourage illegal immigration, attempts to make …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Leaders of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), the Mexican political party led by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the leftist candidate challenging the results of Mexico's disputed July 2 presidential election, said Thursday that while they do not expect the Federal Electoral Tribunal …

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by Joshua Pantesco

An Israeli military court has authorized the continued detention of Palestinian parliament speaker Aziz Dweik until August 22. Dweik was arrested at his home in Ramallah on August 5 for being a senior leader of Hamas, which Israel contends is a terrorist organization. He was hospitalized last …

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by Joshua Pantesco

US federal prosecutors on Thursday charged former Hollinger CEO Conrad Black with additional counts of tax evasion in connection with the $2.1 billion sale of several hundred Canadian newspapers and alleged abuse of corporate perquisites at Hollinger. After going before a grand jury, prosecutors filed a second superseding indictment in the criminal case to …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Court of Appeal division of the Supreme Court of Victoria in Australia on Friday quashed the conviction of Joseph Terrence "Jihad Jack" Thomas, the first Australian jailed under the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism Act 2002. The court ruled that authorities interviewed Thomas against his will and without access to a lawyer …

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by Jaime Jansen

Human Rights Watch on Friday said that "the Iraqi High Tribunal is presently incapable of fairly and effectively trying a genocide case in accordance with international standards and current international criminal law" and called on the tribunal to "improve its practices" during Saddam Hussein's second trial, scheduled to begin Monday. HRW based its statement …

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by Jaime Jansen

US Marines involved in the death of 24 civilians in Haditha last November concealed and destroyed evidence relating to the incident, the New York Times reported Friday. According to top military officials speaking to the Times who have been briefed on an investigation completed last month by US Army Major General Eldon Bargewell, the unit's …

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