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Legal news from Wednesday, September 6, 2006
by Alexis Unkovic

Back from their summer recess, US House and Senate lawmakers are considering bills this week that address the legality of the Bush administration's domestic surveillance program, which involves warrantless wiretapping by the National Security Agency. The House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security Wednesday considered a bill …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The Belgrade District Court announced Wednesday that a new presiding judge has been named in the trial of 13 suspects charged with the March 2003 assassination of former Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic. Judge Nata Mesarovic will fill the presiding judge position, vacated by Judge Nata Mesarovic last week without comment, …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Twenty-eight days after initially detaining five British Muslim men among almost two dozen others arrested early last month in connection with an alleged terror plot to blow up US-bound planes over the Atlantic, Scotland Yard has formally charged two of the still-jailed suspects, Donald Douglas Stewart Whyte and Muhammed Usman Saddique, with "preparing an act …

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by Brett Murphy

US District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer Wednesday sentenced former Illinois Governor George Ryan to 6 1/2 years imprisonment after dropping 2 of the 18 counts against him, holding that there was not enough evidence to convict Ryan on those charges. Defense attorneys stated that a term of 2 years or less was appropriate due to Ryan's …

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by Jeannie Shawl

US President Bush on Wednesday presented the Military Commissions Act of 2006, proposed legislation that would authorize military commissions for terror detainees and enemy combatants. The Bush administration agreed to work with Congress to authorize military commissions for terror detainees after the US Supreme Court ruled in June …

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by D. Wes Rist

Leading Wednesday's international brief, a spokesperson for the International Criminal Court (ICC) has told the Ugandan paper Daily Monitor that the ICC would make no move to cooperate with demands by Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels wanting a cancellation of ICC indictments in exchange for surrendering to authorities. Since the demands on Tuesday, …

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by James M Yoch Jr

The Shiite United Iraqi Alliance presented a draft plan for dictating the division of Iraq into autonomous regions to the Iraq National Assembly on Wednesday. The draft law reportedly provides for autonomy for the Shiite-majority south and recognizes the existing autonomy of the three northern Kurdish provinces. This arrangement possibly leaves the Sunni Arabs, who …

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by James M Yoch Jr

The highest court in the Netherlands, the Hoge Raad der Nederlanden, on Tuesday affirmed the use of intelligence information in terror prosecutions by sustaining the convictions of three defendants charged with terrorist activity. The court also said that intelligence information could be used as a basis for an investigation, search and arrest. Although …

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by Brett Murphy

A Danish court on Wednesday ordered the detention of two men arrested during a police raid on an Odense suburb on Tuesday morning. The court determined that there was enough evidence to hold the two for four weeks while the investigation into an alleged terror plot continues, but ruled that the five …

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by James M Yoch Jr

US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Tuesday identified increasing financial costs in the war on terrorism as the reason that additional federal funding for local and state law enforcement is not forthcoming. Mayors and police chiefs for several US cities have criticized the lack of federal spending on law enforcement at the state and local …

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by Jeannie Shawl

US President Bush on Wednesday acknowledged that the US Central Intelligence Agency has operated secret prisons outside the US where high-value terror suspects were detained, and said that 14 of those suspects have now been transferred to the Defense Department's military prison at Guantanamo Bay where …

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by Jeannie Shawl

A new US Army Field Manual on intelligence interrogations released Wednesday specifies that the Geneva Conventions apply to all detainees and eliminates separate standards for the questioning of prisoners of war and enemy combatants. The new manual also abandons plans to keep specific interrogation …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A federal judge in Argentina Tuesday ruled unconstitutional a presidential pardon extended to Jorge Rafael Videla, who prosecutors say led Argentina's military junta during the worst periods of the so-called "Dirty War" [Globalsecurity.org backgrounder] crackdown on dissidents between 1976 and 1983 that resulted in an official "missing" count of 13,000 people. Videla was tried …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The Court of Appeals of Virginia, the state's second-highest court, upheld the nation's first felony conviction for computer spamming on Tuesday, ruling that Virginia's anti-spamming statute does not violate the First Amendment or the so-called Dormant Commerce Clause, and is not unconstitutionally vague. On appeal, admitted spammer Jeremy Jaynes argued that the Virginia statute …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the defeated Mexican presidential candidate, said Tuesday that he refused to recognize the officially-declared victory of president-elect Felipe Calderon and confirmed plans to establish a parallel government representing what he called a "true, authentic republic." Lopez Obrador rejected Tuesday's …

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