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Legal news from Wednesday, September 20, 2006
by Alexis Unkovic

The 14 "high-value" terror suspects recently transferred from secret CIA prisons to Guantanamo Bay are expected to face Combatant Status Review Tribunal hearings in the next two to three months, according to Navy Capt. Phil Waddingham, director of the US Defense Department's Office for the Administrative Review of the Detention of Enemy …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The US House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday 228-196 that would require voters to present valid photo ID cards when they head to the polls to vote in federal elections starting in 2008, thereby amending the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. By 2010, under …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The much-anticipated trial of former South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma ended abruptly Wednesday, when the high court judge presiding over the case threw out the corruption charges against Zuma, saying prosecutors had failed to follow proper procedures. Prosecutors still retain the right to refile the charges against Zuma at a later date, as the …

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by Brett Murphy

The state of California filed a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against six leading US and Japanese car manufacturers on Wednesday, alleging that vehicle emissions of greenhouse gases from cars made by the companies have contributed to global warming constituting a 'public nuisance' that has cost it millions of dollars. The said complaint brought by state …

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by Brett Murphy

Judge Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa was appointed Wednesday to preside over the second Saddam Hussein trial, replacing Chief Judge Abdullah al-Amiri who was removed at the Iraqi government's insistence on Tuesday. Defense lawyers walked out of the court in protest of the replacement, and Hussein was later ordered to be removed from the court room …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on Wednesday unanimously acquitted former education minister Andre Rwamakuba on genocide charges, ruling that the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Rwamakuba, also a physician, was charged with genocide, or alternatively, complicity in genocide, and extermination …

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by Brett Murphy

Miguel Osvaldo Etchecolatz, former chief investigator of the Buenos Aires province police, was sentenced to life imprisonment on Tuesday for his role during the Dirty War [GlobalSecurity.org backgrounder] in Argentina. With the conviction, Etchecolatz becomes the second person to be sentenced for crimes committed during the Dirty War since the Argentine Supreme Court …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A senior Spanish judicial officer said Tuesday that 29 suspects accused of the 2004 Madrid train bombings are scheduled to go on trial in February 2007, with the proceeding ending by July and a final decision expected by October. A Spanish judge originally charged the 29 defendants in April. Five of the 29 are …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf called for a ban on the "defamation of Islam" during his speech at the 61st Session of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. Citing feelings in the Muslim world of "desperation and injustice" in the face of oppression and the war on terror, Musharraf said:We also need to …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The government of Rwanda and the UN-sponsored International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Tuesday resolved a dispute over the court's alleged hiring of genocide suspects by agreeing to improve information-sharing mechanisms and to conduct background checks on job applicants to avoid the problem in the future. The row erupted when the …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Mexican officials are willing to begin extraditing suspected drug lords held in Mexican custody to the US to face drug charges, Mexican President Vicente Fox said Tuesday at a press conference in New York. On Monday, alleged cartel mastermind Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix, who was the first major accused drug dealer to be …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Canada's House of Commons on Tuesday voted 172-116 to approve a controversial softwood lumber trade agreement between Canada and the US that would end a two-decades old trade dispute between the two countries by removing punitive tariffs now levied against Canadian timber and refunding 80 percent of collected tariffs, or approximately $4 billion, back to …

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by Joshua Pantesco

US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Tuesday defended US conduct in handling the Maher Arar case, saying that while the US did in fact deport the Canadian citizen, the US was "not responsible for his removal to Syria," and that if US officials had rendered Arar to Syria, they only would have done so if they …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Thai Army chief Gen. Sondhi Boonyaratkalin, who led Tuesday's coup ousting the Thai civilian government, told reporters Wednesday that he will serve as acting prime minister and hopes to find a replacement prime minister and enact a temporary constitution within two weeks. Sondhi also said Thailand will hold a general parliamentary election in …

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by Lisl Brunner

The Judicial Conference of the United States has approved policies requiring judges to disclose their sponsors when traveling to attend seminars, and to investigate financial conflicts of interest more closely. Under the first measure, nongovernmental sources who pay for judges to attend seminars must disclose their patronage on the Judicial Branch website and judges must …

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