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Legal news from Monday, September 25, 2006
by Joe Shaulis

Three US Marines charged with murdering an unarmed Iraqi civilian in April in Hamdania will face courts-martial, the Marine Corps announced Monday. The decision follows preliminary hearings for the three Marines, all of whom are based at Camp Pendleton, California: Pfc. John J. Jodka III, Cpl. Marshall L. Magincalda and …

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by Joe Shaulis

Pressure from the Bush administration and the congressional leadership to fast-track a military commissions bill met bipartisan resistance Monday during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) called the habeas corpus provision of the draft legislation "inexplicable," echoing televised comments he made Sunday [JURIST …

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by Joe Shaulis

An Israel Defense Forces court denied bail Monday to 18 Palestinian lawmakers on trial for charges of membership in a terrorist organization. The ruling, postponed from last week, reverses an earlier military court decision that prosecutors appealed. In his opinion, Judge Col. Shaul Gorden wrote that the court had "no choice" but to …

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by Jaime Jansen

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso suggested Monday that the EU temporarily halt membership enlargement after Bulgaria and Romania join while the EU works to resolve institutional and constitutional problems. Though the Commission will likely announce on Tuesday that Bulgaria and Romania will be eligible to join the EU in January …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

A spokesman for Thailand's new military leadership which seized power in a bloodless coup last week has said that the new government wants to bring deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to justice and could seek his extradition from the UK. Thaksin, a billionaire, maintains a residence in London and flew there from New York where …

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by Jaime Jansen

Afghanistan women's rights advocate and director of the Afghan Ministry of Women's Affairs in Kandahar Safia Hana Jan was killed by armed gunmen in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar on Monday. Local officials launched an immediate investigation into the attack, presuming it was coordinated by the local Taliban insurgency in response to Hana Jan's …

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by Jaime Jansen

New York US District Judge Jack Weinstein Monday certified a class action lawsuit for "light" cigarette smokers against tobacco companies accused of leading smokers to believe that light cigarettes are healthier than regular cigarettes. The class action, which includes anyone who has ever bought light cigarettes since they hit the market in the 1970s, alleges …

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by Joshua Pantesco

China's ruling Communist Party announced the firing of a top party leader on Monday for his involvement in a pension plan scandal. Shanghai Municipal Committee secretary Chen Liangyu [People's Daily profile] has been under investigation since June for allegedly mishandling funds earmarked for social security accounts and for other corrupt practices. Critics say the dismissal indicates that …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Monday began the trial of a former deputy state prosecutor who later worked as an ICTR investigator under an alias by formally charging him with four counts of genocide, murder, extermination and other crimes against humanity. In the amended indictment, Simeon Nchamihigo is accused of …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Saddam Hussein was thrown out of court again Monday for failing to observe courtroom discipline in his genocide trial, his second ejection in as many sessions. The ousted Iraqi president was represented by eight court-appointed lawyers as his regular defense team carried out their threat to boycott the proceeding in protest at the behavior …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Lawyers for a former associate of former South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma Monday began their appeal of a corruption conviction against businessman Schabir Shaik that could help to clear Zuma's name and help to rehabilitate him as a potential presidential candidate. President Thabo Mbeki fired Zuma from his position last year when …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Jordan's appointed Senate, the upper house of the National Assembly, amended a bill regulating mosques Sunday so as to require preachers to obtain written government permission before being allowed to lead services or teach the Quran. Unauthorized preachers would face up to a month in prison and a fine. The measure was presented as means to curb …

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by Joshua Pantesco

US Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) told CNN's Late Edition program Sunday that he believes the habeas corpus provision of the latest draft of the military commissions bill based on an agreement Thursday between Senate and White House negotiators may violate the US Constitution. Section …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A proposed federal shield law for journalists is on hold after the US Senate Judiciary Committee Friday postponed further consideration of the bill in the wake of strong opposition from Justice Department officials voiced in a hearing Thursday. Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty argued that the Free Flow of Information Act of 2006 …

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