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Legal news from Monday, October 2, 2006
by Jonathan Rhein

Eight former Serbian police officers went on trial Monday in Belgrade's special war crimes court charged with the slaying of 48 ethnic Albanians in Kosovo in 1999. Their commander pleaded not guilty; the remaining defendants will enter their pleas Tuesday. All of the victims, who were killed in Suva Reka, Kosovo, in March 1999, were …

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by Melissa Bancroft

Australian Attorney General Philip Ruddock is reconsidering the removal from Australian libraries of books which the government fears may incite terrorist activity. In a television interview Monday Ruddock expressed a willingness to allow structured and limited research access to two banned books on jihad by the late Palestinian Islamist Abdullah Azam which have been taken off …

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by Melissa Bancroft

A federal judge Monday denied motions by former Alabama governor Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy to overturn their corruption convictions. US District Judge Mark Fuller ruled there was "substantial evidence" to back jury verdicts against them.In June 2006, Siegelman was convicted on 10 counts, including …

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by Jonathan Rhein

The White House announced Monday that the Bush administration will allow US military aid for nearly two dozen countries that have not signed so-called Article 98 agreements which shield US soldiers from prosecution before the International Criminal Court (ICC). The bilateral agreements provide that neither party to a specific …

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by Joe Shaulis

Germany should consider amending its penal code to allow the use of swastikas in anti-Nazi materials, Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries said Monday. Zypries' remarks follow Friday's decision by a state court in Stuttgart ordering Juergen Kamm to pay a fine of 3,600 euros (US $4,600) for selling T-shirts and …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The US Supreme Court Monday turned back a number of cases brought before it for appeal, including that of a Maine advocacy group which the Court deemed moot. The nonprofit Christian Civic League of Maine had challenged a district court dismissal of its challenge to the electioneering communication ban in the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of …

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by Jaime Jansen

Mexico urged President Bush on Monday to veto the Secure Fence Act of 2006 authorizing the construction of a 700-mile fence along the US-Mexico border. A spokesman for Mexican President Vicente Fox said the bill "hurts bilateral relations, goes against the spirit of cooperation needed to guarantee …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) has been hit with new voter fraud allegations stemming from an aggressive voter registration drive focusing on helping poor people overcome obstacles to the ballot. Philadelphia has reported 3,000 invalid voting cards submitted by ACORN since April because of missing or inaccurate information, noting that four different people …

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by Joshua Pantesco

UK Conservative Party shadow Home Secretary David Davis attacked the ruling Labour party Monday for passing anti-terror laws limiting traditional freedoms, valuing the rights of criminals over those of defendants, failing to prosecute terrorists, and releasing foreign prisoners, among other complaints. In a wide-ranging speech before the Conservative party annual conference, Davis declared: has …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A new law coming into effect Monday in England and Wales requires criminal defendants to pass a financial means test to qualify for free legal aid in cases before magistrates' courts. The Criminal Defence Service Act of 2006, which received royal assent at the end of March, aims to cut down on legal expenses shouldered by …

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by Joshua Pantesco

France has issued arrest warrants for two high-ranking officials of the east African country of Djibouti in connection with the investigation into the alleged assassination of a French judge in 1995. French officials suspect Djibouti state prosecutor Djama Souleiman and security chief Hassan Said of interfering with witnesses in the ongoing investigation. The judge's death was originally …

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by Joshua Pantesco

An Australian man who was convicted in February of receiving money from an al-Qaeda associate but then successfully appealed has appealed the Australian government's issuance of a control order limiting his freedom of movement. Joseph Terrence "Jihad Jack" Thomas won his appeal in August, but the federal government immediately sought …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The US Supreme Court begins its fall term on Monday, assembling briefly to issue Orders and to swear in several lawyers to the Supreme Court bar. As its usual opening on the first Monday in October falls this year on Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, the court will only start hearing arguments …

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by Joshua Pantesco

King Abdullah II of Jordan issued a "special amnesty" on Saturday for two opposition party lawmakers who were convicted of incitement in August for expressing sympathy after the death of al Qaeda Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi when they visited Zarqawi's relatives in his native Jordan. A military court in September …

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by Joshua Pantesco

King Abdullah II of Jordan issued a "special amnesty" on Saturday for two opposition party lawmakers who were convicted of incitement in August for expressing sympathy after the death of al Qaeda Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi when they visited Zarqawi's relatives in his native Jordan. A military court in September …

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by Joshua Pantesco

US House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) sent a letter to the Justice Department Sunday seeking an investigation into the developing sex and ethics scandal involving Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL). Foley resigned Friday after ABC News reported that he had sent congressional pages inappropriate …

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