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Legal news from Sunday, October 8, 2006
by Caitlin Price

The Serbian Radical Party unanimously reelected an indicted war criminal to head it at a meeting in Belgrade Sunday. Vojislav Seselj, a former close ally of late ex-Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, who died earlier this year while in the fifth year of his war crimes trial, is currently imprisoned at …

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by Melissa Bancroft

US Army Sgt. Ricky Clousing, an Iraq war veteran, will face a court-martial this week for charges of desertion after leaving his barracks on his return from Iraq last year. Clousing’s attorney said that he has agreed to a plea bargain and intends to plead guilty to a lesser charge of absent without leave. Clousing, who has …

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by Caitlin Price

Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers expressed doubts about whether non-violent offenders are actually rehabilitated in prison during an interview published Sunday in the British newspaper The Observer. In light of serious overpopulation of British prisons, the Lord Chief Justice questioned traditional prison sentences' ability to thwart recidivism: …

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by Melissa Bancroft

Russian immigration officials have proposed stricter migrant laws hard on the heels of a call by President Vladimir Putin to crack down on illegal immigrants at a Thursday cabinet meeting. The proposals include harsher penalties for businesses that employ illegal migrants, restricting border crossings, amending the Criminal Code and limiting the duration of visas …

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by Natalie Hrubos

Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika Sunday took over the investigation of Saturday's murder of Anna Politkovskaya, an award-winning Russian journalist likely killed for her stories about human rights abuses by Russian troops in Chechnya. Politkovskaya, who had covered the crisis in Chechnya [BBC Q&A] for …

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by Leslie Schulman

New Jersey Superior Court Judge Carol Higbee has issued an order striking down about 50 lawsuits brought by British plaintiffs in the New Jersey state court against Merck & Co., the manufacturer of the drug Vioxx, which has caused health problems for thousands of arthritis patients both in the US …

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by Michael Sung

Khalid al-Dulaimi, lead counsel for Saddam Hussein, said Sunday that the defense team will continue its boycott of Hussein’s genocide trial when it resumes Monday. The protest began when chief judge Abdullah al-Amiri was replaced by judge Mohammad Oreibi al-Khalifa at the insistence of the Iraqi government. Oreibi al-Khalifa has attempted …

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by Michael Sung

Italian prosecutors Saturday announced the end of their investigation into the alleged CIA kidnapping of Egyptian cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr in 2003. The cleric, also known as Abu Omar, was seized on the streets of Milan, supposedly by CIA agents with the help of Italy’s Military Intelligence and Security Service (SISMI) [official website; …

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