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Legal news from Thursday, October 12, 2006
by Gabriel Haboubi

Three Canadian citizens supported by Amnesty International Canada demanded an official inquiry into their cases Thursday along the lines of that undertaken for Maher Arar to determine what role Canadian security forces played in their arrest and alleged torture in Syria between 2001 and 2004. Kuwaiti-born Ahmad El Maati, Syrian-born Abdullah Almalki and Iraqi-born …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Sixteen Afghan men were reunited with their families Thursday after being released by the US military from four years of detention in Guantanamo Bay. The men denied links to Islamic terror groups and alleged abuse at the hands of their captors as they spoke at the offices of the National Peace and Reconciliation …

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by Ryan Olden

Sixteen states have in recent years made it easier for convicted felons to vote, according to new report by The Sentencing Project. Lifetime voting bans in Iowa, Nebraska, and New Mexico have been lifted, and nine additional states have made voting easier for freed prisoners and those merely on probation. An exception …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Moroccan-born Mounir al-Motassadeq, who was convicted by a German court last year for his involvement with the Sept. 11 attacks, could face a third trial, a judge in Germany's highest court of appeals said Thursday. Though Motassadeq was convicted last year, both the prosecution and defendant filed appeals, and …

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by Katerina Ossenova

As many as 80 Guantanamo Bay detainees could face trial before military commissions, a US State Department legal adviser said Thursday. John Bellinger also said President Bush will sign Congress' recently-passed military commissions bill, on Tuesday, allowing military commission trials "finally to go forward." AP has more.In a related …

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by Katerina Ossenova

US Attorney Patrick Meehan filed an indictment Thursday against stockbrokers Anthony Postiglione, Jr. and William Lennon, co-founders of Foutainhead Fund LP, alleging that they defrauded investors out of almost $2 million. Both men are charged with eighteen counts of mail fraud and one court of securities fraud, and Postiglione is also charged with …

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by Jaime Jansen

Dhiren Barot, a British man accused of planning a series of bombs on US and British targets, pleaded guilty on Thursday to conspiracy to murder for his role in the Gas Limos Project bombing scheme and a separate plan to explode dirty bombs. Prosecutors alleged that Barot planned to use a radioactive "dirty bomb" in one …

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by Jaime Jansen

British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett on Thursday called the "continuing detention without a fair trial" at the US detention center at Guantanamo Bay "unacceptable in terms of human rights" and "ineffective in terms of counterterrorism." In announcing the release of Britain's 2006 Report on Human Rights, Beckett reiterated …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The UK Court of Appeal Thursday upheld an earlier High Court ruling and denied a bid by the families of three Guantanamo Bay detainees who were UK residents prior to their detention to require the British government to lobby the US for their release. The High Court ruled in …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The French lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, approved an internationally-controversial bill Thursday that imposes monetary penalties and jail time on anyone who denies that there was an Armenian genocide early in the twentieth century. The bill, which passed 106-19, sets a one year prison term and 45,000 euro ($56,570) fine for …

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by Jaime Jansen

Turkey's most prominent writer, Orhan Pamuk, won the Nobel Prize in Literature Thursday for his work examining the role of Islam in society. Pamuk, a visiting professor at Columbia University, said he was honored to win the prize. His critics claimed Pamuk was awarded the prize "because of his Armenian genocide claims," …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Five US states permit the use of dogs in prisons to control inmates, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report released Wednesday. Prison systems in Iowa, Connecticut, South Dakota, Utah and Delaware have policies that allow the use of dogs to control inmates in prisons and remove uncooperative prisoners from their cells. The …

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by Katerina Ossenova

A prominent South Asian rights group has urged India and Pakistan to abolish the death penalty since it is a "violation of the right to life." South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), headed by former Indian Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral, criticized the possibility of irreversible death …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Germany intends to set up a "road map" for the ratification of the EU constitution when it assumes the rotating EU presidency on January 1, 2007, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday. Merkel acknowledged that the document would not be approved during Germany's six-month presidency, but called for the …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Portions of an article on torture in Chechnya written by murdered reporter Anna Politkovskaya before her death were published Thursday by the Novaya Gazeta. The report detailed allegations of torture, including one man who said he was hung from a ceiling and beaten by security officials during questioning about a murder. …

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by Holly Manges Jones

US District Judge Karen Caldwell has ruled that a Kentucky ban preventing judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign funds is a violation of the First Amendment. The state argued that the ban was in place to promote judicial impartiality, but Caldwell ruled that ethics rules and criminal laws in Kentucky prevent judges …

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by Holly Manges Jones

State Farm Insurance on Wednesday filed a motion seeking a change in venue for lawsuits filed in southern Mississippi by individuals who claim insurance carriers failed to pay insured losses to those affected by the destruction of Hurricane Katrina. The damages requested in the lawsuits total about $20 billion and State Farm …

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