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Legal news from Wednesday, October 25, 2006
by Alexis Unkovic

Canadian Justice Minister Vic Toews said Wednesday that the Canadian government will review and perhaps appeal an Ontario Superior Court ruling that struck down as unconstitutional a key provision of Canada's Anti-Terrorism Act. In its decision Tuesday, the Ontario court held that the section of the Anti-Terrorism Act that defines …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Prosecutors in Argentina argued before an Argentinean federal judge Wednesday that he should authorize the arrest of several Iranian officials for their alleged roles the AMIA Jewish cultural center bombing that killed 85 people and wounded over 200 more in Buenos Aries in 1994. Most notably, prosecutors asked the judge to order the arrest …

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by Brett Murphy

Quebec Justice John Gomery told CBC News Wednesday that his recent recommendations on limiting government corruption and abuse of power in the wake of the federal sponsorship scandal have been lost in a "black hole" due to the inaction of Canada's Conservative Party government, which took power from the Liberals in a January election. According …

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by Brett Murphy

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on Wednesday postponed the trial of Serbian war crimes suspect and former nationalist politician Vojislav Seselj previously scheduled to begin on November 2, citing concerns that Seselj might not have time to adequately prepare a defense. An appeals panel of the court granted …

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by Holly Manges Jones

The New Jersey Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that same-sex couples in the state must be afforded the same rights as heterosexual couples, and said that the state legislature must decide whether New Jersey will recognize same-sex marriage or another form of civil unions. In a case brought by seven same-sex couples who argued that …

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by Brett Murphy

Russian officials investigating the October 7 death of reporter Anna Politkovskaya are focusing their probe on former police officers who Politkovskaya linked to the killing and torture of Chechen civilians, Russian newspaper Kommersant reported Wednesday. According to the article, investigators followed up on sightings of two former police officers linked to the abuses, including Sergei Lapin, who …

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by James M Yoch Jr

Chilean Foreign Minister Alejandro Foxley announced Wednesday that government officials have requested a probe into allegations that former Chile dictator Augusto Pinochet stashed approximately nine tons of gold in a Hong Kong bank, as reported by El Mercurio. Pinochet's lawyer vehemently denied the rumors, which …

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by James M Yoch Jr

An internal memo circulated in the Israeli State Prosecutor's Office has called for an immediate investigation into possible criminal actions taken by Prime Minister Ehmud Olmert involving bids on a controlling interest in a bank stretching back to 2005. Olmert is suspected of accepting bribery since a friend seeking approval of his bid overpaid for …

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by James M Yoch Jr

The Supreme Court of Ohio on Wednesday held that state charter or community schools are valid and the statute authorizing them is constitutional "on its face and as applied." Chapter 3314 of the Ohio Revised Code allows the state legislature to fund charter schools, which have grown from 15 to 250 statewide since …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Bosnia's ambassador to the United Nations wants the Swedish government to free Biljana Plavsic from the Hinseberg prison for women, where she has been serving an 11-year sentence as the only woman convicted of war crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Ambassador Milos Prica petitioned for Plavsic's …

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by Holly Manges Jones

A Chinese court has sentenced a pro-democracy leader to three years in prison for criticizing the communist government in Internet posts, according to the Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy Wednesday. Li Jianping participated in the 1989 movement for democracy in China and wrote online essays criticizing the Chinese government's efforts to …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Human Rights Watch (HRW) Wednesday accused agents of the Burundi National Intelligence Service of widespread abuses since the new government came into power, including killings and torture. HRW contended in a new report that President Pierre Nkurunziza has given agents at all levels authority to carry out …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Atheist Michael Newdow, the man who sued to have the words "under God" removed from the Pledge of Allegiance, will be able to proceed with a libel lawsuit against a chaplain, according to a ruling Tuesday by the California First District Court of Appeal [official …

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by Joshua Pantesco

German intelligence agents personally witnessed the torture of detainees at a secret US prison in Europe two weeks after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, according to a German intelligence report leaked to Stern magazine. The leaked report asserts the German agents saw US interrogators beat a 70-year-old terror suspect with a rifle butt, requiring the man …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is currently reviewing proposed rule changes that would place further restrictions on attorney contact with detainees now held at Guantanamo Bay. The rules, submitted in government court filings for use in the case against Haji Bismullah, are intended to prevent defense attorneys from …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The Supreme Court of the Philippines on Wednesday ruled that a planned referendum on modifying the country's constitution to abolish the upper house of congress cannot proceed. The referendum would have amended the 1987 constitution to abolish the Philippines Senate in favor of a unicameral parliamentary assembly. Seven of fifteen judges dissented …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Tony Garza, the US Ambassador to Mexico, said Tuesday that Mexico has extradited 50 prisoners to the US this year, a record total, for stateside prosecution of crimes committed in the US. The Supreme Court of Mexico ruled last November that prisoners serving life sentences may be extradited abroad, overturning a 2001 decision …

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by Joshua Pantesco

US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told reporters in Spain Tuesday that the perception that the US does not support the rule of law is "disappointing." Gonzales acknowledged that the international reputation of the US has been injured by several ongoing news stories, including the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal, allegations of US rendition flights, and …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that he opposes a bill, passed during a preliminary reading in the Iran parliament earlier this month, that would require every American visitor in Iran to be fingerprinted upon entry. Ahmadinejad said Monday that Americans are welcome in Iran, and that Iran only opposes US policy, …

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