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Legal news from Monday, October 30, 2006
by Bernard Hibbitts

A US Navy spokesman said Monday that an Article 32 hearing scheduled for Tuesday in the case of Lt. Cmdr. Matthew M. Diaz, a staff attorney with the US Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps accused of leaking detainee names while stationed at Guantanamo Bay, has been postponed and has not yet been rescheduled. Diaz was charged …

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by Melissa Bancroft

Lebanese President Emile Lahoud voiced objections to a draft document governing the special tribunal to be tasked with trying suspects in the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri in a 32-page report released Monday. Lahoud balked at his exclusion from the organization of the tribunal under UN auspices …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

US special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald argued in court papers filed Monday with the US District Court for the District of Columbia that he should not be required to explain to jurors in the case of former vice-presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby why no one has been indicted for actually leaking the …

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by Melissa Bancroft

A Beijing court has denied an appeal hearing for Ching Cheong [advocacy website; SCMP Q/A], who was convicted in August on charges of spying for Taiwan. Ching, the chief China correspondent for Singapore's Straits Times, was sentenced to five years in jail by a Chinese court in August after being convicted of selling state secrets …

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by Joe Shaulis

French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin promised Monday to extend the scope of anti-vandalism laws following the burnings of some 200 vehicles over the weekend. After an emergency meeting on transportation security, de Villepin said the laws should be modified to punish not only the perpetrators of such …

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by Jaime Jansen

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) announced Monday that it will hear the appeal of a British woman trying to use frozen embryos despite objections from her former partner who fertilized the eggs. The ECHR ruled in March that Natallie Evans could not use the embryos resulting from a 2001 IVF program with Howard …

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by Jaime Jansen

The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit on Monday upheld a preliminary injunction preventing South Dakota from enforcing a 2005 abortion law pending a lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. The statute, which the governor signed along with three other bills …

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by Jaime Jansen

A federal judge in Chile placed former dictator Augusto Pinochet under house arrest Monday, marking the first time Pinochet has been detained on torture charges. Federal Judge Alejandro Solis ordered Pinochet's arrest on Friday in connection with 36 cases of kidnapping, 23 cases of torture and a single case …

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by Jaime Jansen

An Italian court on Monday ordered former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and British corporate lawyer David Mills to face trial on corruption charges. According to Italian media reports, Mills in 1997 and 1998 allegedly gave false testimony at trials involving a Berlusconi-owned broadcasting company in exchange for some $600,000 that Berlusconi …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said Sunday he was optimistic that a proposed amendment to the Egyptian constitution to permit multi-candidate direct elections for the Egyptian presidency will pass when the Egyptian parliament begins its next session on November 8. The proposed amendment [draft text, in Arabic; Al-Ahram report] to Article …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Public trust in the Chinese judiciary needs in be restored in the face of court corruption and systemic failures to implement court orders, according to a report by the China's chief justice submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Monday. The report says that 800,000 court orders remain unimplemented by the courts due to …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri told a British appeals court Monday that his February conviction on incitement to murder charges should be overturned on the grounds that he was denied a fair trial. Hamza was convicted on 11 of 15 counts of inciting murder for urging his followers to kill …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Khalil al-Dulaimi, chief defense counsel for Saddam Hussein, appeared in court Monday, presented 12 demands to the judge to be satisfied to end the ongoing defense team boycott, and stormed out of court after the presiding judge told him that Arab and foreign lawyers may only appear as advisors to Hussein. Al-Dulaimi demanded an investigation into …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A British advocacy group condemned the UK government for failing to properly regulate hired mercenaries operating in Iraq and Afghanistan in a report released Monday that proposes regulations to hold mercenaries accountable for alleged abuses. The report by the War on Want charges that no prosecutions have been filed against paid mercenaries, despite …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Absentee Ohio voters must continue to show proof of ID when casting ballots after a federal appeals court on Sunday stayed a lower court order, handed down last week, that would have temporarily suspended Ohio's voter ID law. The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit granted Ohio Attorney …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The North Korean government is "actively committing crimes against humanity" by the starvation and political repression of North Korean citizens, according to a report released Sunday by a blue-ribbon panel comprised of Vaclav Havel, former President of the Czech Republic; former Prime Minister of Norway Kjell Magne Bondevik; and Holocaust survivor and Nobel …

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