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Legal news from Monday, November 6, 2006
by Bernard Hibbitts

UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Leandro Despouy Monday delivered his own scathing verdict on the Iraqi trial process which led over the weekend to a death sentence for ousted Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, urging the rapid establishment of an international tribunal to either reopen the proceeding or consider an appeal process. Cataloging …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

Jaafar Moussawai, chief prosecutor in the trial of Saddam Hussein for crimes against humanity in Dujail, said Monday that an appeals panel would likely rule on his verdict and sentence in mid-January 2007, setting the stage for his possible execution in mid-February. His comments echoed some made Sunday by Iraqi High Tribunal chief …

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by Melissa Bancroft

Lawyers for a southern California Indian tribe argued before the US DC Circuit Court of Appeals Monday that the tribe is exempt from the National Labor Relations Act on grounds of tribal sovereignty. The San Manuel tribe is appealing a 2004 ruling which asserted National Labor Relations Board jurisdiction over tribal businesses [AP …

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by Jonathan Rhein

US District Judge James Munley Monday extended a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of two Hazleton, Pennsylvania immigration laws for 120 days so that both sides can prepare for trial on their validity. The temporary restraining order was initially set to expire on November 14. Munley said that he would prefer that the …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in Wallace v. Chicago Police Officers, 05-1240, a case where a man illegally arrested is seeking to sue the police officers responsible for his arrest. Andre Wallace was arrested without probable cause in 1994, convicted, and released from …

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by Jaime Jansen

Mohammad Munaf, a US citizen convicted and sentenced to death by an Iraqi judge, asked the US Supreme Court Monday to delay his transfer to Iraqi custody while US courts consider his case. Munaf was arrested in Romania in 2005 on kidnapping charges for allegedly kidnapping and detaining three Romanian journalists for 55 …

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by Jaime Jansen

The War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina Monday began the trial of Momcilo Mandic, a former interior minister and then justice minister in the Bosnian Serb government of Radovan Karadzic from 1992-95. Mandic pleaded not guilty in July to charges of war crimes, …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Several more European leaders voiced concern Monday over the death sentence [JURIST report; BBC Q/A] handed down over the weekend for Saddam Hussein and two co-defendants in the Dujail crimes against humanity case. In a London press conference, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair said the Iraqi High Tribunal's guilty verdict served as a …

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by Jaime Jansen

An Italian court on Monday convicted Egyptian Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed for his role in the 2004 Madrid train bombings, sentencing him to ten years in prison. Ahmed's trial began earlier this year and marks the first conviction for any suspects in the bombings, which killed 191 people and injured almost 2000 …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Iraqi authorities Monday began the delicate process of lifting the curfew imposed in Baghdad and two other provinces over the weekend in anticipation of possible violence following Sunday's announcement of the Dujail trial verdict against ousted Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. Civilians are now allowed to go into the streets, but a traffic ban in …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Judicial independence has been threatened by legislative and executive branches of government across the country, former US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor told a group of 800 judges, lawyers, and others at the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference Friday. On Tuesday, South Dakota voters will vote on a referendum known as the "Jail 4 Judges" …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Iraq, Haiti, Guinea, and Myanmar rank as the world's most corrupt nations in 2006 according to the latest annual Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index released Monday. The report shows a strong link between poverty and corruption as perceived by experts, with nearly three-fourths of the 163 ranked countries scoring below a five, the score that …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is prepared to return to Thailand to answer to possible corruption charges, Thaksin's lawyer said Monday, though Thailand has struggled to find evidence of Thaksin's alleged corruption following September's bloodless military coup. Coup leaders have maintained that Thaksin was overthrown in part due to his involvement …

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by Joshua Pantesco

South Korean cloning scientist Hwang Woo-Suk has filed a lawsuit seeking reinstatement to his former position as a university professor, arguing that he should not have been fired in response to fraud, embezzlement, and bioethics charges connected to his claims to have produced stem cell lines by cloning human embryos. Hwang is on trial [JURIST …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A business associate of former South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma lost his appeal Monday on corruption charges before the highest appeals court in South Africa, leaving Zuma's name tarnished as a potential presidential candidate. Businessman Schabir Shaik was accused of paying Zuma for political favors, and on appeal, the South African Supreme …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Statistics indicate that the US Justice Department has declined to prosecute 87 percent of all terrorism case referrals from the FBI in fiscal year 2006, according to new findings released by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). The numbers, obtained by TRAC from the Executive Office for US Attorneys, show that while …

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