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Legal news from Friday, November 10, 2006
by Alexis Unkovic

The Netherlands cabinet announced plans Friday to press for a ban on the wearing of the full-length Muslim burqa and the niqab, the Muslim headscarf for women that leaves only the eyes visible. Dutch Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk said the goverment cannot currently enforce a total ban on the garments because …

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by Alexis Unkovic

A Rwandan community court convicted a Catholic nun of genocide charges Friday for assisting in the Hutumassacre of Tutsis during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The nun, Theopister Mukakibibi, reportedly aided Hutu extremist groups and facilitated the slaughter of several hundred Tutsis who sought refuge in a Butare hospital during the 100-day massacre. She now faces …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Italian prosecutors have reportedly added an 11-page handwritten note to their compilation of evidence in the case of the alleged 2003 CIA kidnapping of Egyptian cleric Moustafa Hassan Nasr in Italy. In the note, Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, claims he was abused by his captors who allegedly issued threats of …

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by James M Yoch Jr

UK Home Secretary John Reid has advocated a range of criminal sentencing reforms for UK courts in a consultation paper released Thursday that accords judges greater discretion to increase sentences for dangerous criminals and advises judges to explicitly state the minimum and maximum sentences for defendants. The paper, entitled "Making Sentencing Clearer," suggests judges use …

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by Joe Shaulis

Canada's highest-ranking judges took the unusual step Thursday of responding publicly and negatively to a suggestion by Canadian Justice Minister Vic Toews that law enforcement representatives be added to the regional panels that screen candidates for federal judgeships, saying that no changes should take place without "meaningful consultation." The Canadian Judicial Council, comprising the chief …

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by James M Yoch Jr

Affirmative action coalition By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Proposal 2, the amendment approved by Michigan voters on Nov. 7 to restrict affirmative action in state public employment, public education and state contracting. Wednesday's lawsuit claims that the amendment violates federal …

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by James M Yoch Jr

A Leeds Crown Court jury entered a unanimous not guilty verdict Friday for British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin and senior aide Mark Collett in their retrial on charges of inciting racial hatred. Outside the courthouse, Griffin characterized the outcome as a victory for freedom against Tony Blair and accused …

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by Lisl Brunner

A UK man was convicted Thursday of inciting racial hatred during a February protest in London against publication of cartoons of the prophet Muhammad. Mizanur Rahman, 23, was arrested after a rally at the Danish embassy in Chelsea and also charged with inciting murder, but the jury could not reach a verdict on that …

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by Joe Shaulis

The Bush administration and Democrats on Capitol Hill appear likely to clash over legislation authorizing domestic surveillance of suspected terrorists when the lame-duck Congress returns to Washington next week. During a Rose Garden appearance following a Cabinet meeting Thursday, President Bush urged lawmakers to pass the Terrorist Surveillance Act, which he called an "important priority …

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by Lisl Brunner

A Massachusetts legislature vote on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage has been postponed until January. Although opponents of same-sex marriage had obtained 170,000 signatures in favor of putting the measure before the legislature, they lacked the requisite support of one-quarter of the lawmakers to approve a vote. It now …

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by Lisl Brunner

A US judge hearing a motion to move Malcolm Watson's parole sentence from Canada to New York has denied that the sex offender had been "exiled" or "banished" to Canada. Watson was convicted by a New York court last month for endangering the welfare of a child and third-degree sexual abuse. The parties reached a plea bargain …

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by Kate Heneroty

Indonesian prosecutors requested a three-year prison term Friday for American Richard Ness, the regional chief executive of Denver-based Newmont Mining Corporation, an American gold-mining company with a subsidiary in Indonesia. Ness and Newmont face criminal charges for allegedly dumping arsenic and mercury into the waters of Indonesia's Buyat Bay, a …

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by Kate Heneroty

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak spoke out against the pending execution of Saddam Hussein Thursday, saying it could push Iraq into even greater violence. Mubarak, believed to share the views of many Arab leaders, told Egyptian newspapers that hanging Hussein "will transform (Iraq) into blood pools and lead to a deepening of the …

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by Kate Heneroty

A Vietnamese court convicted three Vietnamese-born United States citizens for plotting "terrorist activities" and ordered them deported from the country. Prosecutors said the three Americans, along with four other defendants, had plotted to drop leaflets, jam radio stations and plant bombs to protest the Communist-run government. In addition to deportation, the judge ordered 15-month prison sentences, but …

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by Kate Heneroty

South African lawmakers are expected to pass a civil unions bill next week after a parliamentary committee Thursday approved language without specific reference to heterosexual or same-sex couples that recognizes the "voluntary union of two persons, which is solemnized and registered by either a marriage or civil union." A party-line vote on the controversial measure is anticipated …

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by Tatyana Margolin

In the latest string of judgments against Russia, the European Court of Human Rights Thursday held the country responsible for the deaths and disappearance of three people in Chechnya. In the first case, the body of Nura Luluyeva, a nurse who disappeared in 2000, was found in a mass grave a year …

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