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Legal news from Friday, November 17, 2006
by Alexis Unkovic

The Referral Bench of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) ruled Friday that the case of former Serbian commander Vladimir Kovacevic should be transferred to Serbia within 30 days. The decision marks the first time the ICTY has sent an indictment to Serbia …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The US military has preliminary plans to build a new legal compound at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where trials of detainees may begin to take place as early as June, the Miami Herald reported Friday. According to a federal solicitation notice seeking contractors, the compound will include a secure perimeter, a …

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by Alexis Unkovic

US District Judge Reggie B. Walton ruled Friday in support of a bid by the US Department of Justice to bar terrorism suspect Majid Khan from access to a civilian lawyer unless and until the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit resolves the issue of military detainee rights. The …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

German officials have expressed some concern about the future of the proposed European Constitution in light of positions taken by two leading rivals for the French presidency. Newly-chosen French Socialist Party candidate Segolene Royal, and conservative aspirant Nicolas Sarkozy have …

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by Michael Sung

Computer Associates is seeking repayment of legal defense costs totaling $14.9 million it fronted on behalf of former CEO Sanjay Kumar. The software maker filed suit against Kumar in New York State Supreme Court last week. Judge Stephen Bucaria granted CA's motion to attach Kumar's house and a collection of luxury …

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by Michael Sung

German prosecutors Friday filed an appeal for the arrest of Mounir al-Motassadeq, a German 9/11 suspect free on bail following Thursday's overturning of a lower court decision acquitting Motassadeq of assisting the men who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks on the US. Hamburg's state superior court ruled that …

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by Kate Heneroty

US military Combatant Status Review Tribunals do not offer detainees at Guantanamo Bay an adequate opportunity to contest the accusations against them or to object to their status as enemy combatants, according to a report released Friday. Seton Hall law professor Mark Denbeaux and Joshua Denbeaux analyzed …

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by James M Yoch Jr

Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said Friday that the government would investigate allegations that Netherlands military personnel abused Iraqi prisoners in 2003 by subjecting them to sleep deprivation, high-pitched noises and bright lights. According to a report Friday in Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, Dutch interrogators carried out the abusive techniques in …

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by James M Yoch Jr

The South African Department of Justice and Constitutional Development said Thursday that it is currently considering 1,107 applications for relief from prisoners claiming their incarceration is politically motivated. According to Minister Brigitte Mabandla, the South African constitution gives the president power to pardon the prisoners, many of whom have requested relief through the Inkatha Freedom Party …

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by Lisl Brunner

A British Army major has testified that a military legal adviser approved techniques for preparing Iraqi detainees for interrogation with techniques that allegedly violated the Geneva Conventions. Maj. Antony Royce told a court-martial of several other soldiers charged with abusing Iraqi detainees that his superiors ordered him to "condition" the detainees for questioning by putting them in …

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by James M Yoch Jr

US Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) introduced legislation Thursday that would restore habeas corpus rights to military detainees and make other amendments to the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA). A key provision in the MCA, which President Bush signed into law last month, strips US courts of …

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by Lisl Brunner

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled that President Bush "exceeded his constitutional authority by intruding into the independent powers of the judiciary" with an "unprecedented" directive ordering state court rehearings for 51 Mexican nationals convicted in US courts. The president's February 2005 memorandum instructed the Texas courts to …

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by Lisl Brunner

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has overturned a ruling by a Sharia court for the first time by commuting the sentence of a man whom the court assigned the death penalty. Mirza Tahir Hussain, a British national, was convicted under Sharia Islamic law after killing a taxi driver in 1989, …

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by Kate Heneroty

US President George W. Bush assured Australian Prime Minister John Howard Friday that Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks would be brought to trial, but refused to give a timetable for the trial. Referring to Hicks' legal team's promise to challenge the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA), Bush …

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by Kate Heneroty

US District Judge John Houston Thursday temporarily stayed enforcement of an ordinance [2006-38R text, TIF] passed by the city of Escondido, California which would punish landlords for renting to illegal immigrants. The ordinance requires landlords to provide evidence of their tenants' immigration status to city officials, who would verify the data with federal government records. …

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by Kate Heneroty

US Marine Lance Cpl. Tyler A. Jackson was sentenced to 21 months in military custody Thursday for his participation in the kidnapping and murder of an Iraqi man in Hamdania last April. Jackson admitted to assisting eight other servicemen in kidnapping Hashim Ibrahim Awad from his …

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