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Legal news from Monday, December 4, 2006
by Melissa Bancroft

Australia's Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security has recommended the appointment of an independent reviewer to oversee the nation's counter-terrorism laws. In a report Monday reviewing the country's security and anti-terror legislation, the committee recommended the creation of a position similar to the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security …

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by Joe Shaulis

An court in India on Monday rendered the final verdicts in connection to the 1993 Mumbai bombings that killed more than 250 people and injured more than 700. The six convictions handed down by Judge P.D. Kode Monday bring the total in the case to 100 - a figure that public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam …

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by Joe Shaulis

A court in Santiago granted former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet bail from house arrest Monday as he remained hospitalized following a severe heart attack a day earlier. One of Pinochet's doctors, describing his condition today as "life-threatening" but stable, said he was awake and communicative after an emergency angioplasty was performed to clear …

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by Joe Shaulis

The US Supreme Court heard two hours of oral arguments Monday in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, 05-908, and Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education, 05-915. Both cases present the question of whether …

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by Jaime Jansen

Judge Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa, who is overseeing the genocide trial of Saddam Hussein, on Monday agreed to a prosecution request to conclude the witness phase of the trial, and adjourned until Wednesday with just one prosecution witness left to testify. The prosecution has presented more that 70 witnesses, including several US forensic experts describing …

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by Jaime Jansen

A US Navy sailor pleaded guilty Monday at a court-martial hearing in Norfolk, Virginia, to espionage, desertion, failing to properly safeguard and store classified information, copying classified information, communicating classified information to a person not entitled to receive it, and stealing and destroying a government computer. Petty Officer 3rd Class Ariel Weinmann [case backgrounder; …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Defense lawyers for alleged terrorist Jose Padilla have indicated they will use a recent video, taken of Padilla as he was escorted by soldiers from solitary confinement to a dentist's appointment, as evidence that charges against Padilla should be dismissed due to "outrageous government conduct." The video, obtained by the New York Times, shows …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Wire services are reporting that US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton has resigned, effective at the end of his recess appointment. President Bush named Bolton to the position on an interim basis last year through a recess appointment that will expire when the new congressional session begins …

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by Joshua Pantesco

US Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has said she plans to introduce legislation in the Senate that would prevent the US military from using cluster bombs in civilian areas by cutting off federal funding for such weapons until the Defense Department "articulate a new policy that will minimize civilian death and suffering from these weapons." In an op-ed …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Lawmakers in Kyrgyzstan have called for the text of Kyrgyzstan's new constitution, adopted in November, to made publicly available after an unexplained three-week delay. Kyrgyz laws are usually published soon after they are passed. The new constitution generally reallocates power away from the president towards the parliament by limiting presidential power to dissolve the parliament, giving the …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A Nepali government minister indicated Sunday that the interim constitution, drafted in August, will be signed into law within a few days. The interim draft encompassing 173 articles is designed to replace the current constitution until a new representative body is elected and drafts a permanent constitution. The draft must be approved by each of Nepal's …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A confidential report on the use of wiretap evidence being prepared for UK government ministers by officials in the Home Office has as one of its two basic options setting up a special group of judges who would oversee wiretap-related cases against terror suspects, according to a report published in the Scotsman Monday. The UK has long …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A Philippines trial court Monday convicted one US Marine and acquitted three other Marines on charges of raping a 23-year-old Filipino woman at a Navy base in Manila last year. The verdict is subject to an automatic appeal. Lance Corporal Daniel Smith will serve a 40 year sentence in a Filipino prison and will pay …

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