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Legal news from Tuesday, December 5, 2006
by Gabriel Haboubi

Finland's parliament voted to ratify the proposed European Constitution Tuesday, taking steps toward becoming the 16th country to ratify the charter as Finland's six-month presidency of the European Union comes to a close. Parliament members voted 125-39 to ratify the EU constitution, with four MPs abstaining. Finnish President Tarja Halonen must …

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by Michael Sung

Michael Sata, Zambia's opposition leader and head of the Patriotic Front, was arrested Tuesday for allegedly making false declarations on August 11 concerning his assets in his presidential candidate form. If convicted, Sata faces a minimum jail term of two years. Zambian law requires presidential candidates to declare their assets and liabilities prior to competing …

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by Michael Sung

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Tuesday that the Kamehameha Schools, a private school that accepts no federal funding, can utilize an admissions policy that gives priority to Native Hawaiian students before admitting non-Native Hawaiians. The court's majority reasoned that "Because the Schools are a wholly private K-12 …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Italian prosecutors on Tuesday asked a judge to issue indictments for 26 US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agents and five officials from the Italian Military Intelligence and Security Service (SISMI), including former SISMI chief Nicola Pollari, on kidnapping charges for allegedly orchestrating the extraordinary rendition of Egyptian cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr …

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by Joe Shaulis

Flavio Sosa, a leader of the popular uprising in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, was arrested late Monday after arriving in Mexico City for negotiations with the federal government. Sosa, a prominent figure in the People's Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO), was jailed in a maximum-security facility …

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by Joe Shaulis

In a letter to the chief judge presiding over his genocide trial, Saddam Hussein has said he would not attend further proceedings because he "wasn't given the chance to speak when I tried to clarify the truth." The authenticity of the one-page letter, handwritten in Arabic and dated Monday, could not be confirmed, but it …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The US Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that immigrants convicted of conduct that is a felony under state law but is only a misdemeanor under the Controlled Substance Act are not subject to deportation under the Immigration and Naturalization Act. In Lopez v. Gonzales, Jose Lopez, a legal …

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by James M Yoch Jr

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer on Monday requested the California Supreme Court to grant a petition to review an intermediate appellate court's decision to uphold a state law prohibiting same-sex marriage. Lockyer, who supports the state ban, noted the importance of settling the issue for same-sex couples in the state. …

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by James M Yoch Jr

The Court of Cassation in Kuwait on Tuesday reversed former Guantanamo Bay detainee Nasser al-Mutairi's conviction on terrorism charges, including endangering Kuwait's foreign relations by taking up arms against a foreign nation. Mutairi, the first of eight Kuwaitis to be freed from the US military facility in Cuba, spent three years in Guantanamo …

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by Lisl Brunner

The Maryland Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on Monday in a case challenging a 1973 state law banning same-sex marriage. Plaintiffs, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), argued that marriage is a fundamental right which should not be denied according to the parties' genders. In response, …

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by James M Yoch Jr

US District Judge Royce C. Lamberth on Monday ruled that a group of Hasidic Jewish plaintiffs could go forward with a lawsuit against the Russian government for the return of 18th century religious texts allegedly expropriated by the Nazi and Russian governments preceding and during World War II. The plaintiffs, members of the Chabad …

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by Lisl Brunner

Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif has announced an 18-month timetable for lifting the state of emergency that Egypt has lived under since 1981. The administration of President Hosni Mubarak will present proposed changes to the Egyptian Constitution to parliament this year, with a referendum on those changes expected in …

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by Lisl Brunner

The US Department of Justice urged a federal appeals court Monday to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the NSA's domestic surveillance program pursuant to the state secrets privilege. In a brief submitted to the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the administration appealed an August ruling from US District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor that the …

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by Melissa Bancroft

The European Union announced a provisional deal Monday for the establishment of an EU agency on fundamental rights, which would build upon the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia and monitor civil liberties in all of the 25 EU member nations. After three years of negotiations, the agreement …

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by Melissa Bancroft

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) accepted into evidence Monday a controversial report on the events leading up to the 1994 Rwandan genocide written by French anti-terrorism judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere. Despite claims of manipulation by one witness cited in the report, an ICTR judge decided to admit the …

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by D. Wes Rist

Fiji military commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama has carried out a threat to remove the elected government from power unless current Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase voluntarily resigned, a move Qarase flatly refused to consider, and has imposed military rule over the South Pacific island nation. Bainimarama initially threatened a military …

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