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Legal news from Tuesday, January 9, 2007
by Alexis Unkovic

The US House of Representatives passed its first piece of legislation for the 110th Congress late Tuesday, a bill to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission remaining after the enactment of the Intelligence Reform bill in 2004. The bill provides for additional intelligence oversight and sets out an ambitious …

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by Alexis Unkovic

US District Judge Reggie B. Walton denied a request Tuesday from several news organizations seeking the daily release of audio recordings of arguments and testimony in the upcoming CIA leak trial of former vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Walton ruled that the US District Court for District of Columbia …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Iraqi government officials have discovered the identity of the individual who shouted out the name of Moqtada al-Sadr, a militant Shiite cleric and head of the Mehdi Army militia, during the December 30 execution of Saddam Hussein, according to a government spokesperson speaking Tuesday. Ali al-Dabbagh said the individual has been turned …

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by James M Yoch Jr

Four US federal appeals court nominees requested Tuesday that their names be withdrawn from consideration by the Senate, according to Republican party officials. Each of the nominees, Michael Wallace, William Haynes, William Myers and Terrence Boyle, were opposed by Democrats and failed to gain confirmation before the Senate began its vacation in December. With the …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Faced with possible indictment by an Italian judge, US and Italian intelligence agents implicated in the 2003 kidnapping and extraordinary rendition from Milan of Egyptian cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr Tuesday pressed for a political resolution of their case. Hearings to decide the legal fate of some 30 operatives …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The US Supreme Court handed down decisions in three cases Tuesday, including US v. Resendiz-Ponce, where the Court upheld the conviction of Juan Resendiz-Ponce on charges of attempting to re-enter the United States illegally from Mexico after being deported. The indictment in the case did not allege an …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The Pitcairn Supreme Court found two more men guilty Tuesday of rape and related offences against children as young as seven. The latest conviction of Shawn Christian and Brian Young follow the six other men convicted in October 2004 of committing sexual abuse against women and underage girls on the British possession of Pitcairn Island …

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by Brett Murphy

Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, one of the FBI's most wanted terror fugitives, was the target of two US air strikes in Somalia on Monday. Believed to be a member of al-Qaida and to have trained with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, Fazul is listed as the alleged mastermind behind the 1998 bombings of the US embassies …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The former head of the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity Ayham al-Samaraie, who escaped from a Baghdad prison in December, has said he plans to return to his home in the United States. Al-Samaraie, a member of the 2004-2005 interim Iraqi government, was serving a two-year sentence after being convicted on corruption charges [AP …

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by Brett Murphy

Opening statements were made Tuesday in insurance lawsuits brought against State Farm Fire & Casualty brought by policyholders who were denied claims after Hurricane Katrina. Judge L.T. Senter Jr. of the US District for the Southern District of Mississippi denied State Farm’s motion for change of venue, stating that State Farm’s claim …

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by Lisl Brunner

US President George Bush announced Tuesday that Fred F. Fielding will serve as the new White House counsel. Fielding, who has advised Bush throughout his presidency and sat on the 9/11 Commission, will replace Harriet Miers, who announced her resignation last week. Bush praised Miers, saying "she has devoted …

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by Jeannie Shawl

German Federal Minister of Justice Brigitte Zypries said at a press conference Monday that Germany will attempt to make denial of the World War II-era Holocaust in which millions of Jews died at the hands of the Nazis illegal throughout the European Union. The plan is part of Germany's platform for …

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by Lisl Brunner

The number of detainees on hunger-strike at Guantanamo Bay has increased this month to 11 from five as the detention center's fifth anniversary approaches on Thursday. US military spokesman have in the past insisted that hunger strikes are a typical tactic of Al-Qaeda members, designed to achieve their release so that they can return to …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Lawyers for Awad Hamed al-Bandar, former chief judge of Iraq's Saddam Hussein-era Revolutionary Court, and former Iraqi intelligence chief Barzan Ibrahim al Tikriti, the two Saddam Hussein co-defendants sentenced to death alongside Hussein for crimes committed in the Iraqi village of Dujail in 1982, are continuing last-ditch efforts …

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by Lisl Brunner

British judges have rejected a UK government proposal that government ministers say would simplify sentencing and increase judicial discretion in dealing with serious criminals, calling it a "kneejerk reaction" to an earlier sentencing scandal over the possibility of parole within six years for a sex offender convicted in June. The proposal, entitled Making Sentencing Clearer …

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by Holly Manges Jones

A federal judge Monday sentenced a Pakistani man to 30 years in prison after he was convicted of conspiring to bomb a New York City subway station in retaliation for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Lawyers for Shahawar Matin Siraj petitioned the judge to impose a lesser sentence of …

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by Holly Manges Jones

The US Senate Monday unanimously approved lifting a freeze on pay increases [S. 197 text] for federal judges. The freeze was imposed last month when a bill was passed by Congress to halt yearly cost-of-living raises for lawmakers and judges until February 15. The measure was passed as part of a commitment by Democrats to keep Congressional …

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by Holly Manges Jones

The voices of Saddam Hussein and his cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid, known in the Western media as "Chemical Ali", were heard discussing the use of chemical weapons to kill thousands in audio tapes played Monday before the Iraqi High Tribunal during its ongoing genocide trial of …

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