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Legal news from Friday, January 12, 2007
by Natalie Hrubos

Former Khmer Rouge leader Nuon Chea, who faces genocide charges in connection with the deaths of some 1.7 million people in Cambodia's notorious "killing fields" in the 1970s, denied in an interview published in the Phnom Penh Post Friday that Cambodia's communist regime committed genocide in the 1970s, saying the regime had no reason to kill …

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by Kate Heneroty

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs Charles "Cully" Stimson has set off a firestorm of protest by publicly questioning the propriety of some of the country's top law firms representing Guantanamo Bay detainees. In an interview on Federal News Radio Thursday on the fifth anniversary of the US military …

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by Leslie Schulman

Three US Justice Department agencies - the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the FBI - are freezing or slowing recruitment efforts largely as a result of a lack of increased funding from Congress' failure to approve requested 2007 budget increases …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The US Supreme Court Friday granted certiorari in four cases, including one that will determine if tobacco companies are protected from judgments in state courts on the grounds that cigarettes are federally regulated. The appeal, Watson v. Philip Morris, Cos. (05-1284) [docket; cert. petition, PDF], was filed by two Arkansas women …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Germany’s highest court, the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, announced Friday that it will not hear the appeal of the 15-year sentence of convicted September 11 conspirator Mounir al-Motassadeq. Moroccan-born Motassadeq has another appeal to German appellate courts filed, but it is unknown …

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by Brett Murphy

Spanish police arrested former Argentine President Isabel Peron on Friday for her alleged involvement in the disappearance of political opponent Hector Aldo Fagetti Gallego in 1976. Argentine Federal Judge Raul Acosta issued the order for her arrest on Thursday. An anonymous source within the judge's chambers told AP that Peron, who has lived in Spain in exile …

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by Michael Sung

Bryan Wagner, the private investigator involved in the Hewlett-Packard corporate spying scandal pleaded guilty Friday to federal charges of conspiracy and aggravated identity theft. Wagner was accused of using used the social security number of a targeted reporter to obtain the reporter's telephone records, which Wagner provided to other co-conspirators. The charges carry …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The federal district court that will hold the trial of alleged terrorist Jose Padilla and two other alleged al-Qaeda operatives announced Friday that it will delay the trial for 3 months, partly in response to the defense’s request to determine Padilla’s mental competency. Evaluations of Padilla by a psychiatrist and clinical psychologist …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Human Rights Watch has urged the European Union to "fill the leadership void on human rights" left after allegations of torture and US detention practices have undermined American credibility in the human rights arena. In the introduction to HRW's World Report 2007, released Thursday, HRW Executive Director Kenneth Roth wrote:In the past, …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The Bush Administration said Thursday it will propose legislation easing some anti-terrorism restrictions in order to allow foreigners who have helped armed groups not considered terrorists to seek asylum or resettle in the United States. As a result of antiterrorism laws such as the Patriot Act and the Real ID Act put in …

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by Katerina Ossenova

A political confrontation between the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukraine parliament, and Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko appears to be heading to the country's Constitutional Court after the parliament Friday passed legislation to define and expand the powers of the cabinet in defiance of an earlier presidential veto. Yushchenko promised to challenge the new legislation, …

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by Katerina Ossenova

A Chinese court rejected the final appeal Friday of Chen Guangcheng, a blind Chinese human rights legal activist, who was sentenced to four years and three months in prison for damaging property and "organizing a mob to disturb traffic." The Intermediate Court in Linyi city upheld the verdict and sentence after a Chinese intermediate …

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by Michael Sung

Peruvian president Alan Garcia Thursday proposed a national referendum on introducing capital punishment for convicted terrorists after a legislative proposal to that effect was defeated 49-26 in the Peruvian Congress on Wednesday. Garcia described the defeat as one contrary to the will of the Peruvian people, …

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by Michael Sung

The French Court of Cassation, the country's highest court on civil and criminal affairs, has ruled that a war crimes investigation against Republic of Congo (ROC) President Denis Sassou Ngusseo and other officials for crimes against humanity can proceed. The decision overturned a 2004 judgment of the Paris Court of …

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by Brett Murphy

Texas District Judge Bruce Priddy granted a 14-day temporary restraining order on Thursday preventing anti-illegal immigrant measures from going into effect as scheduled on Friday in Farmers Branch, Texas. The ordinances, passed last month in the Dallas suburb, were challenged by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund and the American Civil …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The trial of Dragomir Milosevic began Thursday at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Milosevic, a former Bosnian Serb general not related to former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, has been indicted on crimes against humanity and war crimes charges for his role in the shelling of civilians in …

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by Michael Sung

German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Thursday that Germany would place a high emphasis on containing illegal immigration originating from North Africa and Eastern Europe during the six-month German presidency of the EU. Schaeuble is expected to urge member state internal and justice ministers, scheduled to meet informally in Dresden next week, to increase member …

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by Natalie Hrubos

US Army Specialist William Hunsaker has received an 18-year prison sentence after pleading guilty Thursday to murder, attempted murder and obstruction of justice charges relating to the killing of several Iraqi detainees after a May 9 2006 raid in Thar Thar, a town near Samarra, in Iraq's Salahuddin province. A group of four soldiers released …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

A Cuban exile militant wanted in Venezuela for the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people was indicted Thursday by a US federal grand jury in Texas on one count of naturalization fraud and six counts of making false statements. Luis Posada Carriles, 78, a former CIA …

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