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Legal news from Tuesday, January 16, 2007
by Bernard Hibbitts

The former head of the tarnished UN Oil-for-Food Program was indicted by US federal prosecutors in New York Tuesday on charges of bribery and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Benon Sevan resigned from his post last year and fled to his native Cyprus, from where he is unlikely to …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

The French National Assembly, the lower house of the French parliament, passed by voice vote Tuesday a bill authorizing the impeachment of a French president but otherwise conferring legal immunity on the person holding that office during his or her term. The bill had languished in parliament after being approved …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The Israeli Ministry of Justice said Tuesday the state prosecutor plans to launch an investigation into allegations that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert impermissibly promoted the interests of two business associates in his capacity as minister of finance during the 2005 state sale of Bank Leumi. Olmert supposedly favored his associates in …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in the consolidated cases of Safeco Insurance v. Burr and GEICO General Insurance v. Edo, 06-00084 and 06-00100, cases in which plaintiffs claim the insurance companies GEICO and Safeco breached the dictates of the …

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by Ryan Olden

Argentine Federal Judge Norberto Oyarbide issued a second international arrest warrant on Tuesday for former Argentine President Isabel Peron, currently living in exile in Spain. The warrant demands that Peron be returned to Argentina for questioning about the Argentine Anti-Communist Alliance (Triple A), a government-supported death squad. Prosecutors in Argentina believe the …

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by Ryan Olden

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Wednesday overturned the 22-year sentence of Ahmed Ressam, convicted of attempting to blow up Los Angeles International Airport on the eve of the millennium. The court reversed Ressam's conviction for carrying explosives while committing a felony, one of the nine charges of which …

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by Brett Murphy

Attorneys for Marine Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich, charged with the killing of Iraqi civilians in Haditha, have asked Marine Lt. Gen. James Mattis to launch an investigation into the leak of a Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) report after the Washington Post earlier this month printed photos of Iraqis allegedly killed …

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by Brett Murphy

Thailand's former ruling Thai Rak Thai (TRT) party went on trial Tuesday on charges of committing election fraud during last year's parliamentary elections by allegedly misusing the independent election commission and illegally paying smaller parties to run candidates against it to satisfy minimum vote requirements. On the eve of the trial, former Prime Minister Thaksin …

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by Brett Murphy

EU law enforcement officials agreed Monday that a police data-sharing agreement among members states should be expanded to include all 27 member nations. German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble made the announcement at the end of two-day meeting of EU justice and interior ministers, the first during Germany's EU presidency. Schaeuble suggested …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Prosecutors at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia said Tuesday that Dragan Zelenovic will plead guilty to rape and murder charges stemming from the Bosnian Serb's time as a police officer and paramilitary leader during the Bosnian war. Zelenovic was extradited to the ICTY last year and …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

More than 130 deans of US law schools signed a statement released Monday expressing their dismay at comments made last week by DOD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Detainee Affairs Charles "Cully" Stimson in a radio interview critizing top US law firms for providing pro bono representation to Guantanamo detainees. "We," the deans …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi said Tuesday that he was taken by surprise by the hangings Monday of former Saddam Hussein-era Revolutionary Court judge Awad Hamed al-Bandar and former Iraqi intelligence chief Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, sentenced to death with Hussein in November in connection with crimes against humanity committed …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Jury selection begins Tuesday in the CIA leak trial of former vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and attorneys for both sides plan to ask potential jurors questions about their political affiliations. US District Judge Reggie Walton approved a final list of questions proposed by attorneys that will …

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by Holly Manges Jones

A court in Kuwait has sentenced to death a member of the country's ruling family for drug trafficking offenses, saying the defendant "deserved no mercy." It is unknown how closely Sheik Talal Nasser Al Sabah is related to the head of the Kuwaiti royal family, but Sunday's verdict marks the first known …

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