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Legal news from Monday, January 22, 2007
by Caitlin Price

A twelve-person jury was selected Monday to sit in the CIA leak trial of former vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Even though jury selection began last Tuesday and was supposed to conclude Thursday the process was extended as too many of the original 60 jurors were dismissed …

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by Caitlin Price

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Monday dismissed a challenge to the constitutionality of changes to copyright law made in the 1990s. The Court affirmed a lower court's dismissal of Kahle v. Gonzales, in which the plaintiffs argued that the move from an "opt-out" rather than an "opt-in" system of copyright …

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by James M Yoch Jr

President Bush Monday celebrated his administration's anti-abortion record in a telephone address to pro-life marchers demonstrating in Washington DC on the anniversary of the 1972 Roe v. Wade US Supreme Court ruling. Bush told the gathering that "we're making progress":We promoted adoption, support parental notification laws, ended federal funding for abortions overseas, and are funding crisis pregnancy …

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by Jeannie Shawl

A lawyer for Saddam-era Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan has filed an appeal with the Iraqi High Tribunal (IHT) arguing that the Tribunal's Appeals Chamber was not authorized to effectively direct its trial court to deliver a death penalty for Ramadan after originally according him a life sentence. Ramadan was convicted …

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by James M Yoch Jr

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) failed to respond promptly to allegedly improper e-mail correspondence between former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) and a former congressional page from Louisiana in July 2006, according to a report released Monday by US Dept. of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Glenn Fine. …

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by Brett Murphy

The British government Monday released proposed money-laundering regulations that would broaden controls on businesses, politicians, and foreign officials with a view to controlling corruption, fighting crime and making financing of terrorism more difficult. The new rules would require financial institutions to investigate politicians and officials to confirm the legality of the wealth they acquire. The draft [PDF text; HM …

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by Brett Murphy

The office of the Russian Prosecutor General has suspended its investigation into an alleged coup plot by billionaire businessman Boris Berezovsky, a lawyer for Berezovsky said Monday. Berezovsky is currently living in London, and his lawyer said that the prosecutor's office has informed him that the investigation cannot be continued without Berezovsky's presence. …

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by Brett Murphy

The office of the Russian Prosecutor General has suspended its investigation into an alleged coup plot by billionaire businessman Boris Berezovsky, a lawyer for Berezovsky said Monday. Berezovsky is currently living in London, and his lawyer said that the prosecutor's office has informed him that the investigation cannot be continued without Berezovsky's presence. …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The special court for organized crime in Serbia Monday began a trial for 35 members of the so-called "Bankruptcy Mafia" - including former Belgrade Commercial Court president Goran Kljajevic and other prominent businessmen, bankers, lawyers, and judges - accused of embezzling funds and used the government to secure financial gain. The defendants were indicted …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The US Supreme Court handed down decisions in three cases Monday, including Cunningham v. California where the Court struck down as unconstitutional California sentencing rules that allow judges to exercise discretion to tack on additional years to prison sentences beyond that determined by a jury. The Court overturned …

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by Katerina Ossenova

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair will most likely resign if charges are brought against his closest aides in a growing "cash-for-honours" investigation [BBC News Q&A], senior ministers have told The Guardian newspaper. The arrest of Director of Government Relations Ruth Turner on Friday on suspicion of perverting the course of justice …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Australian officials said Monday that Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks could face reduced charges when he goes to trial before new US military commissions, the procedural rules for which were promulgated last week. Hicks' original charges, which were brought in 2004, have lapsed but he still faces a maximum …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of the Bangladesh Election Commission (EC) resigned Monday as a controversial election threatens to undermine the political stability of the country. CEC MA Aziz voluntarily took a three-month leave of absence in order to resolve a political deadlock over the status and membership of the Commission. Most of Aziz's five deputies are …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Human Rights Watch (HRW) Monday urged Rwandan judges and police to investigate and stop attacks on individuals administering or testifying in local tribunals known as Gacaca courts to bring those allegedly involved in the 1994 genocide to justice. In a report released by the rights watchdog …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Czech Republic Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek said Sunday that leaders in Prague are not on board with ratifying the European constitution in its current form, and do not plan to take part in future ratification discussions. The decision marks the second time that the Czech Republic declined to continue debating the charter, …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Mexican Attorney General Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza said Sunday that his country's extradition of 15 alleged drug kingpins and major drug traffickers to the US was a "unilateral and sovereign" decision by the Mexican government and not the result of any pressure from the US. Icaza said that drug lords Osiel Cardenas, Palma …

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