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Legal news from Wednesday, January 24, 2007
by Joshua Pantesco

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert urged Israeli President Moshe Katsav to step down Wednesday in the face of possible charges of rape and sexual harassment. Haaretz quoted Olmert as saying that "In these circumstances there is no doubt in my heart that the president cannot continue to fulfill his role and must leave the President's …

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by Leslie Schulman

The US House of Representatives Wednesday passed a resolution which would amend House rules to grant limited voting rights to federal lawmakers from five US nonstate territories. The resolution, introduced January 19, would extend certain Congressional voting rights to delegates from the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa, to allow:each …

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by Lisl Brunner

The International Criminal Court (ICC) will rule January 29 on whether war crimes charges will be confirmed against Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga, a move that would make Lubanga the first ICC defendant. As founder of the militant Union of Patriotic …

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by Lisl Brunner

Turkish prosecutors have charged five people in connection with the murder of Hrant Dink, the Turkish-Armenian journalist who was shot and killed last week. The five are accused of belonging to an armed gang, and prosecutors are investigating whether other political or illegal organizations are tied to the group. Dink was convicted last year [JURIST …

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by Leslie Schulman

Ex-Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, who has spent the last 17 years in US custody, including 15 years in federal prison on drug trafficking and racketeering charges, is to be released on September 9, 2007, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Noriega, a former US ally who ruled Panama as a military …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals heard oral arguments Wednesday on whether criminal conspiracy charges brought against former US Rep. Tom Delay were properly dismissed at trial. Charges of conspiracy to violate election law and conspiracy to commit money laundering were dismissed last December after the trial court found that the Texas …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Ukraine political leaders have reached a compromise in a dispute over recently passed legislation that Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko threatened to challenge in court after claiming that it would illegally expand the cabinet's power at the expense of the presidency. Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych said Wednesday that, following a Tuesday conversation between himself, …

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by Joshua Pantesco

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday in response to a press question about Italy's recent push for an international death penalty moratorium that he supports the international trend towards abolishing the death penalty. Ban came under fire from human rights groups earlier this month after he told the press January 2, in …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Sri Lanka is "complicit or willfully blind" to the child conscription efforts of the rebel group Karuna, according to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report published Wednesday that alleges the government has helped Karuna abduct children to fight against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), also known as the …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The Russian Constitutional Court will now hold its sessions in St. Petersburg, rather than its current Moscow location, after Russia's Federation Council voted 147-2 to approve the authorizing bill. The bill, which was approved by the Russian State Duma in December, was revised to permit the Court to hold visiting sessions …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Tuesday called for the European constitution to be in place before the 2009 European parliamentary elections. Rasmussen acknowledged that some changes to the current draft constitution may be necessary after voters in France and the Netherlands rejected the draft in …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Over 450 illegal immigrants out of over 750 taken into custody have already been deported by US immigration authorities after a week-long crackdown in five counties in southern California, officials at the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced Tuesday. Of those taken into custody, 338 were arrested in residential raids and 423 were identified while in …

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by Brett Murphy

UK Home Secretary John Reid, Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer and Attorney General Lord Goldsmith wrote to British judges on Wednesday urging them to limit imposition of prison sentences to only the most dangerous criminals in order to help the government deal with prison overcrowding [BBC backgrounder; Guardian Q&A]. MPs on the opposition Conservative Party …

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by Brett Murphy

The trial of 29 people suspected of involvement in the 2004 Madrid train bombings will begin on February 15, according to an announcement from the Spanish National Court Tuesday. At least three of the 29 suspects are expected to take the stand as a part of the trial, and the seven main suspects face …

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by Brett Murphy

UK Director of Public Prosecutions Ken Macdonald said Tuesday that there is no "war on terror" in Britain and warned that inappropriate measures driven by fear threaten an accused's right to a fair trial. In a speech delivered to the UK Criminal Bar Association, Macdonald, who also heads the Crown Prosecution Service [official …

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by David Shucosky

A federal judge in Chicago has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a group of NHL players against Ted Saskin, head of the National Hockey League Players' Association. Judge Suzanne B. Conlon of the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled Monday that since the NHLPA and most …

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