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Legal news from Thursday, January 25, 2007
by Gabriel Haboubi

Italy is set to become the latest country in Europe to criminalize Holocaust denial after the cabinet of Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi unanimously approved a draft bill Thursday. The draft, written by Justice Minister Clemente Mastella, will now be given to parliament for …

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by Robert DeVries

Bangladesh Attorney General AJ Mohammad Ali stepped down from his post Wednesday in what is believed to be a response to demands for his resignation from a left-leaning 14-party coalition led by the Awami League (AL). The AL accuses Ali of instituting policies for a currently-suspended national election that would have favored the center-right Bangladesh …

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by Robert DeVries

Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged Senegal to accelerate the process of bringing former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre to justice in a briefing paper released Thursday. Following a recommendation from the July 2006 African Union assembly, Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade agreed …

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by Brett Murphy

Indonesia Attorney General Abdul Rahman Saleh announced Thursday that by the end of the month the state plans to bring a civil action against former president Haji Mohammad Suharto for alleged misuse of charitable funds. The suit will concern the Supersemar foundation, created by Suharto in 1974 as a scholarship fund for students, and could be followed …

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by Leslie Schulman

A Seoul court ruled Thursday that cancer patients suing South Korean tobacco firm Korea Tobacco and Ginseng Co. (KTG) do not have enough evidence to link their diseases to negligence on the part of the companies. The court conceded the link between smoking and the plaintiffs' illnesses, but said that there was insufficient evidence to show that …

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by Leslie Schulman

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair said Thursday that the increasingly-controversial issue of whether Catholic adoption agencies would have to permit adoptions by same-sex couples under new equality regulations will be decided in cabinet next week. The rules would ostensibly prohibit discrimination against same-sex couples wishing to exercise their new right to adopt children, but after British Catholic …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A North Carolina state judge on Thursday issued an injunction blocking two executions until Gov. Mike Easley issues new procedures to execute capital defendants without the presence of doctors. The new execution protocol is required after the North Carolina Medical Board last week changed their capital punishment policy, taking the position that "physician participation in capital punishment is …

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by Joshua Pantesco

US Army Pfc. Corey R. Clagett pleaded guilty during his court-martial on Thursday to charges of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to obstruct justice, 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. The soldiers, members of …

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by Joshua Pantesco

US District Court Judge Melinda Harmon on Wednesday granted a motion to dismiss seven defendants from the Enron shareholder derivative lawsuit, scheduled to go to trial in April. The lead plaintiff in the case, the University of California Board of Regents, has already negotiated settlements with Lehman Brothers, Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, and …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Italian police Chief Superintendent Chiara Giacomantonio said Wednesday that a four month-long investigation has turned up nearly 2,000 suspects believed to be involved in human trafficking in Italy. According to police, most of the human trafficking involved both minors and adults who were forced into sweatshops and prostitution. Giacomantonio also stated that most of …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul has called for change to the controversial Article 301 of Turkey's penal code, which makes "insulting the Turkish identity" a crime. Gul, who last December conceded that the law could be changed if necessary to protect Turkey's reputation, admitted Wednesday that the law …

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by Katerina Ossenova

A parliamentary committee of the Israeli Knesset voted 13-11 Thursday to grant the request of Israeli President Moshe Katsav for a three-month temporary suspension. The Knesset vote preserves Katsav's immunity even though he faces possible charges of rape, sexual harassment, abuse of power and obstruction of justice since he was …

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by Joshua Pantesco

US District Judge Marcia Clarke did not sanction a defense lawyer for alleged terrorist Jose Padilla during Wednesday court hearings for violating a protective order that bars distribution of sensitive documents, but instead had all defense lawyers sign agreements not to leak any other protected documents. Clarke also threatened the press with contempt proceedings …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Sentencing proceedings in the case against Saddam Hussein-era Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan were postponed until February 12 Thursday after lawyers for the survivors of Ramadan's crimes failed to show up in court. The lawyers had not been given notice to appear. Ramadan is expected to receive a death sentence.Ramadan was convicted [JURIST …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Federal authorities arrested a Mississippi man Wednesday for the 1964 kidnapping and deaths of two black men in another reopened civil rights-era case. James Ford Seale, now 71 years old, was originally arrested in 1964 on suspicion of kidnapping two young black men, Henry Dee and Charles Moore, who were later found dead in the Mississippi …

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