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Legal news from Monday, February 5, 2007
by Caitlin Price

Portugal is the latest country to open an investigation into alleged stopovers of secret CIA rendition flights transporting terror suspects, according to a report from state-owned news agency Lusa Monday. Last month, a report adopted by a European Parliament (EP) special committee alleged that some EU nations knew …

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by Caitlin Price

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko announced Monday that he has appealed to the country's Constitutional Court a recently-passed bill he fears will illegally expand the cabinet's power at the expense of the presidency. The law, effective February 2, was supported by 366 of 370 members of the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada. …

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by Caitlin Price

Former Westar Energy CEO David Wittig was resentenced Monday to 24 months in prison, his third sentencing for charges stemming from a 2002 indictment on bank fraud, money laundering and conspiracy. In July 2003, Wittig was given 51 months in prison; that sentence was vacated by the US Tenth Circuit in February …

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by Brett Murphy

The court-martial of 1st Lt. Ehren Watada began Monday on charges of missing movement and conduct unbecoming an officer for Watada's refusal to be deployed to Iraq with his military unit. The court-martial is being held at Fort Lewis outside of Seattle and Watada faces up to four years' imprisonment if convicted …

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by Brett Murphy

The White House's proposed 2008 budget of $2.9 trillion released Monday allocates $21.8 billion for the Department of Justice, including a $227 million increase in anti-terrorism funding, a $214 million increase for Preventing Violent Crime, and an $89 million increase for Drugs and Border Security. "For those of us at the …

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by Brett Murphy

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is planning to follow up on a 2006 amendment to the 1994 Violence Against Women Act with measures that would allow DNA samples to be taken from the majority of people arrested by federal agents, including illegal immigrants, the New York Times reported Monday. Supporters of the new rules, …

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by Katerina Ossenova

US District Judge Reggie B. Walton Monday authorized public release of audio recordings of the secret grand jury testimony of former vice-presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby after they are played at his trial. While Walton expressed concerns about releasing the tapes during the trial, but federal court rules encourage disclosure. One …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The German Federal Court of Justice ruled Monday that police in Germany are not permitted to secretly access computer and Internet data stored on suspects' computers without proper authorization. The German high court held that police hacking is illegal because no legal framework currently exists to legitimize the activity. …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Journalists increasingly face the potential of government prosecution and imprisonment when they choose to report on the activities of ruling governments in the Middle East, according to a new worldwide survey ["Attacks on the Press in 2006" text] released Monday by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). CPJ, an international press freedom group, claims there has been …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Apple Inc. and Apple Corps Ltd., the record label owned by the Beatles and their families, announced Monday they have reached a new compromise that replaces their 1991 trademark agreement and resolves the prolonged trademark dispute over Apple Inc.'s use of the name "Apple" and its corresponding logos. The new agreement reportedly …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Eight former Bangladeshi ministers face allegations of corruption Monday after Bangladeshi security forces arrested 13 former ministers and senior politicians in raids in Dhaka Sunday. The government cited recently promulgated emergency powers as the basis for the detentions. Human rights groups and the country's two main political parties, the Awami League (AL) and the Bangladesh …

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by Katerina Ossenova

French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy Monday cautioned countries against the illegal and unacceptable use of child soldiers in armed conflicts at the opening of Free Children from War, a two-day global conference in Paris drawing together representatives from about 60 nations. Hosted by the French Foreign Ministry and UNICEF, the conference …

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by Katerina Ossenova

French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy warned Monday against apologizing for crimes committed during France's colonization of Algeria. His comments came in response to remarks made Sunday by prominent a French Socialist Party (PS) leader who called on France to recognize its crimes in colonial Algeria, including the alleged massacres of …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Two human rights lawyers in Vietnam were ordered to return to a police station for additional questioning Monday after they were detained over the weekend for hosting a discussion on human rights law. Nguyen Van Dai and Le Thi Cong Nhan were arrested at Dai's office on Saturday where the training was taking place and were …

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by Holly Manges Jones

The chairman of Hyundai Motors Group was convicted Monday of embezzling company funds and allegedly using secret accounts to bribe politicians in South Korea. Chung Mong-koo received a three-year prison sentence despite prosecutor petitions for a six-year prison term. Judge Kim Dong-oh ruled that the lesser prison sentence was appropriate …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Russian prosecutors have brought new money laundering charges against former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky, his lawyers said Monday. Khodorkovsky was convicted in May 2005 of tax evasion and sentenced to eight years in prison. The Russian government effectively nationalized Yukos to pay off $33 billion in …

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