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Legal news from Wednesday, February 7, 2007
by Leslie Schulman

White House spokesman Tony Snow Wednesday called for the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to act on the case of Jamal Jafaar Mohammed, a Shiite lawmaker who US military intelligence says was convicted and sentenced to death in absentia in 1984 for his role in a series of car …

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by Jaime Jansen

Fifty-seven countries have signed an international treaty in Paris banning governments from holding suspects in secret detention. The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance was approved by the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in June and adopted by consensus by the UN General Assembly in December, …

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by Jaime Jansen

The military judge overseeing the court-martial of US Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada declared a mistrial Wednesday after throwing out a pretrial agreement in which Watada admitted that he failed to deploy to Iraq with the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division in June. Watada was initially charged [charge …

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by Leslie Schulman

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair pushed Wednesday for a half-elected, half-appointed House of Lords that would remove 92 House members who still inherit their parliamentary seats and set the number of seats at 540. Currently, the House of Lords does not have a fixed number of members. According to House of Commons Leader …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of Nigeria on Wednesday released an advisory list of 135 Nigerian politicians considered to be too corrupt to hold office, including Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who has left the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) to run for the presidential ticket. Commission chairman …

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by Brett Murphy

The Philippine Senate passed an anti-terrorism bill on Tuesday which will allow authorities to detain suspected terrorists for up to three days without filing charges. The legislation also includes a provision that grants wrongfully detained persons a right to compensation of up to P500,000, roughly 10,000 American dollars. Philippine Senate President Manuel Villar …

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by Brett Murphy

Three former US Army officers and two civilians were indicted by a federal grand jury on Wednesday for charges relating to a scheme to defraud the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq. Army Colonel Curtis G. Whiteford, Army Lt. Colonels Debra M. Harrison and Michael B. Wheeler allegedly engaged in a bidding scam with US businessman Philip …

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by Brett Murphy

Military officials announced Wednesday that the US Navy admiral overseeing US Southern Command has endorsed six of the seven recommendations made by US Army Col. Richard Bassett in a probe of alleged detainee abuse at Guantanamo Bay but has rejected any further action against the US Marine paralegal who initially filed an affidavit reporting a …

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by Kate Heneroty

An Italian judge Wednesday ordered New York Army National Guard soldier Mario Lozano to stand trial on charges of voluntary homicide in connection with the death of Italian intelligence agent Nicola Calipari at a US checkpoint in Iraq in March 2005. Calipari was shot to death in 2005 while driving to the Baghdad …

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by Kate Heneroty

The government of Canada ordered an official inquiry Tuesday into whether detainees in Afghanistan were abused while in Canadian custody. The probe began following a civilian complaint filed by Amir Attaran, a University of Ottawa law professor, whose research uncovered a pattern of suspicious injuries on …

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by Kate Heneroty

Turkish foreign minister Abdullah Gul said Wednesday that a proposed resolution by the US Congress condemning the mass killings of 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1917 as "genocide" would damage US-Turkish relations. Turkey has maintained that the deaths do not amount to genocide and has recently objected to similiar legislation …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A Croatian freelance journalist was found guilty Wednesday of contempt of court by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for publishing the names of two witnesses on his website that were under a protective court order. Domagoj Margetic was sentenced to jail for three months and fined …

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by Brett Murphy

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Tuesday that the three oil drilling companies charged with violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act have agreed to a plea agreement settling the case for $26 million. The DOJ alleged that Vetco Gray UK Limited, Vetco Gray Controls Inc., and Vetco Gray Controls Limited paid Nigerian …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Thirty-eight US states and Samsung Electronics agreed Tuesday to a $90 million settlement, pending court approval, to resolve allegations that Samsung fixed prices and engaged in other anticompetitive activities in the market for DRAM memory chips for computers. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who coordinated the suit, said in a press release that the settlement terms …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Jailed Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky on Wednesday condemned new charges brought against him by the Russian government earlier this week, calling the indictment "absurd and ungrounded." Prosecutors charged Khodorkovsky and business associate Platon Lebedev with money laundering and embezzlement based on allegations that Khodorkovsky used his Open Russia Foundation …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The UN signed an agreement Tuesday to create an international tribunal to try suspects accused of assassinating former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in February 2005. The agreement must now be ratified by the Lebanese parliament. Nabih Berri, the pro-Syrian speaker of parliament, opposes the Hariri tribunal and has refused …

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by Brett Murphy

Opening arguments were heard on Wednesday in a defamation action brought by the Paris Mosque and the Union of Islamic Organizations of France against Charlie-Hebdo magazine and director Philippe Val for last year's republication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad originally published in a Danish newspaper in September …

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by Brett Murphy

Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs called on four of the largest record companies who distribute their music through iTunes to allow Apple to sell music without anti-piracy protection in an letter placed on Apple's website Tuesday. Jobs presented a series of "alternatives" for the future of digital music sold through Apple, and encouraged record companies to abandon …

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