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Legal news from Friday, February 16, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Utah Supreme Court Friday restricted parental rights to biological parents in the cases of unmarried parents raising children related by blood to only one partner. The case at issue involved a five-year old girl conceived in a lesbian relationship, whose biological mother Cheryl Pike Barlow sought to restrict the visitation rights of her former partner Keri …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The England and Wales Court of Appeals (Criminal Division) ruled Friday that UK terrorism laws do not allow for a "freedom fighter" defense. The defendant in the case, a Libyan identified as "F", was arrested in late 2005 and charged with violating Terrorism Act 2000 Section 58 (1)(b) by possessing documents useful in …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

A Turkish court sentenced the conspirators of the 2003 Istanbul bombings Friday, handing down seven life sentences. In addition, 41 of the 74 defendants received prison sentences ranging from four to 18 years; the remaining 26 defendants were acquitted. The bombings, which targeted two synagogues, the British consulate, and the Turkish headquarters …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Friday that the United States has consistently failed to investigate and prosecute allegations of abuse of Afghan detainees. The group welcomed this week's prison sentence for CIA contractor David Passaro, who was found guilty of assault in the beating death of Abdul Wali …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks gathered intelligence on the US embassy in Kabul and "participated in an advanced al Qaeda course on information collection and surveillance" before being captured in 2001 while fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan, according to new details released Friday by US officials. The DOD memorandum notifying Hicks of …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Italian Court of Cassation ruled Friday that former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi should face trial in an appeals court on corruption charges. Berlusconi was accused of bribing judges to stop the auction of the SME state-owned food company to a rival in 1985, but was acquitted in December …

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by Jeannie Shawl

A Russian court on Friday upheld the 2004 sale of the top production unit of now-bankrupt oil company Yukos. Yuganskneftegaz was auctioned off after Yukos was held liable for over $20 billion in back taxes. Yukos sued in 2005 to challenge the sale of Yuganskneftegaz, which is now controlled [JURIST …

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by Jeannie Shawl

US District Judge Robert G. Doumar has said that he will not grant the Sudanese government's motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by families of sailors killed in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole. Although he has not issued a formal ruling on the issue, Doumar said during a hearing Thursday to …

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by Leslie Schulman

A group of lawmakers from the US Senate and House of Representatives on Thursday introduced the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which would give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the same authority to regulate tobacco products as it has over other consumer products. The bill, which cites the …

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by Michael Sung

US District Judge Charles S. Haight ruled [opinion, PDF; ACLU-NY press release] Thursday that the New York Police Department (NYPD) must stop its practice of videotaping lawful public gatherings and preserving the videotapes and adhere to the so-called "Modified Handschu Guidelines" developed by prior court rulings, which govern police surveillance. Haight is responsible for overseeing the terms …

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by Michael Sung

Italian Judge Caterina Interlandi issued indictments Friday for 31 US and Italian intelligence agents for their alleged role in the February 17, 2003 abduction and extraordinary rendition of alleged terror suspect Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr in Milan. Prosecutor Armando Spataro has alleged that 25 Americans working for the Central …

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