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Legal news from Monday, March 5, 2007
by Melissa Bancroft

The trial of former Kosovo prime minister and Kosovo Liberation Army commander Ramush Haradinaj and two Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) fighters, Idriz Balaj and Lahi Brahimaj, began Monday before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). In her opening remarks, chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A New Jersey superior court judge Monday upheld a Friday jury verdict for Merck & Co, finding that the company had given adequate warning to physicians of the risks associated with its painkiller Vioxx. Judge Carol Higbee rejected a motion by plaintiffs attorney Mark Lanier disputing a finding that the …

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by Melissa Bancroft

US District Judge Reggie B. Walton refused to answer a jury question Monday in the I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby trial on the level of proof that would have to be met to find the former vice presidential aide guilty. The jury wanted to know whether in order to satisfy the …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Less than half of terrorism suspects arrested in the United Kingdom after September 11, 2001 under the Terrorism Act 2000 were ever charged with any crime, according to figures released Monday by the UK Home Office. Over 1,126 people were arrested between the Sept. 11 attacks and the end of 2006, but only 221 were …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Former Saddam-era deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz, brought before the Iraqi High Tribunal Monday to testify against six defendants accused of genocide in the Anfal trial, instead denied that Hussein's government had ever carried out any such attacks. Aziz insisted that Iraq did not have the …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

The lower house of the Jordanian parliament approved a bill Sunday that would subject journalists to jail sentences for defaming any religion protected under the country's constitution - i.e. Islam, Christianity or Judaism - or "offending the prophets" by their writing or by cartoons. Imprisonment could also result from any "insult to religious sentiments and beliefs, …

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by Michael Sung

Ugandan judges began a week-long general strike Monday to protest last Thursday's siege of the High Court and seizure of defendants by government forces. Court witnesses said that six defendants were rearrested by security forces in court after having been granted bail. The defendants' lawyer was also beaten unconscious by security forces. Elias Kisawuzi, spokesperson for the judiciary, told …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Monday denounced a weekend raid by UK-led coalition forces and Iraqi soldiers on the local Basra headquarters building of the National Iraqi Intelligence Agency, ordering an investigation into the incident and declaring that those responsible would be punished. A British military spokesman nonetheless defended the legitimacy of the …

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by Melissa Bancroft

A former Sudanese militia leader recently accused of war crimes by the International Criminal Court denied attacking Darfur civilians or displacing refugees in an article published in Sudan's Al Intibaha newspaper Sunday. Ali Kushayb insisted he was assigned to the region only to protect the villagers from Arab militias. Kushayb and Ahmed Muhammed Harun, …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The US Supreme Court handed down decisions in two cases Monday, including Lance v. Coffman, where the Court concluded that four Republican voters in Colorado did not have standing to challenge a court-ordered congressional redistricting plan. A state judge in Colorado drew up a redistricting plan in 2002 when the state legislature was unable …

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by Michael Sung

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday that the US House of Representatives' proposed resolution, which urges Japan to apologize to women who were forced into sexual slavery during World War II, "is not based on objective facts." Last Thursday, Abe denied that the …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The US Supreme Court Monday refused to expedite its consideration of a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by Guantanamo Bay detainees seeking review of the 2006 Military Commissions Act (MCA). Two Guantanamo detainees, Salim Ahmed Hamdan and Omar Khadr, filed the motion to expedite …

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by Michael Sung

Mubarak Hussain bin Abul Hasim, a Bangladeshi who had been detained for five-years at Guantanamo Bay, told AFP following his release from Bangladeshi detention last Thursday that interrogators at Guantanamo Bay gave electric shocks and subjected the detainees to low temperature cells, where Mubarak spent "two days straight without food and without any clothes." Mubarak also …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

Chief US military commissions prosecutor Col. Morris Davis (USAF) has criticized the conduct of the US military lawyer for Australian Guantanamo detainee David Hicks, suggesting that Major Michael Mori (USMC) has been playing politics with his case outside the bounds of proper legal representation. On Saturday, The Australian newspaper quoted Davis as saying "Certainly …

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by Jeannie Shawl

A Cambodian military court has charged Kaing Khek Iev, also known as Duch, with war crimes in an effort to keep Duch in custody until he can be tried before the Khmer Rouge genocide tribunal, a Cambodian official said Monday. Duch was arrested in 1999 on genocide charges and was subsequently charged with …

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