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Legal news from Tuesday, March 20, 2007
by Alexis Unkovic

British magistrate Timothy Workman ruled Tuesday that Balkan war criminal Milan Spanovic need not return to Croatia to face an international arrest warrant. Workman refused to extradite Spanovic, who was convicted of war crimes in absentia and sentenced to 20 years in prison in 1993 stemming from his conduct …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The UK Ministry of Defence announced Tuesday that British armed forces will no longer use certain types of cluster bombs. UK Secretary of State for Defence Des Browne said the military will still use "smart" cluster bombs with self-destruct mechanisms in an attempt to strike a balance between …

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by Ryan Olden

US President George W. Bush warned Congressional Democrats Tuesday to accept his compromise to allow top White House aides to testify about the firings of US Attorneys before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Senate Judiciary Committee had called for Bush's close ad visors, including former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and Deputy …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in the case of Fry v. Pliler, 06-5247, a case in which the defendant was convicted on two counts of murder following two mistrials. Fry subsequently filed several habeas appeals, arguing the trial court improperly precluded a key …

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by Ryan Olden

Reporter Rafig Tagi and editor Samir Huseinov, both of the newspaper Senet, went on trial Tuesday in the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan for allegedly insulting Islam. Both claim the prosecution is politically motivated as authoritarian Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev has a reputation for heavy-handed repression of the …

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by Lisl Brunner

France signed an extradition treaty with China Tuesday in Paris over the objections of human rights groups that oppose China's use of the death penalty. After signing the treaty, Justice Minister Pascal Clement explained that France may refuse extradition of suspects to China for political or military offenses. If a crime is …

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by Lisl Brunner

The editor of a website in China that called for political reform has been sentenced to six years in prison by the Ningbo Intermediate People's Court in Zhejiang province for defaming the government. Zhang Jianhong wrote some 60 critical articles on Aiqinghai.net and other websites before the government shut down the site …

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by Lisl Brunner

A defense lawyer for German Holocaust-denier Ernst Zundel has been charged with incitement, attempting to thwart a prosecution, and using banned Nazi symbols during the original trial of Zundel in 2005. According to prosecutors at the Mannheim State Court, Sylvia Stolz repeatedly denied the Holocaust during Zundel's trial, described Jews as …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Baltasar Garzon, an investigating judge for Spain's National Court, said Tuesday that President George W. Bush and his allies eventually should face war crimes charges for their actions in Iraq. In an opinion piece for El Pais, Garzon called the war in Iraq "one of the most …

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by Brett Murphy

US Department of Justice Inspector General Glenn Fine told the House Judiciary Committee at a hearing on Tuesday that the confusion and abuses surrounding the use of National Security Letters (NSL) was "unacceptable and inexcusable." The Federal Bureau of Investigation illegally gathered data …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The UK Department of Education and Skills issued school uniform guidelines Tuesday that allow schools to ban students from wearing Muslim veils if teachers believe the garments can affect safety or a student's learning. Minister for Schools Jim Knight noted that "uniforms can help to develop the right mindset …

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by Brett Murphy

Egyptian cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr said in an interview published Monday that he will be unable to identify the alleged CIA kidnappers who he says abducted him from Italy in 2003 because they wore face masks. He said he would like to serve as …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals withdrew class action status Tuesday from Enron shareholders who filed a shareholder derivative lawsuit in October 2001. US District Judge Melinda Harmon certified the class in June 2006, but defendants Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse Group …

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by Brett Murphy

The US Senate voted Tuesday to limit the power of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to name interim US attorneys, passing the Preserving United States Attorney Independence Act of 2007 by a vote of 94-2. The vote came amid increasing pressure on Gonzales to resign after the recent …

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by Natalie Hrubos

One of Pakistan's three deputy attorneys general resigned Tuesday, telling Reuters that the crisis over President Pervez Musharraf's March 9 suspension of Chief Justice Iktikhar Chaudhry for unspecified "misconduct" had made it "very difficult for me to perform my duties." The move by Nasir Saeed Sheikh follows the resignation of seven Pakistani …

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by Natalie Hrubos

A US military jury recommended Monday that 101st Airborne Staff Sgt. Raymond Girouard be sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted last week of three counts of negligent homicide for the deaths of three Iraqi detainees held after a May 2006 raid in Thar Thar. He was …

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by Natalie Hrubos

The interim government of Bangladesh said Tuesday it plans to set up a national human rights commission in the country to deal with human rights problems there. Human rights groups have recently complained about extra-judicial killings and arbitrary arrests by the security forces in Bangladesh. There have been 50 unexplained deaths in the …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The US Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that parties can contractually allocate the burden of attorneys' fees when litigation involves issues of federal bankruptcy law. In Travelers Casualty v. Pacific Gas & Electric Co., Travelers sought to recover attorneys' fees according to its indemnification agreements with PG&E, but the …

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by Joe Shaulis

A former CIA director is recommending in a report to a group of international civic leaders that the United States enact an EU-style cap-and-trade program and other measures to control greenhouse gas emissions. The background paper by John Deutch, who led the CIA in the mid-'90s and now teaches in the …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

The hanging of Saddam-era Iraqi vice-president Taha Ramadan before dawn Baghdad time Tuesday drew a disavowal from the United States and condemnation from Russia as the international community reacted to an execution that UN officials and rights groups had lobbied intensively against. Bloomberg News quoted a US Embassy spokesman in Baghdad as saying that …

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by Holly Manges Jones

The US Senate Monday considered the possibility of taking away the authority of US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to unilaterally appoint replacement US Attorneys as comments from the White House regarding his future seemed less than confident and the administration reportedly began considering possible replacements. Nearly 3,000 email messages released Monday by the …

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by Holly Manges Jones

The Egyptian Parliament Monday passed a set of 34 amendments to the country's constitution, despite criticism from opposition leaders that the reforms are a step backward for democracy. The amendments were endorsed by 315 of 454 seats in parliament and members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, the largest opposition group …

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