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Legal news from Wednesday, March 21, 2007
by Caitlin Price

A third US soldier pleaded guilty Wednesday for his role in the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the murder of her family in the Mahmudiya area last March. Pfc. Bryan Howard pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit rape and premeditated murder and conspiracy to obstruct justice in a case that has implicated …

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by Caitlin Price

Banned Egyptian opposition group the Muslim Brotherhood announced Wednesday that it plans to boycott next week's referendum on controversial constitutional amendments proposed last year by President Hosni Mubarak and recently approved by lawmakers. The Brotherhood, while illegal in Egypt, currently holds 88 seats in the …

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by Joe Shaulis

Former Vice President Al Gore testified before US congressional committees Wednesday that global warming is "a crisis that threatens the survival of our civilization and the habitability of the Earth." In his opening statement to a joint session of the House committees on Energy and Commerce and Science …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The Sex Professionals of Canada (SPOC) announced Wednesday they will initiate an application with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice alleging that three Canadian criminal offenses are unconstitutional under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Prostitution is legal in Canada, but the advocacy group argues that the combined effect of three provisions - s.210, …

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by Jaime Jansen

Two independent UN rights experts voiced concern Wednesday over Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's recent suspension of Pakistan Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry for "misuse of office" and ensuing protests across the country. In a joint statement, UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Leandro Despouy and the Secretary-General's Special …

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by Jaime Jansen

Serge Brammertz, the deputy prosecutor of the International Criminal Court who is leading the UN's independent investigation into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri told the UN Security Council Wednesday that he has made progress in finding the motive behind Hariri's assassination, but also requested an …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit on Wednesday denied a petition for review of a 2004 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) order preempting state regulation over Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology, such as Vonage and other Internet phone companies. Several state regulatory commissions had challenged the …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The Canadian government opened an official inquiry Wednesday into allegations by three Canadian citizens that Canadian security forces played a role in their arrest and alleged torture in Syria between 2001 and 2004. Kuwaiti-born Ahmed Al Maati, Syrian-born Abdullah Almalki and Iraqi-born Muayyed Nureddin each claim they were detained and tortured by Syrian military …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal on Wednesday overturned a $1.58 billion 2005 jury verdict awarded to billionaire financier and Revlon chairman Ron Perelman, finding that the plaintiffs failed to prove compensatory damages. Coleman Parent Holdings, Inc., of which Perelman held a controlling interest, sued Morgan Stanley [corporate …

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by Katerina Ossenova

A Nigerian senate committee indicted President Olusegun Obasanjo and Vice President Atiku Abubakar Wednesday on corruption charges for diverting public money to private interests. In February, a senate panel indicted Abubakar on corruption charges for the alleged diversion of $145 million dollars of public money belonging to the Petroleum Technology …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in the case of Roper v. Weaver, 06-313, a case in which the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit overturned a capital sentence on the grounds that the prosecutor's penalty phase closing argument was …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The Bush administration on Tuesday indicated it would veto HR 1433, a bill that would treat the Washington DC as its own Congressional district with voting rights. The policy statement said the bill would be unconstitutional, as the District of Columbia is not a state, and Article 1, Section 2 of …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The upper house of the Jordanian parliament on Wednesday approved a bill that imposes stiff fines for journalists who defame any religion protected under the country's constitution - i.e. Islam, Christianity or Judaism - or "offending the prophets" by writing or cartoons. The upper house dropped a controversial provision, approved by the lower house …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Ecuador swore in 21 replacement legislators on Tuesday night, thus establishing a quorum for future legislative sessions after the Supreme Electoral Tribunal dismissed 57 of 100 lawmakers in early March. The controversy began when Ecuador's unicameral Congress and President Rafael Correa submitted to …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A Russian judge has ordered imprisoned former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky moved to a detention center in Moscow during an investigation into new embezzlement and money laundering charges, according to one of Khodorkovsky's defense lawyers. The court rejected the demands of prosecutors who wanted to conduct the investigation at the Siberian penal …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A House Judiciary Committee panel on Wednesday authorized the committee chairman to subpoena former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove, former DOJ Chief of Staff Kyle Sampson, who resigned two weeks ago, and two DOJ aides to testify and provide documents to the committee regarding the recent …

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by Brett Murphy

Detainees held in secret prisons operated by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) throughout the globe were subject to abuse and sleep deprivation, according to a confidential report prepared by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). In interviews with former detainees, the ICRC reports that it learned that terror suspects were forced into …

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by Brett Murphy

Pakistani Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry is accused of misusing his influence to get his son jobs and promotions, according to details released for the first time Wednesday. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf suspended Chaudhry on March 9, but no details of the charges were made public at that time. According to the charge …

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by Brett Murphy

US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) Stuart Bowen told the US Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that investigators will be employing stricter standards when dealing with companies performing contract work in Iraq that engage in war profiteering. During the committee hearing, Bowen testified that the "SIGIR will do everything in its power …

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