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Legal news from Thursday, March 22, 2007
by Gabriel Haboubi

The European Commission (EC) Commissioner on Competition told the European Parliament Thursday that Microsoft continues to use "abusive" business practices which steadily increase the company's domination of the workgroup server market. Commissioner Neelie Kroes reported that Microsoft now has 70-75 precent of …

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by Robert DeVries

The European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee Thursday adopted a report on draft legislation designed to curtail increases in design piracy by imposing criminal penalties on commercial-scale IP infringement. The committee cited alleged links between pirated goods and organized crime to justify penalties which include fines of up to €300,000 ($400,000 US) and up …

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by Robert DeVries

Prosecutors filed papers Thursday in federal court recommending a reduced prison sentence for former lobbyist Jack Abramoff for giving "substantial assistance" in another Washington corruption case. The "nature, extent and value" of his cooperation will be revealed in future filings, according to prosecutors. Abramoff was sentenced to nearly 6 years in prison last March …

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by Leslie Schulman

Sudan suspended the work of 52 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in Darfur Thursday after allegations that they were not complying with regulations. The Sudanese government said the organizations would be able to resume work after talks with the government's Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC). United Nations Under-Secretary-General John Holmes, scheduled to visit Darfur this week, …

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by Leslie Schulman

British police arrested three men on Thursday in connection with the London transit bombings on July 7, 2005 that killed 56 people, including the bombers, and injured more than 700 others. Two suspects were detained at Manchester Airport while catching a plane to Pakistan, and the third was arrested at his …

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by Leslie Schulman

Egypt's four largest opposition parties - the Tagammu, Karama, Wafd and Nasserist parties - announced Thursday they will boycott next week's referendum on controversial constitutional amendments proposed last year by President Hosni Mubarak and recently approved by lawmakers. The announcement comes one day after Egyptian opposition group the …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Spanish prosecutors on Wednesday dropped all charges against Arnaldo Otegi, the leader of Batasuna, which is alleged to be a front for the illegal Basque separatist militants ETA. Otegi had been charged with glorifying terrorism for praising an ETA member who killed herself while preparing explosives. The Spanish Supreme Court in 2005 affirmed …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The US Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday authorized subpoenas for former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove, and several DOJ aides to testify and provide documents to the committee regarding the recent US Attorney firing scandal. Last week, the Committee subpoenaed five other …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A federal judge on Thursday granted a permanent injunction against enforcement of the Child Online Protection Act (COPA), a federal law that imposes civil and criminal penalties on website operators for making sexually explicit materials available to minors over the Internet and require adult websites to verify viewer age with a credit card number or any …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Northern Ireland's publicly-owned City of Derry Airport and Amnesty International (AI) are discussing the implementation of an official policy barring the United States and its allies from using the airport for controversial rendition flights, AI announced Wednesday. If passed by the Derry City Council, the policy …

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by James M Yoch Jr

A French court Thursday cleared Charlie-Hebdo magazine and director Philippe Val of defamation in last year's republication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad originally published in a Danish newspaper in September 2005. The court ruled that the defendants did not intend to purposely offend Muslims and so did not slander or defame anyone. Had Val been …

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by James M Yoch Jr

Argentine federal Judge Alberto Suarez Araujo ruled Wednesday that former president Reynaldo Bignone will face criminal charges for his alleged role in disappearances and human rights abuses during Argentina's 1976-83 "Dirty War". According Araujo's spokesperson, Bignone faces prosecution for the illegal arrest, torture and killing of dissidents at secret detention centers in …

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by Joe Shaulis

One of the world's largest oil tanker companies was sentenced to pay a $27.8 million criminal fine for intentionally polluting the waters near five cities, the US Justice Department and the US Attorney's Office in Boston announced Wednesday. Overseas Shipholding Group Inc. (OSG) pleaded guilty Wednesday in the US District Court for Massachusetts, …

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by James M Yoch Jr

The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit on Wednesday overturned the conviction of James Tobin, President Bush's 2004 campaign chairman for New England. Tobin was convicted for his involvement in jamming phone lines to block Democratic voting drives during the 2002 Senate election in New Hampshire, which was won …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Amnesty International urged the US to abandon the military commission system and try Guantanamo Bay detainees in the federal courts in a report released Thursday, just days before the US military is poised to begin military commission proceedings against David Hicks. Amnesty's report - Justice delayed and justice denied? Trials under the Military …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The Community Rights Counsel (CRC) said Wednesday that the new Judicial Conference Policy on Judges' Attendance at Privately Funded Educational Programs has not yet produced any public disclosures of travel expenses on judicial websites. According to the Judicial Conference:The Judicial Conference adopted a private seminars disclosure reporting policy that requires educational program providers and …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A Moscow court on Wednesday found Maksim V. Kashulinsky, publisher of the Russian edition of Forbes magazine, guilty of defamation for saying publicly that the subject of an upcoming piece had filed a lawsuit to make changes to the story, and that Kashulinsky thought the lawsuit was a violation of media freedom and amounted to censorship. The subject of …

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