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Legal news from Monday, April 30, 2007
by Melissa Bancroft

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Ahmed Errachidi has been detained by Moroccan police after his transfer from US custody last week. Formal charges have not yet been filed against Errachidi, but a source from the Moroccan Ministry of Justice source confirmed Monday that he is under criminal investigation. Errachidi's family expressed concern over …

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by Leslie Schulman

British Army Corporal David Payne, convicted of abusing Iraqi detainees in 2003, was sent to jail for one year on Monday. Payne, who was one of seven British soldiers who faced court-martial for charges of detainee abuse, had pleaded guilty to charges of inhumane treatment in September. The court-martial of the seven was the …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The US Supreme Court granted certiorari Monday in Medellin v. Texas [cert. petition, PDF; case materials], 06-984, where the Court will consider whether the Bush administration has the authority to direct a state court to comply with a ruling from the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Jose Ernesto Medellin, a Mexican national …

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by Leslie Schulman

Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine issued an executive order Monday closing the loophole that allowed Virginia Tech gunman Seung-Hui Cho to purchase a firearm despite having been ordered to receive psychiatric treatment by a Virginia court in 2005. The executive order amends Virginia law so that any person who has received …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko dismissed Ukrainian Constitutional Court Judge Valeriy Pshenichny from office for an "oath violation," according to the presidential press service Monday. No details were released on the exact nature of the "violation." On April 25, Pshenichny said that Yushchenko had requested a transcript of the court proceedings mulling the legality …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Kurdish legislators in the Iraq National Assembly will vote against a draft law to regulate the country's oil because some provisions of the bill violate a February agreement with Kurdish lawmakers, a Kurdish official said Monday. In February, the Kurds agreed to support the draft bill after lengthy …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser said Monday that the treatment and trial of Australian detainee David Hicks at Guantanamo Bay demonstrate that the US and Australian governments are "prepared to throw every legal principle out the window and establish a process that we would expect of tyrannical regimes." In an op-ed published on JURIST, Fraser decried …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US Supreme Court Monday declined to hear a lawsuit brought by two Guantanamo Bay detainees challenging the legality of their military commissions. In Hamdan v. Gates and Khadr v. Bush , 06-1169, Yemeni Salim Ahmed Hamdan and Canadian Omar Khadr sought to challenge the constitutionality of Congress' decision to deny …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu was convicted Monday of violating the terms of his 2004 release from prison by granting interviews to foreign news media. Vanunu completed an 18-year prison sentence in 2004 for leaking Israel's atomic weapons secrets to the Sunday Times newspaper. Following his release, Vanunu was subject to strict …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

A judge sitting at London's Old Bailey criminal court sentenced five British men of Pakistani descent to life imprisonment Monday at the end of a year-long terrorism trial - the largest UK terrorism trial since al Qaeda's September 11 attacks on the United States - that culminated in the longest deliberation by a jury in …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

Australian Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said Monday that the government would amend an existing federal law preventing convicted criminals from profiting from their offenses if it became apparent that it allowed Guantanamo detainee David Hicks to sell his story. Hicks is currently set to be returned to Australia to serve out an additional prison term after …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

The number of executions worldwide dropped in 2006 from 2,148 the year previous to 1,591, according to new statistics issued by Amnesty International. Over 90 percent of the year's executions were conducted in six countries: Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Pakistan, the USA and China. At 177, Iran's execution rate nearly doubled in 2006. Iraq and Pakistan joined …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The US Supreme Court handed down decisions in five cases Monday, including Microsoft v. AT&T, where the Court held that Microsoft was not liable for patent infringement under 35 USC 271(f) for foreign installations of Windows. AT&T filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Microsoft because Microsoft provides …

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by Holly Manges Jones

International judges appointed to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) said Monday that the Khmer Rouge genocide trials can move forward after the Cambodian Bar Association (BAKC) agreed to dramatically reduce the fees it proposed to levy on foreign lawyers involved in the trials. The UN-nominated judges …

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by Holly Manges Jones

Former CIA director George Tenet repeatedly denied that torture has been used during interrogations of terror suspects in an interview with CBS' 60 Minutes that aired Sunday. Tenet said that no one has ever died as a result of interrogation sessions and responded that he does not …

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by Holly Manges Jones

China is not doing enough to remedy human rights abuses prior to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, according to a report released by Amnesty International Monday. The group criticized China for the use of increased restrictions on domestic media and the Internet and for continuing to allow criminal suspects to …

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