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Legal news from Tuesday, May 8, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

Zimbabwean police Tuesday broke up a rally of about 50 lawyers who had gathered to protest the the arrest and imprisonment of two human rights lawyers, assaulting some attendees with rubber batons, according to a witness. Alec Muchadehama and Andrew Makoni, who represent opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai, were arrested Friday, …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Parliament of Pakistan Tuesday rejected a proposal to soften the country's strict blasphemy laws that impose death or life imprisonment for insults to the Prophet Mohammed. Minno Bhandara, a Christian lawmaker in the National Assembly, had introduced a motion to bring the law more into line with punishments prescribed for insulting other minority religions. The …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Pakistan Supreme Court Tuesday created a panel of judges to hear a legal challenge by suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry to the proceedings against him for alleged misconduct. Pakistan's Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) had been conducting an inquiry into Chaudhry's alleged misconduct, but Chaudhry appealed to …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A New York appeals court Tuesday dismissed four of six claims against former New York Stock Exchange chairman Richard Grasso, finding they were not within the New York attorney general's authority to bring. Grasso was forced out of the stock exchange in 2003 following a public outcry over his $187.5 million compensation package. …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A US Marine legal adviser charged with failure to properly report and investigate the killings of 24 Iraqi civilians at Haditha appeared before a military panel Tuesday that will decide whether the charges should go to court-martial. Capt. Randy W. Stone, formerly of the 3rd Platoon, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, stands …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US Senate Judiciary Committee Monday sent a letter to a former federal prosecutor, asking him to speak with investigators looking into the recent US Attorney firing scandal and a possible link to voter fraud prosecutions. The Committee seeks to question former US Attorney Bradley Schlozman, now with the Executive Office for …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A committee struck to reform Iraq's constitution said Tuesday it planned to have its recommendations ready to go before the Iraqi parliament next week. The 31-member committee, which includes Shiites, Sunni Arabs and ethnic Kurds, must complete its proposals by May 15, according to the Iraqi constitution. Parliament must approve any constitutional amendment by an …

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by Brett Murphy

Human rights activist Umida Niyazova received a suspended sentence on Tuesday after reading a confession and expressing regret for "the crimes committed unintentionally." The Uzbek appeals court reduced the seven-year sentence she received last week after being convicted of illegal border crossing, smuggling, and distributing Islamic extremist propaganda. Niyazova worked for Human Rights Watch …

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by Brett Murphy

Six Islamic militants have been arrested for allegedly planning an attack on New Jersey military base Fort Dix, the US Attorney for New Jersey said Tuesday. The men, who have been under surveillance for the past 16 months, have been charged with a conspiracy to kill US employees under 18 USC 1114. The …

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by Brett Murphy

Canadian Federal Court Judge Richard Mosley refused to require the release of confidential evidence against alleged terrorist Mohammed Momin Khawaja on Monday, saying "that disclosure of most of the information would be injurious to national security or to international relations." Mosley told defense lawyers that he will summarize some of the information, but …

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by Brett Murphy

A New Orleans court suspended the criminal trials of 98 indigent defendants Monday, 20 of whom were released from prison. Judge Arthur Hunter of the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court told the defendants that while the charges are not being dropped, the defendants will not be further prosecuted until they are able …

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by Brett Murphy

The US may attempt to force the establishment of a UN tribunal to try suspects in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Al Arabiya television Monday. Under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the UN Security Council has the power …

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by Brett Murphy

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said Tuesday that a report from the US Commission on International Religious Freedom that accused China of imprisoning and torturing people based on their religion was ignorant and prejudiced. In a statement posted on the Foreign Ministry's website, Jiang said that the report was distorted in its attack …

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by Brett Murphy

The twenty-sixth sessions of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) opened in Bonn, Germany, on Monday, as hundreds of diplomats gathered to discuss a future compact to replace the Kyoto Protocol when it expires in …

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by Brett Murphy

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has neglected to censure countries committing gross violations of human rights, including Cuba, Saudi Arabia and China, according to a report released Monday by rights watchdog group UN Watch. The report stated that:Sadly, despite having some promise on paper, the new Council has not been an improvement …

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by Brett Murphy

The two Cuban soldiers who last week killed an army officer while attempting to hijack a plane to flee the island were encouraged to do so by last month's US release of anti-Castro militant Luis Posada Carriles, according to a statement Cuban President Fidel Castro sent to journalists on Monday. Castro warned that the …

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