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Legal news from Monday, May 21, 2007
by Leslie Schulman

More than one hundred Muslim extremists belonging to the group al-Jihad have been released from Egyptian prisons over the last two weeks, according to Egyptian police on Monday. The prisoners, many of whom had been held for over a decade, were released only after signing statements renouncing the use of violence to promote their cause. Al-Jihad, which …

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by Leslie Schulman

Prominent Iranian-American scholar Dr. Haleh Esfandiari was formally charged with plotting to overthrow the Iranian government by organizing a network "against the sovereignty of the country," according to Iranian television Monday. Esfandiari, director of the Middle East Program at the DC-based Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, was formally arrested on May 7 and …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour Monday called for the government of Myanmar to unconditionally release pro-democracy advocate and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy, has spent 11 of the …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The last of fourteen defendants in the 2004 Madrid train bombings trial who announced participation in a hunger strike ended their efforts Monday, citing a desire not to put additional stress on the court. The four defendants who initiated the strike on May 10, three of whom are believed to be the masterminds behind …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

A former Bosnian Serb official who testified against against Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic died in prison in Sweden Saturday. Officials with the Swedish Prison and Probation Service told Reuters that 52 year old Miroslav Deronjic, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison after his 2004 conviction on …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The US Supreme Court granted certiorari Monday in three cases which will be heard next term. In Klein & Co. v. Board of Trade (06-1265) [docket; cert. petition, PDF] the court will consider whether "futures commission merchants," firms that handle trade on commodities markets, have standing to sue under the private …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Monday upheld the life sentence of serial rapist Mikaeli "Mika" Muhimana. Muhimana, formerly a councilor for the western Rwandan province of Kibuyea, was sentenced to life in prison in 2005 after being convicted of committing genocide, rape, and murder of Tutsi …

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by Michael Sung

Afghanistan's Wolesi Jirga, the lower house of the Afghan parliament, removed outspoken parliamentarian Malalai Joya on Monday after she unfavorably compared the parliament to a stable. Joya's remarks, made during a private television interview, held that a stable was better "for there you have a donkey that carries a load and a cow that provides …

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by Michael Sung

Jumah Muhammad al-Dossari, a Bahraini detainee that has been held at Guantanamo Bay without charges since January 2002, threatened in a letter released Sunday by his lawyer that if he had "the opportunity would end life" due to the despair over his open-ended detention and the conditions at the facility. Al-Dossari also …

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by D. Wes Rist

Harris Chowdhury, political secretary to former Bangladeshi Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, was sentenced to three years incarceration on Monday on extortion and bribery charges. Chowdhury is the first senior political official of the former Bangladesh government, which was removed from power during the declaration of a state of emergency in January, to be sentenced …

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by D. Wes Rist

Pan-African Parliament officials said over the weekend that the recently approved investigation into alleged human rights abuses in Zimbabwe would be delayed. Zimbabwe has expressed strong opposition to the PAP initiative and Zimbabwean permanent secretary for Foreign Affairs Ministry Joey Bimha warned that police and government officials will only cooperate …

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by Michael Sung

The Indonesian attorney general's office announced Monday that it will reopen a corruption probe against Tommy Suharto, son of former President Haji Mohammad Suharto. The announcement, made by Director of Investigations Mohammad Salim on the ninth anniversary of the dictator's 1998 resignation, said that the probe will focus on Tommy …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The US Supreme Court handed down decisions in five argued cases Monday, including Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, where the Court held that a plaintiff filing an antitrust lawsuit under the Sherman Act must allege specific facts in the complaint showing that defendants participated in a conspiracy. …

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by Michael Sung

Pakistan Supreme Court Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday Monday refuted arguments made by government lawyers that the Supreme Court of Pakistan should not "interfere with [the Supreme Judicial Council's (SJC)] proceedings or assume jurisdiction" of the inquiry into alleged misconduct by ousted Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry because the SJC is a fully independent …

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by Michael Sung

US Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Sunday that he believed a "sizable number" of Republican members of Congress would join Democrats in a vote of no-confidence in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. In his appearance on CBS News' Face the Nation, Specter …

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by Michael Sung

The White House over the weekend defended an immigration reform agreement reached Thursday with key Republican and Democratic senators which has drawn opposition from both aisles of Congress, threatening what President Bush called a "secure, productive, orderly, and fair" proposal. The deal has been derided by some Republicans as amounting to "amnesty" for up to 12 …

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by Michael Sung

Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany announced the resignation of Justice Minister Jozsef Petretei Sunday following the surfacing of multiple allegations of police corruption, including a high-profile case involving the alleged rape of a woman by five on-duty police officers in Budapest. Petretei's resignation still requires the approval of Hungarian President Laszlo Solyom [official website, in …

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