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Legal news from Wednesday, May 30, 2007
by Caitlin Price

The UN Security Council Wednesday approved a resolution to establish an ad hoc international tribunal to investigate and try suspects in the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri. The move passed in a 10-0 vote, with China, Russia, Indonesia, Qatar and South Africa abstaining; nine votes were …

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by Caitlin Price

The Office of Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) have expanded internal investigations into whether politics played a role in hiring decisions within the department, the DOJ confirmed in a letter sent Wednesday to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The announcement comes on the heels of …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

US federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment Wednesday charging four current and former partners of "Big-Four" accounting firm Ernst & Young with tax fraud. The indictment alleges that the defendants created tax shelters through development of "false and fraudulent factual scenarios", and marketed them to individuals with taxable income generally exceeding $10-20 million. …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Lt. Col. Jeffrey R. Chessani, commander of the US Marine battalion that was accused of killing 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha in November 2005, went before a military Article 32 hearing Wednesday that will determine if he will face a court-martial for charges of dereliction of duty and violating a lawful order. …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Chief Justice Tulay Tugcu of Turkey's Constitutional Court asked prosecutors Wednesday to investigate whether criminal charges should be brought against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for televised comments made Tuesday that Tugcu believes may violate laws against insulting state institutions. During a televised interview on Tuesday, Erdogan called the court's May …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

A Kuwaiti appeals court upheld the acquittal of two former Guantanamo Bay detainees Tuesday, agreeing with a lower court that there was insufficient evidence to convict. The two men, Omar Rajab Amin and Abdullah Kamel al-Kundari, spent almost five years in Guantanamo Bay before being repatriated to Kuwait …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Northern District of California Wednesday against San Jose-based Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen Dataplan, alleging that the airline service provider knowingly supported direct flights to secret CIA prisons, facilitating the torture and mistreatment of US detainees. The …

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by Brett Murphy

The Constitutional Court of the Kingdom of Thailand ordered the dissolution of the political party Thai Rak Thai (TRT) Wednesday after finding that it committed electoral fraud during last year's annulled elections in violation of national law. The ruling also bars former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and 110 other …

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by Michael Sung

Serbia's Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor Tuesday confirmed an ongoing investigation conducted in cooperation with Croatian authorities against 12 former Serb paramilitary members for their alleged role in the "torture, inhuman treatment, and killing of 70 civilians" in the Croatian town of Lovas. The prosecutor's statement followed a report that Serbian police had arrested seven former …

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by Michael Sung

The New Jersey Department of the Public Advocate released a report Tuesday detailing cases of abuse of New Jersey's eminent domain laws, which the report criticized for being giving "overbroad statutory authority" that allowed the government to take "homes and businesses without meeting the basic principles of fairness enshrined in …

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by Brett Murphy

Former FBI Director William S. Sessions Wednesday applauded recent efforts to extend DNA testing, especially for the benefit of prisoners facing the death penalty. In a JURIST op-ed, Sessions said that a proposal by New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) to expand New York's DNA database and an Ohio Supreme Court decision …

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by Michael Sung

Russia's Office of the Prosecutor-General Wednesday dismissed suggestions by a Russian lawmaker that Andrei Lugovoy, currently sought by Britain's Crown Prosecution Service (CRS) for the poisoning murder of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, could be extradited to the UK in exchange for Russian billionaire and alleged …

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by Brett Murphy

Suspended Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry Tuesday released to reporters a signed affidavit he had filed with the Supreme Court of Pakistan detailing how he was detained last March against his will and personally pressured to resign his post by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and other military leaders. The …

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by Michael Sung

UK Attorney General Lord Peter Goldsmith Tuesday denied allegations published in The Independent that he advised Army officials to deny UK detainees in Iraq legal protections guaranteed under the Human Rights Act of 1998 (HRA) and instead adopt a "pragmatic" approach adhering to the Geneva Conventions when handling detainees. …

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by Brett Murphy

Lawyers for US Vice President Dick Cheney instructed the Secret Service to destroy data on who visited his official residence at the Naval Observatory, saying that the information was protected by the Presidential Records Act, according to a letter included in a response filed Friday by the US Department of Justice to a lawsuit …

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by Michael Sung

The US Department of Defense will not release audio recordings of the March 9 Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) hearing for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed at Guantanamo Bay due to concerns that it could be used in terrorist propaganda, a military spokesperson said Tuesday. During his hearing Mohammed said he masterminded the 9/11 attacks [JURIST report; …

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by Michael Sung

A convicted Bosnian Serb war criminal who escaped from prison presents a threat to the security and judges of the War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina Meddzida Kreso, president of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said Tuesday. Radovan Stankovic, the first Bosnian …

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by Michael Sung

Malaysia's Federal Court, the highest court for civil cases, Wednesday rejected an appeal by Lina Joy, who sought to change her religious affiliation on her government registration card from Islam to Christianity. The high court's ruling upheld a lower civil court ruling that Joy must obtain permission to change her religious affiliation from an Islamic Sharia …

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