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Legal news from Friday, June 1, 2007
by Gabriel Haboubi

Gen. Sonthi Boonyaratglin, the leader of Thailand's 2006 bloodless coup, said Friday on state television that he backs amnesty for ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his party leaders. The remarks follow Wednesday's Constitutional Court ruling that banned Shinawatra from politics and dissolved his Thai Rak Thai …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Friday ruled against Internet telephone (VoIP - Voice over Internet Protocol) provider Vonage in its challenge to 2006 FCC rules requiring VoIP providers to contribute to the Universal Service Fund (USF). Vonage raised rates …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Dennis Edney, a Canadian civilian lawyer for Canadian Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr, said Friday that his client would not work out a plea deal with the US military because it would require Khadr to serve 30 years in prison on terror charges. Instead, Edney indicated he will push for …

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by Michael Sung

Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Friday announced plans to hold a national referendum to decide whether the country's president will be elected by popular vote instead of by parliament. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the referendum could be held on July 22, the same day as parliamentary elections, …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The Supreme Court of the Philippines ruled Friday that there was insufficient evidence to support charges of rebellion against six leftist congressional representatives alleged to have plotted a coup to oust President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2006. The court held that probable cause could not be established. Early in the …

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by Michael Sung

President George W. Bush strongly condemned the Iran's detention of four Iran-Americans Friday, saying in a statement that "they should be freed immediately and unconditionally." Bush named Dr. Haleh Esfandiari, Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh, Ali Shakeri and Radio Farda correspondent Parnaz Azima as among the Iranian-Americans detained, and also said …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The government of Pakistan Friday instituted a two-month ban on unauthorized rallies of more than five people in the capital city of Islamabad. The move came only one day before a planned march from Islamabad to the city of Abbotabad to protest the dismissal and ongoing trial of suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry …

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by Michael Sung

Ethiopian special prosecutor Joseph Kiros told Reuters Friday that the Ethiopian government will seek to raise the sentence of convicted former dictator Mengistu Haile Miriam from a life in prison to the death penalty when an appeal commences June 12. Dozens of former officials in Mengistu's government will appear personally, although Mengistu remains in …

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by Michael Sung

Approximately a thousand demonstrators gathered in Bangkok Thursday to protest a Wednesday order by the Constitutional Court of Thailand banning former Prime Minister Thaksin Sinawatra and 110 other Thai Rak Thai (TRT) officials from holding political offices for five years. The court, which found the TRT guilty of electoral …

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by Michael Sung

China's new "Enterprise Bankruptcy" law came into effect Friday, officially introducing broad sweeping regulations governing the resolution of outstanding business debts for the first time in China, which is gradually amending its laws to address the changing conditions brought about by China's quick transition to a market economy. The regulations, which will allow creditors to attach …

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by Michael Sung

Jack Kevorkian, a former doctor convicted of second degree murder for assisting the suicide of a patient with Lou Gehrig's disease, was released from prison in Michigan Friday after serving 8 years. Kevorkian, who will remain on parole for two more years, has pledged that he will not assist people in committing suicide and would seek to …

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by Michael Sung

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Friday confirmed the transfer to The Hague of newly arrested Bosnian Serb war crimes indictee Zdravko Tolimir. Tolimir, a former Assistant Commander for Intelligence and Security of the Main Staff of the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS), has been charged with …

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by Michael Sung

The US District Court for the District of Colombia Thursday dismissed a derivative lawsuit filed by shareholders of home financial services corporation Fannie Mae to force former CEO Franklin D. Raines, former CFO J. Timothy Howard, and other former board members and executives involved in a major accounting scandal to repay their bonuses …

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by Michael Sung

Myanmar's extended detention of democracy advocate and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi violates the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention ruled in an opinion released Thursday. The condemning ruling follows the the …

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by Michael Sung

A Polish court Thursday sentenced 15 riot police officers involved in the 1981 shooting deaths of nine coal miners, handing down sentences ranging from eleven years to at least two and half years in prison. The coal miners were protesting a martial law crackdown on dissent by the beleaguered Communist government of General Wojciech …

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by Michael Sung

The US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence questioned whether the secret CIA detention and interrogation program "is the best means to obtain a full and reliable intelligence debriefing of a detainee" in a report published Thursday to accompany the 2008 intelligence appropriations bill. The report said that both the Congress and the …

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by Michael Sung

US military officials Thursday identified a deceased Saudi Arabian detainee who apparently committed suicide at the military prison Wednesday as Abdul Rahman Ma'ath Thafir al-Amri. Joint Task Force-Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) said in press release that al-Amri, a 34-year-old Saudi military veteran held at Guantanamo Bay since February 2002, had admitted that …

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