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Legal news from Thursday, June 7, 2007
by Caitlin Price

The US Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday voted 11-8 in support of a measure that would return habeas corpus rights to terror suspects imprisoned at the Guantanamo Bay military prison. The Habeas Corpus Restoration Act of 2007, sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), would allow Guantanamo …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and new French President Nicolas Sarkozy agreed at the G8 summit in Germany Thursday that the controversial European constitution should be reconstituted into a "simplified treaty" whose ratification would not require the support of the voters of individual countries. Voters in France and the Netherlands notoriously rejected the …

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by Caitlin Price

Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Luis Moreno-Ocampo Thursday renewed his call for the arrests of two top suspects accused of committing war crimes in the Darfur region of Sudan. Moreno-Ocampo briefed UN Security Council (UNSC) delegates one week prior to their …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Lawyers for former US vice-presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby asked a federal judge Thursday to delay Libby's prison sentence because they felt they have a good chance of winning an appeal of his conviction. Libby was found guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice in March, and sentenced to 2 1/2- years in …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

UK Home Secretary John Reid proposed a number of changes to UK anti-terror laws in a statement to the House of Commons Thursday, calling for longer pre-charge detention of terror suspects, "enhanced" sentences, allowing electronic intercepts as evidence, and institution of "stop and question" powers for police. No formal legislation has been introduced …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Chile's chief prosecutor Thursday urged that former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori be extradited to Peru to face charges of corruption and human rights abuses, some arising from the 1992 Cantuta University massacre in which nine students and a university professor were "disappeared" by the Peruvian military. The prosecutor released her recommendation before …

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by Michael Sung

The US House of Representatives Thursday passed the Stem Cell Enhancement Act of 2007 [S.5 materials] 247-176, sending it to a recalcitrant President George W. Bush for signature barely two months after its Senate passage. If signed into law, the bill would amend the Public Health Service Act to allow for additional embryonic stem …

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by Michael Sung

The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany Wednesday ruled that a February 2005 referendum approving the construction of a bridge across the Dresden Elbe Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, takes precedence over the objections of the city council because it was a direct expression of residents' democratic choice. …

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by Michael Sung

A Swiss court Thursday cleared nineteen former executives and consultants of the now-defunct Swissair Group of all charges Thursday in connection with their role in the collapse of the national airline that was once nicknamed the "flying bank" for its financial stability. Presiding judge Andreas Fischer ruled that the prosecution had failed to demonstrate that the defendants …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Hate crimes are on the rise throughout Europe, rights watchdog Human Rights First reported Thursday in a study examining recent hate crimes in France, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. Hate crimes against Muslims in London rose by approximately 600 percent following the 2005 London bombings, …

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by Michael Sung

Canada is stalling the discussion and adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, according to a Thursday statement by Amnesty International (AI). The declaration was adopted by the UN Human Rights Council by a vote of 30-2 with 12 abstentions in June of last year, and has been …

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by Michael Sung

Dr. Julie Gerberding, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), testified before the US Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Wednesday in the wake of a tuberculosis scare that …

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by Michael Sung

An Italian jury acquitted all five defendants accused of murdering banker Roberto Calvi Wednesday after almost two days of deliberation. Italian prosecutors have not yet decided whether to appeal the acquittal. Calvi, who was found hung under London's Blackfriars Bridge in June 1982, was known as "God's Banker" for his financial ties to the Vatican. Calvi's death, …

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by Michael Sung

Major General Nadeem Ijaz, the director general of Pakistan's Military Intelligence (MI) and a close relative of President General Pervez Musharraf, filed an affidavit with the Supreme Court of Pakistan Thursday alleging that suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry wanted Musharraf to dissolve the government and appoint Chaudhry leader of an interim …

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by Michael Sung

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Wednesday that victims of forced abortions are "statutorily entitled" to prevent their removal from the United States by requesting asylum under Sec. 208 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The court reversed an immigration judge's finding that the petitioner, Chinese national Tang Zi Zhi and his …

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by Michael Sung

At least 39 "ghost detainees" have been held by the US CIA in secret detention facilities, according to a report jointly published Thursday by six leading human rights groups, including Amnesty International, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, and Human Rights Watch. The report …

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by Michael Sung

The US Senate voted 49-48 Wednesday evening to approve an amendment to the proposed Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, restricting the Y-1 temporary guest worker visa program to five years. An earlier attempt to limit the proposed temporary guest visa program was rejected by …

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