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Legal news from Tuesday, June 26, 2007
by Melissa Bancroft

The jury in the Jose Padilla terrorism conspiracy case heard new wiretap evidence Tuesday suggesting that Padilla's co-defendants supported Osama bin Laden. The prosecution first played a video interview that aired on CNN in 1997, in which bin Laden denounced the United States as "tyrannical." Afterwards, the jurors heard FBI wiretapped conversations recorded …

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by Melissa Bancroft

Former Deputy US Interior Secretary J. Steven Griles was sentenced to 10 months in prison Tuesday for his role in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. As part of the negotiated plea deal, the Department of Justice recommended he serve five months in prison and the remainder of his sentence under house arrest. US District …

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by Melissa Bancroft

The US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee voted 39-2 Tuesday to endorse a non-binding resolution asking Japan to formally apologize for enslaving Chinese women during World War II. The bill, drawing strong bipartisan support, now goes to the full US House for consideration. Thousands of Chinese "comfort women" …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Amnesty International said Tuesday that humanitarian abuses have become commonplace in the Central African Republic (CAR) as the armed conflict between the government and opposition forces escalates, "virtually unnoticed by the international community." Amnesty researcher Godfrey Byaruhanga said that while international attention is focused on Chad and Darfur, the …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The US Senate voted 64-35 Tuesday to revive the comprehensive immigration reform bill. A little over a week ago Senate leaders said they would like to continue work on the bill, which was shelved early this month after a 50-45 vote to reject cloture. The Senate could begin voting …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

A Nigerian court Tuesday dismissed a request by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to throw out a $7 billion lawsuit filed by the Nigerian government over a drug experiment conducted in the 1990s that allegedly killed or disabled children. Pfizer lawyers argued that the case had been improperly filed by government prosecutors. The judge agreed that one …

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by Michael Sung

Former French President Jacques Chirac will likely be questioned in an alleged corruption scheme during Chirac's tenure as the mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995, Chirac's lawyer Jean Veil said Tuesday. Chirac, who headed the Rally for the Republic (RPR), now renamed as the Union for a Popular Movement, allegedly …

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by Michael Sung

The Taiwan High Court convicted Chao Chien-min, son-in-law of President Chen Shui-bian, of insider trading Tuesday. The decision affirmed a lower court's verdict, which also imposed a $900,000 fine, but increased Chao's prison sentence from six years to seven years because the insider trading exceeded $3.5 million. The court also affirmed …

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by Michael Sung

Outgoing UK Attorney General Lord Peter Goldsmith said Tuesday that the UK should initiate an inquiry into how interrogation techniques outlawed by the Geneva Conventions and the European Convention on Human Rights were authorized and used by UK soldiers deployed in Iraq. Goldsmith, speaking before the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights, …

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by Michael Sung

Britain's largest defense contractor BAE Systems said Tuesday that the US Department of Justice has initiated a formal investigation into BAE's compliance with anti-corruption laws amid allegations that BAE established a $120 million slush fund for members of the Saudi Royal family in exchange for defense contracts. Prime Minister Tony Blair's spokesperson said …

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by Michael Sung

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) Tuesday upheld a Belgian law codifying the European Union's Third Money Laundering Directive, which obligates lawyers to report facts or suspicion of their client's money laundering. The law was challenged by Belgian bar associations, but the court held that the requirement does not infringe on …

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by Michael Sung

The Election Commission of Thailand is proceeding with criminal charges against two former government ministers under former Prime Minister Thaksin Sinawatra for their alleged role in committing election fraud during the voided April 2006 parliamentary elections. Election Commission Secretary General Suthiphol Thavichaikam said Tuesday that the commission will charge …

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by Michael Sung

A federal judge from the US District Court for the District of Columbia sentenced Lt. Col. Bruce D. Hopfengardner, a US Army Reserve officer, to 21 months in prison Monday and imposed a fine of $144,500 for Hopfengardner's involvement in a construction bidding and kickback scheme to defraud the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq. Hopfengardner, who …

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by Michael Sung

Iraqi security officials issued an arrest warrant and raided the home Tuesday of Culture Minister Asad Kamal al-Hashimi to investigate allegations that al-Hashimi masterminded an assassination attempt against a parliamentary candidate in February 2005. Al-Hashimi, a Sunni, is the first member of the Iraqi cabinet to face an arrest warrant. Al-Hashimi's party, the General Council for the People of …

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