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Legal news from Thursday, June 28, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

Former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman (D) was sentenced to over seven years in prison for bribery and obstruction of justice Thursday. Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy were convicted in June 2006 on federal bribery and fraud charges. Siegelman was convicted on 10 …

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by Leslie Schulman

A Quebec court Wednesday sentenced former Canadian advertising executive Jean LaFleur to 42 months in prison for his role in the Canadian federal sponsorship scandal. Lafleur pleaded guilty in April to billing the Canadian federal government for work which was never done, and ultimately bilking the government of almost $1.6 million in …

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by Leslie Schulman

The Japanese Sapporo High Court Thursday upheld a 2004 lower court decision rejecting a lawsuit brought by Chinese plaintiffs who say they were forced to work as slave laborers in mines and factories during World War II. The lawsuit, originally filed in 1999, sought nearly seven million dollars in compensation from the Chinese government and six …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A Democratic Republic of Congo military court Thursday acquitted three former employees of Australian Anvil Mining Ltd. who were charged with complicity in war crimes committed when government soldiers killed more than 100 people in the border town of Kilwa in response to a brief rebel uprising in 2004. …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Both the prosecution and the defense requested additional delays Thursday in the war crimes trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor. Lawyers say they need more time to prepare for the first witness, who is currently scheduled to testify on Tuesday. Taylor's trial at the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) …

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by Michael Sung

Israeli President Moshe Katsav signed a plea agreement with prosecutors Thursday, under which he will admit to charges of indecent assault, sexual harassment, and obstruction of justice, and will resign from the presidency, in exchange for a suspended sentence and the dropping of rape charges brought by a former employee. The plea …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The Supreme Court of Canada unanimously upheld a federal restriction on tobacco advertisements Thursday, finding it did not violate the free expression rights of tobacco companies. The suit was brought by the JTI-Macdonald, Rothmans, and Imperial Tobacco Canada, which challenged Canada's 1997 Tobacco Act, a statute which heavily limits tobacco advertisements in …

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by Michael Sung

Saifullah Paracha, a Guantanamo Bay detainee who blocked the US military from performing a cardiac catheterization on him last November, is increasing ill and suffering from frequent fainting and chest pains, his lawyers said Wednesday. Paracha, a Pakistani detainee who suffered two heart attacks while in US custody in Afghanistan, has refused the …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

A justice on the Pakistani Supreme Court said Thursday that the suspension of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has damaged Pakistan, calling the resulting litigation "not a case but a crisis." Presiding Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday, speaking following arguments made by lawyers for Chaudhry in his ongoing high court proceeding, also …

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by Michael Sung

The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) announced Thursday that it has referred the case of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, the only person convicted in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103 over the Scottish village of Lockerbie, to Scotland's High Court of the Justiciary, after identifying six grounds [press …

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by Michael Sung

Diplomats from the United States and the European Union (EU) said Wednesday they have reached a provisional agreement on the US use of financial data from the Belgian-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), formulating more EU oversight of the US Terrorist Finance Tracking Program. The agreement ensures that the US …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The US Senate voted against limiting debate on the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill for a second time Thursday, leaving doubt that the bill will be revisited in the fall or even next year. The 46-53 vote was far short of the two-thirds majority needed to clear way for the bill's passage, and came following …

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by Michael Sung

Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori told the Associated Press Wednesday that he will run for office in Japan's House of Councillors under the People's New Party (PNP) banner despite being subjected to house arrest in Chile and facing possible extradition to Peru to face corruption and …

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by Michael Sung

The White House Thursday rejected congressional subpoenas for the testimony of former White House counsel Harriet Miers and former White House Political Director Sara Taylor and their documents relevant to the ongoing probe of the US Attorney firings controversy. In a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The US Supreme Court handed down decisions in the last three cases of its 2006 Term Thursday, including the consolidated cases of Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education and Parents Involved v. Seattle School District, where the Court struck down …

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by Michael Sung

Serge Brammertz, the former Belgian federal prosecutor who currently heads the UN investigation into the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, is expected to replace Carla Del Ponte as the next chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), UN officials said …

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by Michael Sung

The Supreme Court in the Russian federal republic of Kabardino-Balkaria filed criminal negligence charges Wednesday against two police officers who headed a police department in the neighboring federal republic of Ingushetia for allegedly failing to prevent the terrorists responsible for the 2004 Beslan hostage seizure from setting camps in their jurisdiction. The …

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by Michael Sung

Former US Attorney Paul K. Charlton testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution Wednesday that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales did not give enough consideration to the quality of evidence or the recommendations of the US Attorney and prosecutors involved in a case when pushing for the use of the death penalty …

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by Michael Sung

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) asked the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Wednesday to re-hear the case of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, appealing the court's panel decision that the military cannot seize and indefinitely imprison civilians lawfully residing in the US as "enemy combatants" [JURIST …

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by Michael Sung

US and European negotiators reached an interim agreement Wednesday on how trans-Atlantic airline passenger data-sharing will be conducted, essentially modifying and renewing an existing interim agreement which is set to expire at the end of July. According to German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, the new agreement will reduce the current …

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