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Legal news from Tuesday, July 3, 2007
by Melissa Bancroft

The interim government of Thailand has proposed an internal security bill that would allow the military to remain a political force even after the election of a civilian-run government, according to critics Tuesday. The proposal would transform the army chief into the head of Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) and would grant the ISOC …

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by Melissa Bancroft

The government of Thailand announced Tuesday it was abandoning a law that allowed the cabinet to censor political or controversial Internet sites based solely on the Minister of Communication's discretion. Now Internet websites can now only be censored by court order. The country's ban on popular video-sharing website YouTube will remain. In April, Thailand …

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by Melissa Bancroft

International participants promised more than $360 million in aid to help build up Afghanistan's ailing judicial system at a conference of UN members and Afghan leaders that concluded in Rome Tuesday. Despite the pledge, judiciary problems were overshadowed by concerns over civilian casualties caused by NATO troops in the region operating against Taliban guerrillas. NATO Secretary …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Federal prosecutors disclosed Tuesday that they will seek the death penalty if a conviction is secured against former US soldier Steven D. Green, the alleged key player in the Mahmudiya rape-murder case. Green is believed to have masterminded the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

President George W. Bush said Tuesday afternoon that, although he believed the jury verdict in the perjury case against former vice-presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby should stand, it was conceivable that he could pardon Libby in the future. White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said at an earlier press briefing that the …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The mother of Joseph Lewis Clark, a convicted murderer whose 2006 execution took approximately 90 minutes, Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit against Director Terry Collins of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and a dozen members of the execution team, arguing that the lethal injection was unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment. Irma …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The International Criminal Court marked the fifth anniversary of its establishment Monday. Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo noted that in that time the court has substantially raised local awareness of the right to be protected from war crimes. In an interview with the UN News Service, he said that the large number of …

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by Michael Sung

Judges for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) entered pleas of not guilty on behalf of Bosnian Serb war crimes indictee Zdravko Tolimir Tuesday, after Tolimir refused to enter a plea for the second time since his initial appearance before the ICTY on June 4. Tolimir, charged …

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by Michael Sung

East Timorese President Jose Ramos Horta has said that he will ask the Court of Appeal to issue an advisory opinion on whether an amnesty law passed by East Timor's National Parliament last month is consistent with East Timor's constitution and international law, saying Monday that he would not sign the law if the court …

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by Michael Sung

US District Judge Lewis Kaplan indicated Monday that he may reconsider a 2006 ruling in which he threatened to dismiss all charges in an ongoing criminal tax shelters case against former employees of the accounting firm KPMG because federal prosecutors violated constitutional rights of the defendants by pressuring KPMG to not pay …

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by Michael Sung

Missouri Governor Matt Blunt Monday announced the signing of a bill intended to protect the identities of individuals who provide direct support for the administration of the death penalty, formally prohibiting the disclosure of executioners' identities and creating a civil cause of action to recover damages against anyone who discloses an executioner's …

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by Michael Sung

Kurdish security forces "routinely torture and deny basic due process to detainees" in northern Iraq, according to a report released Tuesday by Human Rights Watch (HRW). The report found that the Asayish security forces, which are maintained separately by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), …

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by Michael Sung

The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) formally suspended the trial against former Liberian President Charles Taylor Monday, ordering the prosecution to resume its case on August 20. Taylor attended Tuesday's court session, marking the first time he appeared in court since his trial began …

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by Jeannie Shawl

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by the New York Times against the US Defense and Justice Departments, ruling that the departments were not required to disclose classified records on the government's warrantless wiretapping program sought by the newspaper under the Freedom of Information Act. US District Judge Richard M. Berman ruled …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano signed the Legal Arizona Workers Act Monday, legislation that requires employers to verify that employees are in the United States legally. In what Napolitano called "the most aggressive action in the country against employers who knowingly or intentionally hire undocumented workers," employers who violate the law could have …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The Iraqi Cabinet has approved a revised draft oil law and the Iraqi Parliament will begin debating the proposal Wednesday, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Tuesday. Several amendments to the draft law were made after an earlier version of the law was opposed in parliament. Kurdish lawmakers said in April that …

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by Jeannie Shawl

US Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald has questioned President Bush's classification of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's 30-month sentence for perjury and obstruction of justice as "excessive", saying Monday that Libby's sentence "was imposed pursuant to the laws governing sentencings which occur every day throughout this country." Bush's comment accompanied his commutation of Libby's prison sentence [clemency grant; …

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