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Legal news from Wednesday, July 11, 2007
by Leslie Schulman

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Stephen L. Johnson defended last month's EPA proposal to toughen standards for US air quality during testimony at a Wednesday Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works subcommittee hearing. Johnson testified that the current standard does not adequately protect public health. While many Democrats, including …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Amnesty International Wednesday called for the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to dismiss a UK request for a reconsideration of the absolute ban on torture and coercion in ECHR case law. The court is currently holding hearings in the case of Saadi v. Italy, where Nassim Saadi, a Tunisian national lawfully residing …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

A military investigating officer in the case against Lance Cpl. Justin L. Sharratt, accused in the killings of 24 Iraqi civilians at Haditha in November 2005, has recommended dropping all charges against Sharratt according to Wednesday reports. In his Investigating Officer's Report, released by Sharratt's lawyers Tuesday, Ware described the …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

A Chilean judge rejected a request by Peru Wednesday seeking the extradition of former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori, who has been charged in his former country with corruption and human rights violations. In the 122-point rejection, Judge Orlando Alvarez said flimsy evidence led him to reject the grounds …

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by Michael Sung

The European Court of First Instance Wednesday overturned the European Union's freezing of assets [Council Decision 2006/379/EC text, PDF] against Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) chairman Jose Maria Sison and the Hamas-affiliated al-Aqsa Foundation, finding that the Council did not give its reasons or provide an opportunity for plaintiffs to …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Iran has opened an investigation into the judge who ordered the stoning execution of a man convicted of adultery, the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reported Wednesday. According to ISNA, an unnamed judicial official said the action was in violation of the 2002 directive of judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi …

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by Michael Sung

The Council of Europe's European Commission for Democracy through Law issued an opinion Wednesday finding that the use of public video surveillance constitutes "an undeniable threat to fundamental rights such as the right to privacy and the right of respect for his or her private life." The commission urged European governments to enact …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The Rwandan senate has approved a bill to abolish the death penalty, according to Wednesday reports by Radio Rwanda. The bill, proposed last year by Rwandan President Paul Kagame with the support of his party and passed by the lower house of parliament last month, is expected to …

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by Michael Sung

The United Kingdom and the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) signed an agreement Tuesday formalizing a British commitment to imprison former Liberian President Charles Taylor in Britain if Taylor is convicted by the SCSL. In June, the UK House of Commons passed the International Tribunals (Sierra …

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by Michael Sung

Former White House Political Director Sara M. Taylor refused to answer questions from the the US Senate Judiciary Committee in connection with the US Attorney firings controversy Wednesday, saying that she did not have the ability to independently "assess or question" President George W. Bush's assertion of executive privilege. Taylor …

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by Michael Sung

A British judge sentenced four men convicted of conspiracy to murder for the failed bomb attacks on London's subway and bus systems on July 21, 2005 to life in prison Wednesday, saying that Muktar Said Ibrahim, Yassin Omar, Ramzi Mohammed, and Hussain Osman must serve at least 40 years before they are eligible for …

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by Michael Sung

French magistrates are expected to file preliminary charges against former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin for allegedly ordering a smear campaign against former political rival and current French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Villepin's office said Tuesday. Villepin is accused of being responsible for anonymous letters sent to a magistrate accusing Sarkozy …

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by Michael Sung

A US military judge Tuesday refused to dismiss charges stemming from the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal against US Army Lt. Col. Steven Lee Jordan, rejecting a defense motion that the superior officer who ordered Jordan's court-martial had committed unlawful command influence. Jordan, the only commissioned officer charged in connection with the …

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by Michael Sung

The Libyan Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the death sentences of six foreign medics accused of knowingly infecting over 400 Libyan patients with the HIV virus. The court's decision will now be considered by the executive-controlled High Judicial Council, which will meet next week to discuss the case. The council can uphold, overrule or …

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by Michael Sung

Iranian judiciary spokesperson Alireza Jamshidi said Tuesday that government prosecutors have expanded their investigations against Iranian-American scholars Dr. Haleh Esfandiari, director of the Middle East Program at the DC-based Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh, a consultant with the Open Society Institute, after obtaining new evidence supporting charges of endangering …

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