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Legal news from Tuesday, July 17, 2007
by Melissa Bancroft

A prominent Russian lawyer and government critic was accused Tuesday of disclosing state secrets about government wiretapping to the Russian Constitutional Court. Boris Kuznetsov fled the country recently after a city court approved a criminal investigation last week; Tuesday's move by the Moscow prosecutor's office formally opened the investigation. The probe of …

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by Melissa Bancroft

US District Judge Marcia Cooke ruled Tuesday that prosecutors had produced enough evidence in the trial of Jose Padilla and his co-defendants that the case should go to a jury, rejecting a motion for acquittal filed by the defense. The prosecution rested last week, at which time the defense filed the motion based on …

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by Melissa Bancroft

The Bosnian war crimes tribunal Tuesday sentenced a Bosnian Muslim to 30 years in prison for war crimes committed against Serbs in the 1992 - 1995 civil war. Niset Ramic received the longest sentence yet handed down by the Bosnian War Crimes Chamber. The court found Ramic guilty of murdering four Serbian civilians …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

French Justice Minister Rachida Dati pressed a bill to toughen the country's criminal code in an appearance before the National Assembly Tuesday. The bill, which fulfills a campaign promise of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, will allow minors as young as 16 to be treated …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

A suicide bomber struck a lawyers' protest over the ousting of suspended Pakistan Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry in Islamabad Tuesday, killing at least 13 people and wounding at least 40. Chaudhry was not present at the time of the attack, which appeared to be aimed at his supporters. Witnesses told the BBC …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Sources close to Libya's Supreme Judiciary Council told the Associated Press Tuesday that the death sentences of six foreign medics accused of knowingly infecting over 400 Libyan patients with the HIV virus have been commuted to life in prison. The families of the infected patients dropped their calls for the execution of the workers …

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by Michael Sung

Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal Tuesday upheld a 2006 lower court ruling that invalidated a law targeting public homosexual sodomy [Crimes Ordinance S.118F(1), text], ruling that the law's specific focus against homosexual sodomy is unconstitutional, discriminatory, and thereby violates Hong Kong's Basic Law and the Bill of Rights. The original ruling …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Some members of the European Parliament criticized Swiss Senator Dick Marty Tuesday for failing to cite sources in his June report to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe that accused Poland and Romania of assisting the US Central Intelligence Agency in operating secret prisons [JURIST …

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by Michael Sung

Australian Attorney General Philip Ruddock said Tuesday that the Australian government is considering whether to toughen existing terror laws following a Monday ruling by a magistrate granting bail to UK terror suspect Dr. Mohammad Haneef. Immigration and Citizenship Minister Kevin Andrews subsequently revoked Haneef's work visa and placed Haneef under immigration detention …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Russia's Constitutional Court Monday upheld a 2004 law requiring certified political parties to have at least 50,000 members. The decision upheld a May Supreme Court ruling that dissolved the Russian Communist Workers Party - Revolutionary Party of Communists (RKRP-RPK), a party of approximately …

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by Michael Sung

The European Court of First Instance announced Tuesday that it will deliver a judgment September 17 in Microsoft's appeal against the European Commission's (EC) 2004 landmark anti-trust ruling that hit Microsoft with a record €497.2 million euro (approximately $686 million) fine. Microsoft, which is seeking …

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by Michael Sung

India's Ministry of Women and Child Development announced plans Tuesday to toughen existing laws prohibiting the archaic Hindu funeral custom of sati, in which widows are expected to self-immolate on their deceased husbands' funeral pyre, by holding entire communities criminally responsible and increasing the maximum punishment from the current seven years imprisonment to life. The …

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by Michael Sung

The Indonesian Constitutional Court Tuesday voided Articles 154 and 155 of the Indonesian criminal code prohibiting acts of inciting hatred against the government or the distribution of materials voicing opposition against the government, ruling that Dutch colonial-era articles violated the freedom of expression guaranteed in the 1945 Indonesian Constitution. The ruling stems from an appeal filed …

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by Michael Sung

China's Shanxi province High People's Court Tuesday announced the completion of 7 trials and verdicts against 29 defendants accused of involvement in the use of slave labor at various brick kilns in the Shanxi and Henan provinces Tuesday, sentencing kiln bosses, foremen, and other workers to punishments ranging from 18 months to 9 year prison …

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by Michael Sung

Lawyers and rights groups joined in criticism of Australia's continued detention of UK terror suspect Dr. Mohammad Haneef Tuesday, saying that the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship's decision to revoke Haneef's work visa so that Haneef can remain detained despite being granted bail by a magistrate, erodes the rule of law and violates the principles …

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by Michael Sung

The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office announced the expulsion of four Russian diplomats and the immediate suspension of visa facilitation negotiations with Russia Monday, blaming "Russia's failure to cooperate to find a solution" in the two countries' differences over Britain's extradition request for Andrei Lugovoy, wanted by the …

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