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Legal news from Wednesday, July 18, 2007
by Caitlin Price

A warrant signed Wednesday by Florida Governor Charlie Crist ended the state's temporary suspension on executions. The ban was instituted last December by then-Governor Jeb Bush after the botched execution of Angel Diaz, who endured a 34-minute-long lethal injection that required a second injection after needles were improperly inserted into his arm. Mark …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A military jury sitting at Camp Pendleton, California, Wednesday convicted US Marine Cpl. Trent Thomas for his role in the 2006 kidnapping and murder of an Iraqi civilian in Hamdania. Thomas was acquitted at court-martial of premeditated murder, making a false official statement and housebreaking. Defense lawyers, who asserted that "Marines in …

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by Caitlin Price

Thailand's 2007 Crimes Act [The Nation - Bangkok report] became effective Wednesday, granting authority to Thai police to confiscate and search private computers. The law is reportedly aimed at reining in Internet pornography and libel, with some violations that threaten national security carrying prison sentences of up to 20 years. Internet service providers will be required to keep individual …

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by Caitlin Price

The Spanish Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that former Argentine naval officer Ricardo Miguel Cavallo can properly be tried in Spain for crimes against humanity. The decision comes after months of jurisdictional disputes. Last December, the Spanish High Court ruled that the country did not have jurisdiction to try Cavallo and offered to send him back …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The office of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday denied UN immunity from prosecution to a UN human rights investigator in Bangladesh who is charged with corruption. UN Special Rapporteur Sigma Huda was jailed earlier this month after being charged as part of a government crackdown on corruption [JURIST news …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Western nations said Wednesday they would continue working to free five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor who were sentenced to life in prison in Libya after being accused of infecting hundreds of children with the HIV virus. The medics were originally sentenced to death, but the Libyan Supreme …

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by Michael Sung

Thailand's interim-government lifted a ban on the registration of new political parties Wednesday, after the military-appointed National Legislative Assembly (NLA) approved legislation formally ending the ban instituted by the military after its September 2006 coup. The move will allow members of the dissolved Thai Rak Thai (TRT), in power …

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by Michael Sung

The UK Prime Minister's Office on Wednesday formally rejected any possible proposal to try Andrei Lugovoy for the poisoning-murder of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko in a foreign court or on foreign soil. Spokesperson for the prime minister, Michael Ellam, clarified his earlier statement that "we want the …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The Michigan Supreme Court Wednesday upheld a voter ID law in that state, ruling against critics who argued that the ID requirement is essentially a poll tax. The 5-2 decision was split down party lines, with the Republican majority deciding that since voters who don't have a photo ID can vote after signing a sworn …

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by Michael Sung

Co-prosecutors for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) submitted their first introductory submission Wednesday, referring factual allegations of 25 instances of murder, torture, unlawful detention, forced labor, as well as religious, political and ethnic persecution, and other crimes to co-investigating judges to bring charges against five unnamed suspects …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Former White House Counsel Harriet Miers again refused Tuesday to testify in front of the US House Judiciary Committee regarding the allegedly political firings of eight US attorneys. In a letter to the committee, Miers' lawyer repeated previous assertions that President George W. Bush has ordered Miers not to cooperate …

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by Michael Sung

The US policy of deporting legal immigrants convicted of crimes has separated an estimated 1.6 million children and adults and resulted in the permanent exile of permanent residents for even non-violent misdemeanor offenses, according to a report released Tuesday by Human Rights Watch (HRW). HRW US Program senior research Alison Parker, the author …

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by Michael Sung

A court sitting at London's Old Bailey on Wednesday sentenced Abdul Muhid, Umran Javed, and Mizanur Rahman to six-year prison terms for inciting murder and racial hatred during a February 2006 protest against the republication of cartoons of the prophet Muhammad. The court also sentenced a fourth defendant, Abdul Saleem, to a …

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by Michael Sung

An Indian TADA (Terrorist and Disruptive Activities) court on Wednesday sentenced three defendants to death for their roles in the deadly 1993 Mumbai bombings that killed 257 people and injured more than 700 in India's financial center. The three defendants, Pervez Sheikh, Abdul Turq, and Mohammed Mushtaq Tarani, were issued death sentences after the court found they …

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by Michael Sung

The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) has obtained a new legal team for former Liberian President Charles Taylor, appointing on Tuesday Courtenay Griffiths, QC as lead counsel and Andrew Cayley and Terry Munyard to serve as co-counsels on Taylor's defense team. Taylor, who has boycotted several …

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by Michael Sung

The Tokyo High Court on Tuesday reversed a 2003 ruling awarding 190 million yen (approximately $1.56 million) in compensation to 13 Chinese plaintiffs injured by World War II-era chemical weapons left in China by the Japanese military. The court's decision came on the grounds that the plaintiffs had not sufficiently established that their injuries would have "inevitably …

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by Michael Sung

A group of children of Holocaust survivors have filed a class action lawsuit against the German government in an Israeli court, seeking German financial contribution to an annual $10 million therapy fund for approximately 15,000 to 20,000 so-called second-generation Holocaust survivors. In the lawsuit Monday, the second-generation survivors argued that Nazi atrocities against their parents is responsible for their …

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by Michael Sung

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled 2-1 Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did not improperly enter into consent agreements with "animal feeding operations" (AFOs). Several community and environmental groups challenged the consent agreements, which allow AFOs to emit pollution regulated by the Clean Air Act without …

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by Michael Sung

The US Department of Justice's Corporate Fraud Task Force has obtained 1,236 corporate fraud convictions since its establishment five years ago, and has obtained more than one billion dollars in fines and restitutions, the DOJ said Tuesday. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales praised the work of the task force for helping "to create an …

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