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Legal news from Friday, July 20, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

A top Republican legislator Friday called for an investigation into whether CIA agents leaked classified information to Council of Europe investigator Dick Marty about secret prisons for detaining suspected terrorists. Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, requested the probe in a letter to Director of National …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The UN Security Council Friday abandoned a resolution on a UN-supervised independence plan for Kosovo out of concern that Russia would veto the proposal. Previous proposals have been rejected by Russia and Serbia, which oppose independence. Further negotiations will instead be held by the Contact Group on Kosovo.Kosovar Prime Minister Agim Ceku …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A military jury sitting at Camp Pendleton, California, sentenced US Marine Cpl. Trent Thomas Friday to a bad-conduct discharge and reduced his rank to private for his role in the 2006 kidnapping and murder of an Iraqi civilian in Hamdania. On Wednesday, the jury found Thomas guilty of kidnapping and …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Former Serbian state prosecutor Rade Terzic was arrested Friday for allegedly assisting members of a criminal gang connected with the murders of various Serbian officials escape prosecution while in Terzic was in office. Terzic is believed to have belonged to Belgrade's "Zemun clan," which acted as a hit squad for former Serbian President Slobadan Milosevic. Working …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The Nigerian government Friday withdrew and then filed an updated $7 billion lawsuit against pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, adding a new charge of fraud stemming from a drug experiment conducted in the 1990s that allegedly killed or disabled children. A Nigerian government lawyer told AP that the fraud charge was added after recently uncovered evidence suggested …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

US President George W. Bush Friday signed an executive order prohibiting cruel and inhuman treatment during the interrogation terror suspects detained by the CIA. The White House did not reveal what specific interrogation techniques were now disallowed, but the order prohibits "acts intended to denigrate the religion, religious practices, or religious objects of the individual", and …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit unanimously ruled Friday that federal appeals courts reviewing "enemy combatant" designations of Guantanamo Bay detainees must review all evidence regarding that detainee. The Bush administration argued that the Pentagon should be able to select which evidence is presented …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Friday that no charges would be filed against associates of former Prime Minister Tony Blair, some of whom had been arrested during an investigation into whether political honors were exchanged for monetary contributions [BBC News Q&A] to Blair's Labour Party [party …

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by Michael Sung

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) said Friday that it will conduct a joint trial of Bosnian Serb cousins Milan Lukic and Sredoje Lukic. This revokes the planned referral of Sredoje's case to the War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina [JURIST …

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by Michael Sung

Lawyers representing Canadian Guantanamo detainee Omar Ahmed Khadr filed a motion Thursday to suspend the proceedings of the Court of Military Commission Review, arguing that the appellate court's three military judges were illegally appointed. The motion alleges that Defense Secretary Robert Gates did not personally appoint the judges as required …

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by Michael Sung

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi announced pardons Friday for 38 opposition members and journalists sentenced to prison for their roles in mass anti-government demonstrations. The pardons were issued after the government received letters of apology from the defendants. The opposition members, most of whom belong to the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD), …

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by Lisl Brunner

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) heard oral arguments on the legal status of detainees at Guantanamo Bay on Friday, pursuant to a petition to renew precautionary measures initially granted in March 2002. Representatives from the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Center for Justice and International Law argued that …

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by Michael Sung

Israel released 255 Palestinian prisoners Friday who belong to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Movement and other minor factions. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the prisoners were not directly involved in the killing or wounding of Israelis, and that all released prisoners were required to sign a …

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by Michael Sung

A senior White House official said Thursday that the administration will not allow the Department of Justice to pursue any contempt of Congress charges [backgrounder; 2 USC Sec. 192] brought against White House officials in the congressional probe of the US Attorneys firing scandal. The official said that Congress has no independent authority to force the …

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by Michael Sung

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Thursday that the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) must pay retroactive benefits to Vietnam War veterans afflicted by chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), rejecting the VA's contention that it is not required to re-adjudicate or provide benefits to veterans afflicted with the disease before …

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by Michael Sung

Nuon Chea, former deputy general of the Cambodian Communist Party and the most senior surviving member of the Khmer Rouge regime, indicated Thursday that he expects to appear before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). In an interview with AP, Nuon Chea, also known …

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by Michael Sung

The US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on Thursday approved the Protecting Children from Indecent Programming Act, which, if enacted, will give the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) broader authority to sanction television and radio broadcasters for a single word or image that the FCC considers indecent. The proposed legislation seeks to …

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by Michael Sung

The Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled 10-3 Friday to reinstate suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry to the top court, holding that President Pervez Musharraf's March 9 suspension order was illegal. The court dismissed all charges of misconduct against Chaudhry. Many Pakistani lawyers and opposition leaders have alleged that …

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