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Legal news from Tuesday, July 24, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

There are approximately 2000 suspected terrorists living in Great Britain, up from last year's estimate of 1600, UK Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said Tuesday. She recommended that legislators pass new terror laws to allow police to hold uncharged terror suspects beyond the current 28 day limit. Prime Minister Gordon Brown is to set to propose …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The International Criminal Court judge overseeing the war crimes trial of Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga has expressed a desire to have the trial moved to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), according to Tuesday reports. Judge Adrian Fulford said that, despite security concerns, he believed …

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by Brett Murphy

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged Rwanda to conduct an "independent and impartial" investigation into an increasing number of alleged extrajudicial killings, saying in a report Tuesday that Rwanda National Police officers have killed at least 20 prisoners in the past seven months. HRW said that most of the killings were committed against …

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by Michael Sung

Jury selection began Tuesday in the court-martial of US Marine Sgt. Lawrence G. Hutchins III, charged with murder, kidnapping, larceny, assault, housebreaking, conspiracy, and making a false official statement for his alleged role in the April 2006 kidnapping and murder of an Iraqi civilian in Hamdania. Hutchins, the leader of …

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by Brett Murphy

Former FDA Commissioner Dr. Mark McClellan said Tuesday that the US Food and Drug Administration is currently unable to handle the responsibility of tobacco regulation. A bill introduced by Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) would put the tobacco industry under FDA regulation, something that the FDA itself has previously lobbied for, but McClellan said …

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by Michael Sung

Three former Vietnamese government officials and six others will face organized gambling and bribery charges in court next month, a Hanoi People's Court official said Tuesday. Bui Tien Dung, a former project management head in the Ministry of Transportation, allegedly placed bets totaling $760,000 on European soccer matches and subsequently attempted to cover up the alleged wrongdoing …

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by Michael Sung

US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Tuesday denied pressuring then-Attorney General John Ashcroft to give the Department of Justice's reauthorization of the controversial warrantless domestic surveillance program while Ashcroft was hospitalized. In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Gonzales, who was White House Counsel at the time, said that he and then-White …

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by Brett Murphy

A court in India sentenced three men to death on Tuesday for their involvement in the 1993 Mumbai bombings that killed 257 people and injured more than 700 in India's financial center. The court found Zakir Hussain, Abdul Akhtar Khan and Firoz Akram Amani Malik guilty of throwing grenades at houses during the bombings. …

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by Michael Sung

Lawyers representing former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega Monday filed motions seeking to avert extradition from the US to France on money laundering charges when he is released from federal prison on September 9. Noriega's lawyers argue that Noriega should remain classified as a prisoner of war under the Geneva Conventions and therefore should …

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by Brett Murphy

An Orleans Parish grand jury Tuesday refused to indict Dr. Anna Pou on charges of killing four patients at the Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Pou and two nurses were arrested last year, with prosecutors arguing that they had committed second-degree murder. The charges against …

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by Michael Sung

The United Nations Office of Legal Affairs rejected Taiwan's fifteenth bid for member state status Monday, reiterating the One-China Policy and recognizing the People's Republic of China (PRC) as the legitimate government of China. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Jianchao characterized Taiwan's latest effort to join the UN as a "separatist act of the …

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by Brett Murphy

US Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) told Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Tuesday that he should consider appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the US Attorneys firing scandal. In a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing, Specter said that Gonzales may have to appoint the investigator because the Bush administration has made statements that …

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by Brett Murphy

Former Bangladeshi Prime Minster Sheikh Hasina was formally charged Tuesday with extortion for alleged kickbacks she received during her tenure in office. According to the charges, the former PM and two relatives received thousands of dollars from deals, including one awarding a contract to an electric company. Hasina was arrested last week, and has at least two …

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by Brett Murphy

The Chinese government compensated Zhang Zhijian, who exposed the corruption of former drug safety commissioner Zheng Xiaoyu, in the amount of 24,000 yuan ($3,175 USD) after he spent 10 months in jail for posting an Internet story on the corruption, AP reported Tuesday. Zhang was originally sentenced to six years imprisonment in March for defaming the government. …

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by Michael Sung

Two federal district judges separately ordered Monday the formation of special three-judge panel to supervise and reduce California's prison population after finding that California's prison overcrowding is preventing the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) from adequately providing mental health care. Judge Thelton E. Henderson of the Northern District of California ordered [PDF …

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by Brett Murphy

The Law Council of Australia, the country's national organization for lawyers, on Tuesday issued harsh criticism of the trial of former Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks, saying the trial was "a charade." The council's report, prepared by lawyer Lex Lasry, criticized the American and Australian governments on …

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by Michael Sung

Veterans for Common Sense and Veterans United for Truth filed a class action lawsuit Monday against the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on behalf of approximately 320,000 to 800,000 veterans of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), alleging that the VA is denying adequate procedural safeguards [complaint, …

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by Brett Murphy

A controversial law offering ID cards to illegal immigrants went into effect Tuesday in New Haven, Connecticut. The municipal identification cards, which will be available at a cost of $10 for adults and $5 for children and will not distinguish citizens from undocumented immigrants, will allow cardholders to access public libraries, parks and recreational sites, and other municipal services …

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by Michael Sung

Libya released six foreign medics [BBC Q&A; JURIST news archive] Tuesday who had been sentenced to life in prison for allegedly infecting hundreds of children with the HIV virus, after obtaining an agreement from the European Union to normalize and develop closer political and economic ties and increase medical and infrastructure aid. The medics - five Bulgarian …

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