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Legal news from Wednesday, July 25, 2007
by Caitlin Price

Myanmar human rights activist Ko Myint Naing has been sentenced to eight years in prison, according to his lawyer and fellow activists Wednesday. A judge sentenced Myint Naing for inciting unrest during an April 2007 incident in which Myint Naing and another member of the Human Rights Defenders and Promoters Network were attacked by a pro-government mob …

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by Caitlin Price

A US federal court Wednesday sentenced Maryland resident Mahmud Faruq Brent to fifteen years in prison for attending a Pakistani training camp and otherwise helping a terrorist organization. Brent, also known as Mahmud Al Mutazzim, was charged with providing material support [18 U.S.C. 2339B text] to a designated foreign terrorist organization during his 2002 …

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by Michael Sung

US District Judge Robert G. Doumar of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ordered the government of Sudan Wednesday to pay $7.96 million in compensation to the families of 17 US Navy personnel killed in the 2000 al Qaeda attack on the USS Cole. …

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by Michael Sung

The Libyan Association for the Families of HIV-Infected Children condemned Bulgaria's pardoning and release of six foreign medics [BBC Q&A; JURIST news archive] Wednesday, demanding that the Libyan government sever diplomatic relations with Bulgaria and deport all Bulgarians residing in Libya. The medics - five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor - were released by Libyan authorities on Tuesday …

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by Brett Murphy

Five opposition members in Ethiopia asked for pardons on Wednesday after pleading guilty to charges of attempting to overthrow the government. The five submitted a letter to High Court Judge Adil Ahmed saying that they did not wish to fight the cases against them and asking for a pardon of any crimes. Prosecutors in the case …

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by Brett Murphy

The US House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday voted in favor of issuing contempt of Congress citations [backgrounder; 2 USC Sec. 192] against White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers. The citations now go to the full House, where representatives will decide whether to sanction the two for their …

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by Brett Murphy

Iranian Intelligence Minister Gholam Hossein Ejehei said Wednesday that new arrests have been made in the conspiracy cases against 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. Ejehei did …

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by Michael Sung

Australian Director of Public Prosecutions Damian Bugg said Wednesday that he is reviewing "all the available material" concerning UK terror suspect Dr. Mohammad Haneef as developments in the case warrant such a review. The Australian government has charged Haneef with providing "reckless material support" to the failed UK car bomb attack earlier this …

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by Michael Sung

An Italian judge Wednesday indicted approximately 20 former Parmalat SpA executives, including founder Calisto Tanzi and former CFO Fausto Tonna, for their role in the collapse of the Italian dairy giant. The defendants, who are being charged with fraudulent bankruptcy and criminal association, allegedly concealed the company's debt of 14 …

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by Brett Murphy

Canada's Federal Court Wednesday ordered the government to publicly release previously censored portions of a report on Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen who was detained in the US in 2002 and removed to Syria where he was tortured. Justice Simon Noel, however, said that not all of the report should be …

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by Brett Murphy

Carla Del Ponte, the top prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), called on Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro to renew efforts to capture war crimes fugitives Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic in a statement released Wednesday marking the 12th anniversary of the indictment against the two …

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by Brett Murphy

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown told parliament Wednesday in a wide-ranging statement on security and counter-terrorism policy that new rules need to be implemented that allow police more time to question uncharged terror suspects. Brown argued that the current 28-day limit on detention without charge is not adequate in a post-9/11 world, and that …

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by Michael Sung

The UK Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) reported Wednesday that it has found no evidence of direct British involvement in the operation of extraordinary rendition flights through UK airspace and said that the United States' lack of regard for UK concerns in the "war on terror" has had "serious …

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by Michael Sung

The UK Department for Culture, Media, and Sport Tuesday rejected a recommendation to push the EU for longer copyright terms for sound recordings, citing the 2006 Gowers Review of Intellectual Property. The Gowers Review found that "it is not clear that extension of term would benefit musicians and performers very much in practice," …

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by Michael Sung

Russian President Vladimir Putin Tuesday rebuked UK Ambassador to Russia Sir Tony Brenton's suggestion that Russian authorities should interpret the Russian constitution's prohibition on extraditing citizens in "light of the circumstances", calling it an "insult for our nation and our people" and characterizing the UK's insistence for the extradition of Andrei Lugovoy …

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by Brett Murphy

A federal judge Tuesday refused to dismiss lawsuits brought by several states seeking more information from the federal government about the administration's domestic surveillance program. In his ruling, Judge Vaughn Walker expressed doubt about the merit of the federal government's arguments that the state-level investigations into the program "are barred by the …

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by Michael Sung

US District Judge Shira Scheindlin of the Southern District of New York Tuesday certified a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of approximately 5,000 to 10,000 suspected panhandlers against 553 law enforcement agencies in New York state. The lawsuit alleges that the agencies illegally arrested or forced individuals off public property using a state anti-loitering law that was invalidated …

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by Michael Sung

Torture was the human rights abuse most commonly alleged in Uganda in 2006, according to a report expected to be released in August by the Uganda Human Rights Commission. The annual report, obtained by AP, found that 320 individuals filed formal complaints against the Ugandan government authorities for "cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or …

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by Michael Sung

The Iraqi Accordance Front, the largest Sunni parliamentary bloc, said Wednesday that it is suspending participation as a coalition partner in the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and will permanently withdraw from al-Maliki's government unless al-Maliki pardons detainees not being charged with specific crimes and make a firm commitment to upholding human rights and …

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