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Legal news from Monday, July 30, 2007
by Leslie Schulman

The US House of Representatives Monday approved a non-binding resolution, asking Japan to formally apologize for enslaving hundreds of thousands of women in East Asia and the Pacific to serve as "comfort women" for the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. The resolution was introduced in …

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by Leslie Schulman

Russian prosecutors have brought fresh embezzlement charges against exiled business tycoon Boris Berezovsky, a lawyer appointed to Berezovsky's case said Monday. The charges assert that in 1997 Berezovsky took part in a $13 million scheme to embezzle credit funds from SBS-Agro Bank, which he then owned, to purchase real estate in southern …

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by Leslie Schulman

Humanitarian and relief non-governmental organizations (NGO) are currently unable to effectively meet the needs of eight million Iraqi refugees as a result of Iraq's poor legal framework, according to a joint report issued Monday by Oxfam and the NGO Coordination Committee in Iraq. At the moment, there is no permanent registration system for NGOs working …

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by Michael Sung

The court-martial of the last US Army serviceman charged in the March 2006 rape and murder of a 14-year old Iraqi girl and the murder of her family in Mahmudiya (also "Mahmoudiya") began Monday. Pfc. Jesse Spielman, who prosecutors say acted as a lookout during the attack, entered guilty pleas to the lessor charges of conspiracy …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts was taken to the hospital Monday after suffering a fall. Supreme Court spokesperson Kathy Arberg said Monday that Roberts fell at his vacation home in Maine and that he went to the hospital as a precaution. Arberg did not provide further details about Roberts' condition.Roberts, 52, …

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by Michael Sung

The Iraqi Council of Representatives entered its summer recess Monday despite failing to pass constitutional amendments or legislation seen as essential to the stabilization of Iraq. A representative said that the council, which is scheduled to reconvene September 4, decided to recess because the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had not submitted …

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by Michael Sung

Five defendants convicted for their roles in the slaughter of tens of thousands of Kurds during the 1988 Anfal campaign have filed appeals with the Appeals Chamber of the Iraqi High Tribunal, Iraqi prosecutors said Monday. The five defendants, two of whom received life sentences and three of whom received the death sentence, …

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by Michael Sung

The last two remaining defendants in Ethiopia's criminal treason prosecution of individuals allegedly involved in mass anti-government demonstrations in 2005 have denied association with the opposition party Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) and are seeking to be acquitted, defense lawyers said Monday. Daniel Bekele of ActionAid Ethiopia and Netsanet Demissie, the Executive …

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by Michael Sung

The Bangladeshi High Court suspended the extortion trial of former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed Monday after receiving a motion from Hasina's lawyers challenging the legality of her detention under emergency laws. Hasina's lawyers argued that she cannot be detained under emergency laws declared by the interim emergency government …

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by Michael Sung

The Serbian Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor Monday announced the indictment of former Yugoslavia Army Captain Vladimir Kovacevic for war crimes associated with the 1991 Siege of Dubrovnik. In the siege, Kovacevic's artillery unit allegedly indiscriminately shelled the ancient Adriatic city, causing at least five civilian casualties and destroying …

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by Michael Sung

Australian Prime Minister John Howard refused to apologize for the Australian government's handling of Dr. Mohammad Haneef Monday, saying that it had not "victimized" Haneef despite holding him as a terrorist suspect for 25 days. Haneef was detained while trying to leave the country for allegedly providing reckless material support to suspected …

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by Michael Sung

Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) reached an agreement in principle Monday to establish a human rights body as part of the proposed ASEAN Charter, according to an announcement by Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo. Yeo, who is heading the 40th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, told reporters that the ten member states have …

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by Michael Sung

The UK Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights rejected the British government's proposal for an extension of pre-charge detention for terror suspects, saying in a report published Monday that it is "not convinced of the need" of extending the current 28-day limit. The Committee criticized the former Blair government's "apparent desire to be seen to …

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