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Legal news from Wednesday, August 1, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

Two men who allege that the CIA detained and tortured them in foreign prisons Wednesday joined a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against San Jose-based Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen Dataplan. Iraqi citizen Bisher al-Rawi alleges that in 2002 he was detained while on a business trip in Gambia and …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A military jury Wednesday found a US Marine corporal guilty of conspiracy to murder, larceny and housebreaking for his role in the April 2006 kidnapping and murder of an Iraqi civilian in Hamdania. Cpl. Marshall Magincalda was also found not guilty of premeditated murder, kidnapping and making a false official statement. A …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A French court of appeals Wednesday released two men accused of involvement in the 1994 Rwanda genocide, finding that the warrants issued for their arrest by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) could not be executed. Catholic priest Wenceslas Munyeshyaka and former civil servant Laurent Bucyibaruta were arrested by French …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved a bill Wednesday to allow the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate tobacco. The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, introduced by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and approved 13-8 by the committee, would require the FDA to limit tobacco advertising, …

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by Michael Sung

Military doctors participating in the force-feeding of hunger-striking detainees at Guantanamo Bay are violating medical ethics, according to commentary published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The three authors - Sondra S. Crosby, MD, Caroline M. Apovian, MD, Michael A. Grodin, MD - wrote that military doctors should not …

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by Michael Sung

Getty Museum Director Dr. Michael Brand and the Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities Francesco Rutelli Wednesday announced an agreement to return 40 allegedly looted Italian artifacts to Italy over the next several months. They also announced that Italy and the Getty Museum have agreed to …

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by Brett Murphy

US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Wednesday that Democrats are willing to expand government surveillance over foreign communications under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), but disagree with the White House over spending and "the involvement of the attorney general." The proposal was made last …

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by Brett Murphy

Former Khmer Rouge prison chief Kaing Khek Iev, also known as Duch, is willing to testify against other members of the Khmer Rouge, according to information released Wednesday by the tribunal that indicted Duch earlier in the week. Included in Duch's detention order is Duch's admission that he oversaw the S-21 prison and …

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by Michael Sung

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty Wednesday indicated that the Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigation of Dr. Mohammad Haneef was "far from complete," adding that the AFP may still submit a new brief of evidence against Haneef to prosecutors. Keelty's comments followed the Tuesday release of "secret information" [press release; Solicitor-General's opinion, PDF] by …

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by Brett Murphy

The Iraqi Accordance Front, the largest Sunni parliamentary bloc, announced Wednesday that it was leaving the government and that the party's six Cabinet members would be turning in their resignations. The move is said to be a response to the failure of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to respond to demands made by the party …

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by Michael Sung

Lawyers representing Jose Padilla indicated Tuesday that they are not expecting to present a defense case, telling presiding US District Judge Marcia Cooke that the defense will not call any witnesses. Jurors have been hearing the testimony from six witnesses called by lawyers representing Padilla's co-defendants, Adham Amin Hassoun and Kifah Wael Jayyousi [GlobalSecurity …

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by Brett Murphy

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday that the recently passed US House of Representatives resolution calling for a formal apology from Japan for forcing Asian women to become "comfort women" during World War II is "regrettable." Abe said that Japan has already taken steps …

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by Michael Sung

Two federal district judges separately rejected a bid by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to appeal rulings ordering the federal supervision of California's overcrowded prison system Tuesday, ruling that while California may appeal specific orders made by a special three-judge panel, the state cannot appeal the original rulings establishing the panel. Schwarzenegger had …

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by Michael Sung

Nine defendants, including three former Vietnamese government officials, accused of involvement in organized gambling and bribery went on trial Wednesday before the Hanoi People's Court. 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 by …

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by Michael Sung

A Saudi Arabian court dismissed charges against three members of the country's religious police force and a police officer implicated in the death of detainee Ahmed al-Bulaiwi, a relative of the deceased said Tuesday. The religious police, also known as the mutaween, are employed by the Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and …

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by Brett Murphy

Nuradin Abdi, a Somali national accused of planning terror attacks on shopping malls in the US, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists Tuesday. Under the plea agreement Abdi will serve 10 years in prison and pay a fine of $100,000. According to the DOJ press release, Abdi …

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by Michael Sung

EU Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security Franco Frattini is moving forward with plans to create a single European Union prosecutor and strengthen the the EU's prosecutorial body Eurojust, according to an interview with EUobserver published Wednesday. Frattini indicated that once EU leaders agree to the Reform Treaty, the commission …

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by Michael Sung

Amnesty International Tuesday urged the Mexican government to initiate a probe into alleged abuses by government authorities during the 2006 uprising in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, saying that "ensuring that impunity for human rights violation is not allowed to prevail" will help to deter future abuses and be an opportunity for …

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by Michael Sung

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said publicly Tuesday that he has accepted the judgment of the judiciary to reinstate Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, adding that the "four pillars" of democratic society consisting of the judiciary, legislature, executive, and media must be able to "conduct their roles without fear or favor." In July, the …

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by Michael Sung

An Egyptian court rejected a petition from jailed opposition leader Ayman Nour for early release on medical grounds Tuesday, saying that evidence submitted by Nour failed to prove that his medical condition was life threatening or that his heart condition will be adversely affected by prison. Nour, who suffers from heart disease and diabetes, …

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