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Legal news from Thursday, August 9, 2007
by Jeannie Shawl

The Center for Constitutional Rights asked a federal judge Thursday to strike down the Protect America Act 2007 as unconstitutional. The new law, signed by US President George W. Bush Sunday, gives the executive branch expanded surveillance authority for a period of six months while Congress works on long-term legislation to "modernize" …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Canadian intelligence officials suspected that the United States would deport detained Canadian citizen Maher Arar to a country where he could have been subject to torture, according to previously censored information released Thursday by Canada's official Arar Commission. A Canadian judge last month ordered the commission to publish the information in …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Seif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, said Thursday that five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor were tortured during their eight years in Libyan custody on suspicion of deliberately infecting hundreds of Libyan children with the HIV virus. In an interview with Al Jazeera, Gaddafi acknowledged that the medics had been subjected to …

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by Michael Sung

Six more detainees have been transferred from Guantanamo Bay, the US Defense Department said Thursday. According to the DOD announcement, five detainees were transferred to Afghanistan and one was transferred to Bahrain. Bahraini Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa said that Issa al-Murbati's release means that all Bahraini …

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by Michael Sung

The US Department of Defense (DOD) said Thursday that 14 "high-value" detainees have been designated as enemy combatants based on the recommendations of Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRT). The detainees, including the alleged masterminds of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the 2000 attack on the USS Cole, and the 1998 US embassy bombings …

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by Michael Sung

US Marine Corps Lt. Gen. James Mattis has dismissed all charges against Lance Cpl. Justine I. Sharratt and Capt. Randy W. Stone for their alleged roles in the killing and suspected cover-up of the death of 24 Iraqi civilians at Haditha in November 2005. Mattis dismissed all charges against Sharratt …

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by Michael Sung

A North Carolina judge ruled Thursday that the North Carolina Council of State, comprised of Gov. Mike Easley and nine elected state officials, improperly approved new execution protocols in February as a part of their effort to resume executions. Senior Administrative Law Judge Fred Morrison ordered the council to revisit the protocols. Morrison said that because the …

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by Michael Sung

The War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina entered a plea of not guilty for Bosnian Serb Milrod Trbic Thursday because Trbic failed to appear in court after starting a hunger strike on Monday. Trbic has been charged with genocide for …

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by Michael Sung

An Indonesian court on Thursday ordered lawyers for the government and former Indonesian President Haji Mohammad Suharto to attempt mediation for 30 days to settle the government's civil lawsuit against Suharto for allegedly embezzling $440 million between 1974 and 1998 from the Yayasan Supersemar, a state-funded academic scholar fund. Indonesian law requires that parties try …

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by Michael Sung

The Mauritanian National Assembly formally criminalized slave ownership Wednesday, unanimously adopting legislation that makes slavery punishable by a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. The law also criminalizes the promotion or defense of slavery, which will be punishable by up to two years in prison. Slavery, which was officially banned by presidential decree in 1981, persists in certain …

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by Michael Sung

Human rights violations in Zimbabwe have steadily increased with more than 5,300 recorded cases of human rights abuses during the first six months of 2007, according to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum. In a report published last week, the group documented 328 instances of torture, 481 assaults, 802 cases of illegal arrests and detention, and 935 …

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by Michael Sung

The Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General announced the indictment Wednesday of anchoring and fastening product manufacturer Power Fasteners on one count of involuntary manslaughter for the July 10, 2006, ceiling panel collapse in Boston's Big Dig tunnel project that killed one person. Massachusetts authorities allege that Powers was …

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by Michael Sung

The Chinese Municipal Intermediate People's Court in Kunming, Yunnan sentenced the former deputy director of the province's transportation department to life in prison Wednesday for accepting more than $5.3 million in bribes in exchange for his influence in securing construction and development contracts. The court said that Hu Xing's sentence was lenient because Hu voluntarily cooperated with authorities after …

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