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Legal news from Monday, August 20, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

US Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) Monday threatened to hold top members of the Bush administration in contempt if they continue to refuse to turn over subpoenaed information about the warrantless domestic surveillance program. The Senate Judiciary Committee issued formal subpoenas for the surveillance documents on June 27, setting an initial compliance deadline …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Election Commission of Thailand on Monday certified the results of Sunday's constitutional referendum, reporting that 56.69 percent of voters approved the draft constitution put forth by the country's military-backed interim government. Although the measure passed, experts predict that the sizable vote against the constitution - 41.37 percent voted …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Monday temporarily blocked organic grocer Whole Foods Market from taking over rival Wild Oats Markets, saying that it needed more time to consider the proposed acquisition. The court stressed that its move should not be construed as a ruling on the merits, but issued a …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The interim government of Bangladesh has completed all formalities necessary to separate the country's judiciary from its executive branch, meeting a deadline set by the Supreme Court of Bangladesh last month, according to Monday media reports. Mainul Hosein, law adviser in the interim government, said that the Bangladeshi Supreme Court will now set a …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Turkish parliament failed to elect a president Monday, with the leading candidate receiving only 341 votes. Current Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul was 26 votes shy of the number necessary to win the seat; the Turkish president is elected by a two-thirds majority of parliamentarians in the first round of voting. The main opposition Republican People's …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Ugandan Minister of Internal Affairs Ruhakana Rugunda told the BBC Monday that Uganda has begun the process of consulting with victims to determine the best way to hold accountable those responsible for atrocities committed during Uganda's civil war [BBC Q&A]. Rugunda said that the government is considering establishing a war crimes court or local …

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by Jeannie Shawl

US military prosecutors have dropped charges of making false official statements and obstructing justice against US Army Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan just hours before jury selection was set to begin in his court-martial. Jordan is the only commissioned officer charged in connection with the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, and …

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by Jeannie Shawl

A Jordanian government spokesperson said Monday that Jordan does not currently have plans to hand over Raghad Saddam Hussein, daughter of the former Iraqi leader, even though Interpol issued a "red notice" last week indicating that Iraqi authorities are seeking her arrest. Raghad has lived in Jordan since 2003, and Iraq asked the Jordanian government …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The Special Court for Sierra Leone on Monday delayed the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor until January 7, 2008 in order to provide Taylor's new defense team more time to prepare. The trial had been scheduled to resume Monday, but the court said last week …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Ethiopian officials have released 31 opposition activists from custody after the members of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy reportedly apologized for their roles in mass anti-government demonstrations that followed Ethiopia's contested 2005 elections. The 31 CUD members were never charged with any crime, but were released Saturday after Ethiopia's Board of Pardon reviewed their …

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