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Legal news from Tuesday, September 4, 2007
by Leslie Schulman

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is investigating whether to move the war crimes trial of Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), ICC judge Adrian Fulford said Tuesday. The announcement was made at pretrial hearings held at the ICC at The Hague, …

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by Leslie Schulman

A Malaysian judge has ruled that a five-year marriage between two local citizens is void, after finding that the husband is actually a woman, according to a local report on Tuesday. The judge made his ruling after a physician conducted an examination on the husband, concluding that she was in fact a woman. The couple was …

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by Caitlin Price

Russia has appointed a new lead prosecutor to investigate the October 2006 killing of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, according to a statement from the Prosecutor General's office Tuesday. Control over the investigation was handed to Sergei Ivanov in a move that Politkovskaya's former colleagues at the newspaper Novaya …

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by Caitlin Price

Washington DC Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and DC Attorney General Linda Singer Tuesday formally appealed a March federal court ruling invalidating the District of Columbia's handgun ban to the US Supreme Court, setting the stage for the biggest Second Amendment challenge in almost 70 years. In March, the US Court of Appeals for the DC …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Belgian prosecutor Jean-Claude Van Espen said Tuesday that the Church of Scientology should be classified as a criminal organization after completing a 10-year investigation into the church's activities. Van Espen also recommended that the Church and a dozen of its adherents should face criminal charges of fraud and extortion in Belgium, where the Church …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Officials in Norway have indicted three men on terrorism-related charges, according to a statement by the national prosecutor Tuesday. The three men were indicted for their alleged roles in the September 2006 shooting at an Oslo synagogue and in planning attacks on the US and Israeli embassies in Norway. A trial date …

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by Alexis Unkovic

US government secrecy increased in 2006, according to the Secrecy Report Card 2007 released over the weekend by OpenTheGovernment.org. The report cited an increased reliance on national security letters (NSL) and more frequent assertions of the state secrets privilege. The fourth-annual report also examined other indicators of …

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by Michael Sung

A Moscow District Court on Tuesday upheld the legality of the city's ban on gay pride parades, ruling that the city's 2007 prohibition against the Moscow Pride event was legal under Russian law and the European Convention on Human Rights because the government can prohibit events to ensure public security and prevent public disturbances. …

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by Michael Sung

Indonesian prosecutors announced Tuesday the breakdown of court-ordered settlement negotiations with lawyers representing former Indonesian President Haji Mohammad Suharto. Prosecutors will instead proceed in court with 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 …

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by Michael Sung

Six foreign judges on Fiji's Court of Appeal submitted their resignations Monday, accusing the military government-appointed chief justice Anthony Gates of interfering with the court's functions by not consulting the judges about their availability when arranging sittings. The judges, from Australia and New Zealand, said it was apparent that their services were no longer wanted. The Fijian government says …

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by Michael Sung

The Appeals Chamber of the Iraqi High Tribunal on Tuesday upheld the death sentences of three defendants convicted for their roles in the slaughter of ten of thousands of Kurds during the 1988 Anfal campaign. The defendants, including Saddam Hussein's cousin and former Iraqi defense minister Ali Hassan al-Majid [BBC profile; JURIST news …

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by Jaime Jansen

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Tuesday released new documents describing crimes committed by US soldiers against civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan which show a pattern of US troops failing to follow the laws of interrogations and deadly actions, but also a pattern of troops believing they were in fact following the …

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by Jaime Jansen

Mexican President Felipe Calderon denounced US immigration policies during his first state of the union address Sunday, promising to fight for the rights of Mexicans living in the US and protesting the "unilateral measures" taken by the US to make "the persecution and humiliating treatment of undocumented Mexican workers worse." Calderon added that Mexican …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Supreme Court of Israel Tuesday ordered the Israeli government to redraw the route of its West Bank security barrier near the Palestinian village of Bilin within a "reasonable period." Bilin residents had challenged the construction of the wall on the grounds that the barrier's planned route of the barrier prevented some …

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