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Legal news from Thursday, September 6, 2007
by Michael Sung

Zimbabwe police charged opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai with disorderly conduct Thursday for allegedly causing a disturbance in early August by touring markets, according to a spokesperson for Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change. The charges, which the party said amounted to political intimidation, were brought only days after Tsvangirai returned from an overseas …

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by Leslie Schulman

A Pakistani lawyers group Thursday pressed its campaign to defeat an expected re-election bid by President Pervez Musharraf, holding planned protest rallies and boycotting courts nationwide. Speaking on behalf of the lawyers, Pakistani Supreme Court Bar Association president Munir Malik said that the group's goal is to secure the resignation of Musharraf and to restore …

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by Alexis Unkovic

UN special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Leandro Despouy has issued a new report criticizing the government of Iraq for its ongoing use of the death penalty. In the report, Despouy specifically condemned the government for executing Iraqi prisoner Awraz Abdel Aziz Mahmoud Sa'eed despite a UN request …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The ruling party of Zimbabwe Thursday announced that it has proposed changes to a bill currently before parliament to amend the Zimbabwean constitution. The Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) said that Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa presented a report to the politburo on the proposed changes, but it did not elaborate on what …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The New Jersey Supreme Court dismissed a class action lawsuit filed against pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. Thursday, reversing a lower court's decision to grant nationwide class certification in the case. The lawsuit, filed by the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 68 Welfare Fund on behalf of various insurers and …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Issuing National Security Letters (NSLs) demanding private information and imposing gag orders on recipients under the reauthorized and revised USA Patriot Act is unconstitutional without judicial review, US District Judge Victor Marrero of the Southern District of New York ruled Thursday. In September 2004, a federal …

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by Alexis Unkovic

"Indiscriminate airstrikes" by Israel were responsible for the majority of civilian casualties during the summer 2006 Lebanon conflict, according to a 249-page report issued Thursday by Human Rights Watch (HRW). HRW investigated about 500 of the reported 900 civilian deaths. Its report specifically refutes Israeli assertions that civilian …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Fiji's military commander and self-declared interim Prime Minister Voreqe "Frank" Bainimarama announced in a radio broadcast Thursday that a state of emergency will be imposed in Fiji for the next month. Bainimarama said the emergency measures will not have a major effect on citizens and were enacted in response to the return …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The US Department of Defense said Thursday that 16 Guantanamo Bay detainees have been transferred to their home country of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz welcomed the release of detainees, and said he was hopeful that all Saudi detainees currently in custody at …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

A South Korean appeals court Thursday suspended the prison sentence of Chung Mong-koo, chairman of Hyundai Motors Group, for five years, saying imprisoning him for embezzlement and bribery would be too risky for the nation's economy. Chung was convicted in February and sentenced to three years in prison for embezzling more than $100 …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Wednesday filed an appeal of last month's US District Court decision ruling that a 2005 law banning the sale of violent video games to minors was unconstitutional. Schwarzenegger said that he supported the law because "many studies show the link between playing ultra-violent video games and violent …

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by Leslie Schulman

The National Security Archive filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Executive Office of the President and other presidential affiliates to compel recovery of 5 million electronic messages that apparently went missing from White House computers between March 2003 and October 2005. The missing e-mails became the subject of controversy during the …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Tunisian officials have been mistreating and abusing two former Guantanamo Bay detainees since their release from the US prison facility in June, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report released Wednesday. The report alleges that the two men, who were held at Guantanamo Bay for five years without being charged with a crime, have …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The Supreme Court of Louisiana ruled 4-3 Wednesday that a wrongful death lawsuit alleging that a hospital negligently failed to provide emergency power to sustain life support systems or implement an adequate evacuation plan could proceed without first passing through a medical review panel, a process that can take a year or more to complete. The suit …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The Secretary of the Navy on Wednesday handed down letters of censure to three US Marine officers for improper performance of duties related to the reporting and investigation of the killings of 24 Iraqi civilians at Haditha in November 2005. A previous investigation into the officers' alleged misconduct revealed no evidence …

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by Joshua Pantesco

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Wednesday said that he will appoint judges to the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon as soon as sufficient funding for the tribunal is in place by the end of 2007. The secretary-general estimates that the tribunal, established to investigate the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, will …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of Legal Counsel, and the office of the Attorney General to submit more information to the court in support of their motion for summary judgment in a consolidated lawsuit seeking the release of documents related to the government's domestic surveillance program [JURIST …

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