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Legal news from Friday, October 5, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

A federal judge Friday overturned his previous ruling dismissing 16 lawsuits challenging the indefinite detention of about 40 terror suspects detained at Guantanamo Bay, in the process avoiding new limitations on lawyers' access to their clients at the US military prison. US District Court Judge Ricardo Urbina reinstated the petitions of habeas corpus after …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The UN special envoy to Myanmar noted what he characterized as continuing and disturbing reports of abuses being committed by security and non-uninformed elements at a meeting of the UN Security Council Friday as Myanmar officials continued the hunt for the ringleaders in recent anti-government protests. Ibrahim Gambari was reporting to the UN Security Council …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Chinese Medical Association (CMA) agreed at a meeting of the World Medical Association in Copenhagen Friday to end the harvesting of organs from prisoners, except for transplant into close relatives. In a letter to the World Medical Association, the CMA promised to increase oversight of China's organ transplant practices and to clamp down on …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The top military prosecutor for the Guantanamo war crimes trials has resigned his post, according to a US Department of Defense (DOD) spokesman Friday. Air Force Col. Moe Davis requested a transfer from Guantanamo after complaining that an officer who served as legal advisor to the Convening Authority, who …

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by Jaime Jansen

US President George W. Bush Friday defended his administration's interrogation policy, saying that the "government does not torture people" and that it "stick to US law and our international obligations." Bush was responding to Congressional demands for two 2005 Department of Justice opinion letters that reportedly endorsed harsh interrogation tactics. Bush said:I have put this program …

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by Jaime Jansen

Spanish police arrested over 20 senior members of the Batasuna party Thursday on orders from anti-terror judge Baltasar Garzon. The reasons for their arrests have not been released, but many believe the arrests were politically motivated. The Batasuna party is alleged to be a front for the illegal Basque separatist militant group ETA, which has …

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by Michael Sung

Iraqi judge Rahdi Hamza al-Radhi, the former head of Iraq's Commission for Public Integrity (CPI) [US State Dept. backgrounder], has accused Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government of protecting corrupt employees and of actively attempting to "eradicate or control the Commission." During a US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Thursday hearing to assess …

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by Michael Sung

The Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled Friday that a controversial presidential election slated for October 6 in the National Assembly of Pakistan and provincial assemblies may proceed, but barred the Election Commission of Pakistan from officially declaring a winner until the high court issues a ruling on whether President Pervez Musharraf was an …

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by Jaime Jansen

The UK Department of Education and Skills issued updated school uniform guidelines Thursday that allow school heads to ban Muslim veils but stopped short of imposing a government ban on religious dress that covers students' faces. A draft version of the guidelines, published in March, proposed allowing schools to ban some …

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by Jaime Jansen

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf signed a "reconciliation ordinance" Friday, granting amnesty to former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on corruption charges. The agreement reached between the two political rivals clears the way Bhutto to return to Pakistan from self-exile in London and Dubai to campaign in parliamentary elections for prime …

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by Jaime Jansen

Senate confirmation hearings for US Attorney General nominee Michael B. Mukasey could begin as early as October 17, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said Thursday. Leahy on Tuesday listed what he described as topics of "concern" to be addressed in the upcoming Senate confirmation hearings in a letter [press release and …

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by Michael Sung

The investigating officer who headed the Article 32 hearing for US Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich has recommended that Wuterich not face unpremeditated murder charges but instead be tried for negligent homicide, defense lawyers said Thursday. Wuterich, the former squad leader implicated in the killing and suspected cover-up of the death of 24 Iraqi civilians …

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by Jaime Jansen

A federal jury awarded six recording companies $222,000 Thursday in Virgin v. Thomas, the first music file-sharing lawsuit to go to trial, ordering Jammie Thomas to pay for sharing 24 copyrighted songs on the Internet. The recording companies, including Sony BMG, Arista Records, Interscope Records, UMG Recordings, Capitol Records and Warner Bros. Records, originally alleged …

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by Jaime Jansen

Leading Democrats on Capitol Hill on Thursday demanded that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) hand over two 2005 legal opinions that reportedly endorse severe interrogation techniques. Earlier Thursday, the New York Times first reported that the DOJ circulated internal memos, the first of which was released soon after Alberto Gonzales became US Attorney General …

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