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Legal news from Monday, October 15, 2007
by Melissa Bancroft

Montenegrin Prime Minister Zeljko Sturanovic signed the EU-Montenegro Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) Monday, a preliminary step in Montenegro's possible accession to the European Union (EU). The SAA is expected to prepare Montenegro for a projected EU membership in 2015 by creating concrete trade deals and easing access to visas. Montenegro …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

US military judge Col. Peter Brownback on Monday said that military commission proceedings against Canadian Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr would resume November 8. Brownback's ruling comes despite Khadr's appeal challenging the earlier decision to send the case back to a military tribunal last week. In an e-mail order to both parties, Brownback conceded …

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by Howard Kline

The court-martial of former US military police commander Lt Col William H Steele began in Baghdad Monday on charges of aiding the enemy by providing a cellular phone to detainees, giving special privileges, failing to obey an order, and for conduct unbecoming an officer by having an inappropriate relationship with an interpreter. Steele …

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by James M Yoch Jr

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed suit on Monday against Nortel for fraudulent accounting practices and also reached settlement with the telecommunications giant. The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleged that Nortel engaged in two illegal accounting schemes from 2000 to 2003 …

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by Leslie Schulman

Milberg Weiss partner and co-founder Melvyn Weiss pleaded not guilty Monday to federal charges of conspiracy, racketeering, obstruction of justice and making false statements. Weiss was indicted last month and said at that time that he would remain of counsel to the firm while defending himself against the charges, but that he …

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by Leslie Schulman

Carla Del Ponte, the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), on Monday chided Serbian authorities for failing to bring to justice four accused war criminals who are believed to be hiding in that country, saying that Serbia's cooperation with the tribunal is "still too slow and not yet …

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by Leslie Schulman

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto will not be arrested upon her return to Pakistan, Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said Monday. Bhutto has lived in self-exile in London and Dubai since she left the country in 1999 under a cloud of corruption allegations, and the announcement paves the way for to return to Pakistan to …

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by Michael Sung

UN Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Myanmar Ibrahim Gambari Monday criticized Myanmar's detention of four more pro-democracy activists, urging the military government to release political prisoners and end the detention of peaceful democracy activists. Gambari is currently visiting Asian states to solicit greater support for multilateral sanctions against Myanmar. The latest detainees, all members …

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by Michael Sung

Four prominent Sri Lankan human rights activists have resigned from a government advisory panel to protest Sri Lanka's worsening human rights situation, including ongoing extradjudicial killings, activist and lawyer Nimalka Fernando said Monday. The four submitted their resignations last week after Sri Lankan Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarashinghe rejected a proposed UN monitoring mission supported …

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by Brett Murphy

UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories John Dugard told the BBC Monday that he will recommend that the UN withdraw as a mediator in the Middle East unless action is taken on human rights violations in the Palestinian territories. Dugard said that the UN's membership in the Middle East Quartet, …

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by Michael Sung

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani defended the legality of the semi-autonomous Kurdish government's Kurdistan Oil and Gas Law in an interview aired on Al Jazeera Sunday, faulting the Iraqi national government in Baghdad for failing to finalize oil revenue legislation. Barzani insisted that the KRG's oil contracts with foreign companies were consistent …

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by Brett Murphy

US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Sunday that the House will vote on a resolution labeling as genocide the World War I-era killings of over one million Armenians by Turkish soldiers despite complaints from Turkey. In a Sunday interview on ABC News' This Week, Pelosi said that …

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by Brett Murphy

The US Supreme Court granted certiorari Monday in a case where the Court will consider what constitutes money laundering, specifically whether the government must prove an intent to make money received from an unlawful activity appear to be from a legitimate source, or whether a defendant can be convicted of money …

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by Jaime Jansen

The US Department of Defense (DOD) secretly issued hundreds of national security letters (NSLs) to obtain financial, telephone and Internet records without court approval, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said Sunday when it released documents obtained from the Defense Department. The ACLU filed a lawsuit in June to …

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by Jaime Jansen

The trial of 30 suspected terrorists accused of plotting to explode the Spanish National Court in Madrid began Monday. The defendants are charged with membership in a terrorist organization, conspiracy to commit a terrorist attack and forgery. The group, led by alleged mastermind Abderrahmane Tahiri, also known as Mohamed Achraf, allegedly planned to run a truck loaded …

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by Jaime Jansen

Emadeddin Baghi, founder of Iran's Society for Defending Prisoners' Rights, was arrested on charges of violating national security, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported Sunday. An unnamed government official told IRNA that Baghi and family members had participated in opposition meetings designed to overthrow Iran's Islamic regime. Specifically, Baghi has been charged with "spreading …

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