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Legal news from Tuesday, October 23, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US State Department Tuesday laid down additional rules and procedures governing the operation of US private security contractors working with its personnel in Iraq. The new rules, supplementing a series of interim measures announced earlier this month, are likewise based on the recommendations of a report by the Secretary of State's Panel …

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by Devin Montgomery

As many as six additional former Nigerian governors will be charged with corruption by the end of the year, Nigerian anti-corruption czar Nuhu Ribadu said Tuesday. Ribadu, the chairman of Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, would not reveal the names of the those to be charged or the specific allegations, but in an interview …

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by Deirdre Jurand

The French parliament passed a strict immigration bill Tuesday that requires language and cultural knowledge tests, as well as optional DNA testing, for immigrants who want to join their families in France. The bill was passed by French Senate in a 185-136 vote earlier this month after French Immigration Minister Brice Hortefeux …

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by Caitlin Price

The US State Department cannot account for most of the $1.2 billion that it paid to a private contractor hired to train Iraqi police forces, according to an interim review report from the US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) released Tuesday. DynCorp International was contracted by …

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by Caitlin Price

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has been barred from leaving Pakistan in violation of an amnesty agreement signed by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, according to her Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Tuesday. As part of the agreement, the government was to lift a ban on Bhutto leaving the country, which had been in …

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by Caitlin Price

The United States and the European Commission (EC) Tuesday announced plans for multinational negotiation of an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) to promote international enforcement of copyright law. Talks have begun between the US, the European Union nations, Switzerland, Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand on the …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev Tuesday signed into law amendments [RFE/RL report] to the Kyrgyz constitution approved by citizen vote in a constitutional referendum Sunday. Bakiyev also issued a decree Tuesday setting new parliamentary elections for December 16. The constitutional amendments include increasing the number of seats in parliament from 75 to …

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by Alexis Unkovic

US District Judge James Payne of the Northern District of Oklahoma Monday dismissed a federal lawsuit which alleged that a recently approved state law limiting government privileges to illegal immigrants is unfair to all immigrants. The lawsuit was filed last week against Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry and Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson. Payne …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Serbia's Security Information Agency has located former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic and is considering apprehending him, Serbian human rights activist Natasa Kandic said Tuesday. Once captured, Mladic can be turned over to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which originally indicted [ICTY case …

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by James M Yoch Jr

US Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and ranking Republican Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) on Monday sent a letter to White House counsel Fred Fielding demanding the Bush administration's compliance with subpoenas for information about the warrantless domestic surveillance program. The letter asserts that the White House committed …

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by James M Yoch Jr

A defense lawyer for Ali Hassan al-Majid, better known in Western media as "Chemical Ali," has told JURIST that he expects to file a petition Wednesday against the planned execution of al-Majid. In the application, Giovanni Di Stefano will argue that the former Iraqi commander and governor of northern Iraq now subject …

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by Michael Sung

The Parliament of the Republic of Montenegro formally adopted the country's new constitution late Monday night, giving effect to the document's provisions. Parliamentary speaker Ranko Krivokapic welcomed the new constitution as protecting the rule of law as well as minority and human rights. Krivokapic also noted the importance of a constitutional provision which will allow …

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by Michael Sung

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer Tuesday denied allegations that the Australian government was involved in negotiating the plea bargain of former Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks, refuting a report in Harper's Magazine that the plea was the result of a secret deal with US Vice President Dick Cheney. Downer said that …

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by Michael Sung

Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet granted amnesty to 8,066 prisoners, officials from the President's Office said Tuesday. The prisoners, who are expected to be released over the next two days, include 11 individuals convicted of national security crimes. Tuesday's pardons are part of a regular series of presidential amnesties that have freed approximately 80,000 prisoners since …

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by Jaime Jansen

Former Philippine President Joseph Estrada abandoned efforts to appeal his corruption conviction on charges stemming from kickbacks he received while in office and instead submitted a letter Monday to current Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo requesting a presidential pardon. Prosecutors in the case have sharply opposed Estrada's request, saying the government should use Estrada's conviction …

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by Jaime Jansen

Chile staked a claim to a portion of Antarctica with the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) Monday after the United Kingdom made a similar claim to Antarctic land last week in the face of a May 2009 deadline. The Commission has also received claims from Russia, Brazil, Australia, Ireland, New …

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by Jaime Jansen

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled Tuesday that a German law protecting Volkswagen AG from hostile takeovers is illegal, saying the law limits "the free movement of capital" and discourages foreign direct investment in Germany. The ruling could have a wider effect throughout EU member states because many governments …

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