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Legal news from Thursday, October 25, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

The High Administrative Court of Ukraine Thursday validated the results of the Sept. 30 parliamentary election after dismissing a legal challenge by the Communist Party of Ukraine contending the vote was invalid due to alleged violations associated with Ukrainians voting abroad. The coalition of President Viktor Yuschenko's Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense Bloc …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The White House Thursday agreed to let US Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and ranking Republican Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) see classified documents pertaining to President George W. Bush's warrantless domestic surveillance program, in hopes that it would speed up the approval of proposed legislation to grant telecommunications companies immunity from …

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by Steve Czajkowski

Two key Democrats on the US Senate Judiciary Committee said Thursday that their votes on the nomination of retired federal judge Michael Mukasey as attorney general will depend on Mukasey's stance on whether the interrogation technique waterboarding constitutes torture. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) [official …

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by Nick Fiske

Representatives in the US House of Representatives have asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi to delay a vote on a resolution labeling as genocide the World War I-era killings of over one million Armenians by Turkish soldiers. The proposed legislation was approved by the House Foreign Relations Committee earlier this month …

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by Benjamin Klein

The Supreme Court of Canada Thursday agreed to hear an appeal over the asserted right of Canadian Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr to see thousands of pages of Canadian government documents related to his case. Lawyers for Khadr, who was born in Toronto, will face off against Canadian Justice Department lawyers who …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US Congress is taking steps to put all armed US contractors working in combat zones under the jurisdiction of the US military, according to Thursday reports. Earlier this month, the Senate included such a provision in its 2008 defense authorization bill, and Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Sen. Carl Levin said Wednesday that …

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by Nick Fiske

The executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UFCCC), said Thursday that the United States and Australia want to participate in negotiations for a new global agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, set to expire in 2012. The statement by Yvo de Boer followed an informal …

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by Steve Czajkowski

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has ordered that his approval be obtained before any government minister or official from the president's office be charged with corruption, the chair of the US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform said Thursday. During a committee hearing on the State Department and the Iraq …

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by Alexis Unkovic

British Petroleum (BP) will pay approximately $373 million in fines and restitution to settle three separate claims against the corporation, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) said Thursday. BP will pay just over $300 million in criminal penalties and restitution as part of an agreement to defer the prosecution of a civil …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Thursday ruled that Russia's arrest and pre-trial detention of former Yukos executive Platon Lebedev violated Lebedev's right to liberty and security under Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Lebedev was arrested in 2003 on fraud and tax evasion charges. …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong told reporters Thursday that the joint Cambodia-UN tribunal that will try former Khmer Rouge leaders accused of genocide requires additional funds to extend its work into 2010. Although the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) was originally supposed to complete its work by 2009, numerous …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The full US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Thursday declined review of the August ruling of a three-judge Seventh Circuit panel affirming the conviction of former Illinois Gov. George Ryan on fraud and corruption charges. Six of nine Seventh Circuit judges decided to deny Ryan's request for a rehearing en banc, …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

A judicial panel of the British House of Lords Wednesday narrowly ruled that Scottish subjects can pursue cases related to alleged human rights abuses of prisoners by the Scottish Prison Service occurring as far back as 1999. Considering a test case brought by prisoners alleging that solitary confinement violated their rights, …

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by Joshua Pantesco

UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Paulo Sergio Pinheiro said Wednesday that he will investigate alleged human rights abuses during his November visit to Myanmar. The visit will be the first time Pinheiro has been granted entrance to the country by Myanmar's military government since 2003, but Pinheiro …

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by Joshua Pantesco

An Italian trial court on Thursday dismissed a criminal case against a US soldier accused of murdering an Italian intelligence agent in Iraq, citing a lack of jurisdiction over the matter. Italian authorities had charged US Army Spc. Mario Lozano with the 2005 murder of Italian intelligence agent Nicola Calipari …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The US Senate voted Wednesday against proceeding to a final vote on the DREAM Act of 2007, a bill that would amend the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 to allow certain children of illegal immigrants an opportunity to achieve legal residency. According to the Congressional Research Service …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on Wednesday stayed the execution of an Alabama man pending the Supreme Court's upcoming decision in Baze v. Rees (07-5439) [docket; cert. petition, PDF; JURIST report], where the court has been asked to rule on the constitutionality of lethal injections. Lawyers for death row inmate Daniel L. Siebert …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A former Guantanamo Bay detainee was convicted by a Tunisian court Wednesday on criminal association charges and will serve three years in prison. The convict, Lotfi Lagha, had been charged with associating with a criminal group with the aim of harming or causing damage in Tunisia, though it is unclear which group he associated with, or what violent act …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Former Philippine President Joseph Estrada received a presidential pardon Thursday from his former vice president and now President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Estrada will be released from jail after having served six and a half years on corruption charges under the nation's economic plunder law for allegedly stashing some $77 million in gambling payoffs, kickbacks and …

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