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Legal news from Friday, October 26, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte said Friday that Serbia must do more to apprehend fugitive war crimes suspects before she can give a positive report on the country's work with the ICTY to the European Union. Del Ponte has long criticized Serbia for its seeming reluctance to cooperate with …

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by Eric Firkel

Former Illinois Governor George Ryan was ordered Friday to begin serving a 6 1/2 prison sentence in less than two weeks. US District Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer set November 7 as the surrender date for Ryan to report to prison. The order follows the US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals' refusal to …

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by Eric Firkel

Italy's highest court of appeal, the Court of Cassation, upheld a verdict Friday clearing former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of charges that he bribed judges to prevent the sale of food company SME to rivals in 1985. Italian law allows both prosecutors and defendants to appeal twice against sentences. …

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by Josh Camson

Embezzlement charges against the widow and five sons of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet originally indicted with 17 others on October 4 were dropped by a Chilean appeals court Friday. Charges against a spokesman and several advisers to Pinochet were …

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by Jaime Jansen

The UK High Court Friday heard arguments in a case that alleges British troops tortured ten Iraqi detainees in Basra in 2003. The nine plaintiffs and a tenth man were arrested in a Basra hotel where British troops found weapons and suspected bomb-making materials. Later, the tenth detainee, Baha Mousa, died while …

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by Jaime Jansen

Internet VoIP provider Vonage Holding Corp. on Thursday settled a patent lawsuit against it brought by Verizon Communications for up to $120 million. The exact amount of damages Vonage will have to pay Verizon hinges upon whether the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit agrees to hear an …

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by Patrick Porter

Former Philippine President Joseph Estrada was freed from detention Friday after receiving a presidential pardon earlier this week. Estrada had been held for over six years on corruption charges. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's decision to issue the pardon has been questioned by her critics as Article VII, Section 19 of the Philippines Constitution prohibits …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown Thursday announced the launch of a nationwide public consultation leading to a new as-yet-undrafted "Bill of Rights and Duties" in what he described as part of a process of "moving towards a written constitution" for the United Kingdom. Brown initially laid out a series of proposed UK constitutional reforms [JURIST …

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by Jaime Jansen

Peruvian Justice Minister Maria Zavala Thursday apologized for the 1992 death squad killings of nine university students and a professor in the so-called La Cantuta massacre during the regime of former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori. Fujimori is facing trial in Peru in November in connection with the killings. The head of …

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by Jaime Jansen

European and US-based rights groups filed a lawsuit against former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld with the Paris prosecutor Friday coincident with Rumsfeld's arrival in Paris to deliver a speech sponsored by Foreign Policy magazine. In their complaint the French-based International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (FIDH), the US-based Center …

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by Jaime Jansen

Iraqi parliament speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani Thursday objected to the execution of former Saddam Hussein-era Defense Minister Sultan Hashim Ahmed al-Tai, joining a group of Iraqi political leaders speaking out against the planned execution. Al-Mashhadani said that executing al-Tai would cause military officers to question their commanders' orders out of fear that they could be held accountable after …

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