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Legal news from Wednesday, October 31, 2007
by Dennis Zawacki II

The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled Wednesday that former Illinois Governor George Ryan could not remain free on bail while he appeals his sentence of corruption and fraud charges. Judge Diane Wood delivered the opinion of the court which said, in part:Appellants here have shown neither a reasonable …

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by Deirdre Jurand

A federal jury awarded the father of a fallen Marine almost $11 million in damages Wednesday for harm caused by a Kansas Christian fundamentalist church's protests at his son's funeral. Albert Snyder filed a lawsuit last year against Westboro Baptist Church [WARNING: readers may find some material offensive; BBC report] and three of its leaders after the …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) Wednesday called on the White House to disclose hundreds of documents relating to disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. In a letter to White House counsel Fred Fielding, Waxman said that the the White House has already turned over 3,700 pages of …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Former Assistant US Attorney Richard Convertino was acquitted Wednesday on charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and making false declarations in connection with a botched 2003 terrorism trial. Convertino was the lead prosecutor in a case against North African immigrants accused of operating a terrorist cell in Detroit. A federal judge later overturned [JURIST …

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by Deirdre Jurand

Some 100 Buddhist monks marched peacefully in a town in central Myanmar Wednesday, marking a resumption of the pro-democratic protests that stopped after September's violent government crackdown. The monks carried no protest signs and shouted no pro-democracy slogans and dispersed after an hour to their monasteries. A spokesman said their demonstration was only a continuation [Democratic Voice of Burma …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The Italian judge presiding over the trial of 26 US CIA agents and two former Italian intelligence officials in the 2003 abduction and rendition of Egyptian cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr on Wednesday suspended the trial until March 12, 2008. Judge Oscar Magi ruled that the trial should not proceed …

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by Dennis Zawacki II

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on Wednesday rejected the appeal of former Bosnian Serb paramilitary leader Dragan Zelenovic contesting his 15-year sentence on rape and torture charges. Zelenovic had asked the court to reduce his sentence due to his guilty …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Canadian Security Intelligence Services (CSIS) violated a confessed al-Qaeda operative's civil rights, according to the Security Intelligence Review Committee in an oversight report to the Canadian parliament Wednesday. Canadian citizen Mohammed Mansour Jabarah was detained without access to counsel, and his confession amounted to a violation of his right against self-incrimination …

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by Caitlin Price

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit heard oral arguments Wednesday in an en banc rehearing of its earlier ruling that the military cannot seize and imprison civilians lawfully residing in the United States and detain them as "enemy combatants". In June, a three-judge panel rejected government arguments …

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by Caitlin Price

The chairman of the US Senate Judiciary Committee announced Wednesday that an executive business meeting will be held November 6 to consider the nomination of Michael Mukasey as US attorney general. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said that the date was selected to allow committee members "an opportunity to consider …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Sri Lankan Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe Wednesday dismissed claims made earlier this week by UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak that torture was widespread and routine throughout Sri Lanks. Samarasinghe said that in meetings with officials in Sri Lanka, Nowak indicated his use of the phrase "widely practiced" meant that …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Spain's Congress of Deputies Wednesday passed legislation condemning the coup and subsequent fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, overcoming opposition from conservatives that the bill would reopen controversies best left in the past. If passed by the Spanish Senate, and published in the …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

One of the six men arrested in May for plotting an attack on a New Jersey military base pleaded guilty Wednesday to "conspiring to provide firearms and ammunition" to the others, whom he knew to be illegal immigrants. The other men allegedly plotted to kill soldiers at numerous military bases, including New Jersey's Fort …

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by Caitlin Price

A California state judge issued a preliminary ruling Tuesday invalidating May revisions to the state lethal injection protocol. Judge Lynn O'Malley Taylor of the Marin County Superior Court said that the proposed changes qualified as a regulation, and thus did not conform to the California Administrative Procedure Act [CA Government Code Section 11340 et seq.] …

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by Brett Murphy

A Spanish court Wednesday convicted three men of murder for their roles in the 2004 Madrid train bombings, and found 18 others guilty on other charges. Seven others were acquitted, including accused mastermind Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed. Those convicted of murder - Jamel Zougam, Otman el Ghanoui, and Emilio Trashorras - each received sentences …

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by Brett Murphy

Lt. Col. Colby Vokey, the outspoken US Marine Corps chief defense lawyer for the western US, is resigning from his post effective May 1, 2008, calling the military legal system at Guantanamo Bay "horrific" and a "sham" and urging corrective action to address abuses within the general military justice system, NPR reported Tuesday. While working on the case of …

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by Brett Murphy

The Supreme Court of Pakistan will investigate the suicide bombing that took place during the parade welcoming home exiled former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto earlier this month, Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry said Wednesday. Chaudhry said that the court will undertake its own investigation beginning with a hearing on Thursday, despite the Pakistan government's …

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by Natalie Hrubos

Three political leaders in Spain's Basque region, including the president of the region, were ordered to stand trial Tuesday for meeting publicly with members of the Batasuna party to negotiate an ETA ceasefire. The Batasuna party is alleged to be a front for the illegal Basque separatist militant group ETA, which has been …

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by Natalie Hrubos

The UK Law Lords ruled Wednesday that the government can continue to impose control orders on terror suspects in lieu of detention, but said that some elements of the orders issued under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 violate human rights. In a series of decisions - Secretary of State …

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by Natalie Hrubos

CIA Director Michael Hayden defended the CIA's interrogation tactics Tuesday in the wake of the refusal of US Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey to say whether waterboarding constitutes torture. In an address to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Hayden called the CIA's interrogation programs "as lawful as …

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