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Legal news from Monday, November 5, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for countries to hold to treaties restricting chemical and explosive weapons in remarks at two separate meetings Monday. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Sergio Duarte read Ban's statement during a conference on the Chemical Weapons Convention at The Hague. Over 180 countries have already joined the Convention, but Ban noted …

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by Howard Kline

Florida death row inmate Ian Deco Lightbourne on Monday asked the state supreme court to reconsider its decision last week that Florida's revised lethal injection protocols do not constitute cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the US Constitution. The Florida Supreme Court issued two decisions last week in challenges filed by Lightbourne and fellow death …

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by Leslie Schulman

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in Kentucky v. Davis, 06-666, to determine whether a state violates the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution when it taxes bonds issued by other states, but does not tax its own bonds. The case …

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by Leslie Schulman

Iranian officials have halted formal attempts to stop an expected Interpol vote Wednesday to issue arrest notices for six men thought to be connected with the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish Community Center, Interpol officials said Monday. Argentinean officials investigating the bombing, which killed 85 and wounded hundreds more, allege that …

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by Leslie Schulman

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals Monday rejected an appeal for a new trial brought by convicted Washington, DC-area sniper John Allen Muhammad. Muhammad had appealed the lower court's rulings that he was mentally competent to stand trial, and that he could represent himself. In the court's opinion affirming Muhammad's conviction Monday, Judge …

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by Leslie Schulman

The Fiji government Monday charged three people with plotting to assassinate current self-appointed Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama in the wake of the 2006 military coup which ousted former Fijian Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase and installed Bainimarama last December. According to police Monday, sixteen men were arrested late Sunday and several, …

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by Michael Sung

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour Monday criticized the weekend imposition of a state of emergency in Pakistan, saying that she was "alarmed by the suspension of fundamental rights" in the country. The former Canadian Supreme Court justice also questioned the propriety of imposing emergency rule in the face of alleged …

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by Michael Sung

The US House Judiciary Committee submitted a report Monday to the House clerk accusing White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White House legal counsel Harriet Miers of contempt for repeatedly failing to comply with subpoenas relating to the committee's investigation into the US Attorneys firing scandal. The …

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by Michael Sung

A suspect implicated in the July, 21 2005 failed bomb attacks on London's subway and bus systems pleaded guilty Monday and was sentenced to six years and nine months imprisonment. Adel Yahya, who had previously been on trial in July for conspiracy to murder, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of collecting information useful for terrorism. …

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by Jaime Jansen

The US Supreme Court on Monday granted certiorari in Arave v. Hoffman (07-110) [docket; cert. petition, PDF] to consider whether a death row inmate in Idaho should be able to accept a plea bargain after his conviction based on an argument that the deal was rejected because of bad advice from …

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by Jaime Jansen

Former US Attorney General John Ashcroft said in a Monday New York Times op-ed that he supports granting retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that complied with government requests for phone records following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Ashcroft's comments come as the Senate Judiciary Committee is considering the FISA Amendments Act of 2007 [PDF …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

Pakistani security services pressed ahead with arrests of leading lawyers across Pakistan Monday as the government sought to suppress dissent against Saturday's declaration of emergency rule by President Pervez Musharraf. In addition to hundreds arrested after riot police clashed with lawyers at the Lahore High Court, at least 25 lawyers in Karachi - including the …

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by Jaime Jansen

Parliamentary elections in Pakistan will be held in mid-January as scheduled, despite Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's weekend proclamation of emergency rule, Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said Monday. Aziz's comments came amid fears that the elections would be postponed because of the imposition of emergency rule and ensuing demonstrations by Pakistani lawyers throughout the country, …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Eleven more detainees have been transferred from Guantanamo Bay, the US Defense Department said Sunday. According to the DOD announcement, eight detainees were transferred to Afghanistan and three were transferred to Jordan. The names of the eleven men were not released. In October, another six detainees were transferred to Afghanistan.With the transfer, about 320 detainees …

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by Jaime Jansen

Italian opposition leader and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Sunday urged Italy to ban Romanian workers from entering Italy, while conservative ally Gianfranco Fini suggested that Italy should expel 20,000 Romanian workers in response to a wave of violent crimes blamed on foreigners. Romanian workers have been detained in several recent crimes, and …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Amidst discussions among members of the Bush administration on closing the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, officials are considering providing detainees expanded court access and transferring them to federal custody in the United States, the New York Times reported Sunday. Under the current approach backed by the White House, military Combatant Status Review Tribunals …

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by Jaime Jansen

An Egyptian court sentenced two police officers to three years in prison Monday for torturing a bus driver after video clips of the incident circulated on video-sharing website YouTube. Islam Nabih, a police captain, and Reda Fathi, a non-commissioned officer, sodomized and beat Emad el-Kabir in 2006 while videoing the incident on a …

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by Jaime Jansen

Pakistani riot police and security forces fired tear gas at dark-suited lawyers and law students assembled at the High Court in Lahore Monday and charged them with batons as some 2000 demonstrated against President Pervez Musharraf's Saturday proclamation of emergency rule, suspension of the constitution and dismissal of the country's Supreme Court. The initially-peaceful demonstration …

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