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Legal news from Monday, November 12, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) has threatened to suspend Pakistan from the Commonwealth if it does not end emergency rule by November 22. The group also called on Pakistan to release all detainees, restore the constitution and the independence of the judiciary, and have Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf resign as army …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A Japanese parliamentary committee Monday approved a controversial anti-terror bill re-authorizing Japan's support mission for US operations in the Indian Ocean. Under the bill, Japanese ships will be barred from refueling US ships involved in combat or humanitarian operations in Afghanistan, but will be allowed to refuel ships involved in anti-terrorism or anti-smuggling patrols. The bill is intended as …

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by Leslie Schulman

The White House must preserve all of its e-mail records by saving back-up disks, United States District Court Judge Henry Kennedy ordered Monday. The order was a blow to the Bush administration, which has been fighting lawsuits brought by private advocacy groups Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and the National Security Archives …

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by Howard Kline

The trial chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a decision Monday setting the trial date for former Union of Patriotic Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga for March 31, 2008. The trial chamber also set December 14 as the date when prosecutors must turn over all evidence to …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

The reconstituted Supreme Court of Pakistan led by Musharraf emergency appointee Abdul Hameed Dogar indicated Monday that its full bench will hear a petition later this week challenging General Pervez Musharraf's November 3 declaration of emergency rule. Pakistan's independent Geo TV reports that former provincial minister Tikka Iqbal is arguing that only the …

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by Leslie Schulman

Pakistani lawyers began returning to work in some of the country's lower courts Monday, one week after thousands of lawyers and law students protested against President Pervez Musharraf's proclamation of emergency rule, suspension of the constitution and dismissal of the country's Supreme Court. Following a Pakistan Bar Council call Friday, the lawyers agreed to return …

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by Leslie Schulman

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told parliament Monday that the government was planning to release 400 more Palestinian prisoners later this month, adding to the release last month of more than 80 Palestinian prisoners. The releases are meant as a gesture of good will toward Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in preparation for a …

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by Leslie Schulman

Indonesian prosecutors on Monday announced the breakdown of court-ordered settlement negotiations with lawyers representing Tommy Suharto, son of former President Haji Mohammad Suharto. Indonesian law requires that parties try mediation to resolve civil disputes before courts may proceed with a case, but prosecutors will now go ahead with court proceedings in the …

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by Michael Sung

Pakistani Attorney General Malik Mohammed Qayyum said Monday that the newly-reconstituted Supreme Court of Pakistan will next week resume consideration of legal challenges to the eligibility of President Pervez Musharraf to run for re-election while remaining Army Chief of Staff. Qayyum said that newly-installed Chief Justice Abdul Hamid Dogar will likely adjudicate the cases after …

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by Lauren Becker

The Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice is stepping up its enforcement of the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, according to a report from McClatchy Newspapers. The law, commonly known as the "Motor Voter Act," is designed to make it easier for Americans to register to vote and to maintain their registration. …

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by Michael Sung

The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Monday criticized procedures used by the UN Security Council and the European Union for blacklisting individuals and organizations on its terror list, adopting a draft report by parliamentarian Dick Marty that characterized the procedures as "totally arbitrary" and lacking in credibility. Marty's report …

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by Brett Murphy

The government of Pakistan said Monday that a Tuesday protest march planned by former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto violates the declaration of emergency announced by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and will not be allowed to take place. The protesters would have marched from the city of Lahore to the capital …

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by Michael Sung

Australian prosecutors dismissed a terrorist training charge against Izhar Ul-Haque Monday after the New South Wales Supreme Court found that two officials belonging to the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) had violated his rights by kidnapping and falsely imprisoning him. Judge Michael Adams found that ASIO agents coerced Ul-Haque into a vehicle, threatened him with …

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by Brett Murphy

The crew of the Cosco Busan, which leaked some 58,000 gallons of fuel oil into the San Fransisco Bay after colliding with a bridge last week, is being held for questioning by federal investigators as a criminal investigation into the oil spill begins, the US Coast Guard said Sunday. Coast Guard Captain William Uberti said …

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by Brett Murphy

Ali Hassan al-Majid, better known in Western media as "Chemical Ali," will not be transferred to Iraqi custody for execution until a legal debate on the executions is resolved, the US embassy in Iraq said Monday. US spokeswoman Mirembe Nantongo said that there are unresolved questions about the legal and procedural requirements for executions …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

Ousted Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry said in a statement reported by Pakistani media Monday that he and other Pakistan Supreme Court judges were removed by General Pervez Musharraf's declaration of emergency rule early this month because an independent judiciary would have prevented Musharraf from rigging upcoming elections. "Election manipulation is not possible under an …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Iran temporarily suspended the sentence of women's rights activist Delaram Ali Monday for two weeks while officials decide whether to review her case. Despite leniency pleas from seven leading human rights organizations, Ali was set to begin a sentence of 34 months in prison and 10 lashes Saturday. Ali was …

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by Katerina Ossenova

UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Paulo Sergio Pinheiro began his investigation Monday into the Myanmar military government's crackdown on protesters by visiting Rangoon's Insein prison and a Buddhist monastery earlier raided by troops. Pinheiro arrived in Myanmar on Sunday after the junta agreed to allow the UN rights expert into …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Former Cambodian Foreign Minister Ieng Sary and his wife Ieng Thirith were arrested Monday and brought before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). Ieng Sary and his wife, who served as Minister for Social Affairs, have been charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the Khmer Rouge regime. …

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by Jaime Jansen

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has transferred former Bosnian Croat soldier Miroslav Bralo to Sweden to serve the remainder of his 20-year prison sentence, DPA reported Monday. Christer Isaksson, head of security for the Swedish Prison and Probation Service, told DPA that Bralo had been transferred to Sweden …

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