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Legal news from Friday, November 16, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

A US Marine invoked his right to defer his plea at his Friday military arraignment on charges stemming from the killings of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha in November 2005. A lawyer for Lt. Col. Jeffrey R. Chessani did say that he planned to plead not guilty. Trial …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Georgian Republic ended its national state of emergency Friday, as promised earlier this week. On Wednesday, Georgian Speaker of Parliament Nino Burdzhanadze had announced in a televised statement on behalf of the government that emergency rule would be lifted Friday. A government spokesperson also announced Friday that Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Nogaideli has resigned; …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Friday ruled that a defunct Muslim charity cannot use a document turned over to it by the US government as evidence that it was the subject of an illegal wiretap. The court held that a secret call log accidentally given to lawyers for the Al-Haramain Islamic …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Turkish lawmakers Friday moved to disband the country's leading pro-Kurdish political party and boot its representatives from parliament. Chief Prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya charged the Democratic Society Party with separatism after members gave speeches last week in support of autonomy for Kurds living in the country's southeast. The prosecutor's office will send an indictment to the Constitutional Court …

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by Katerina Ossenova

General Pervez Musharraf Thursday amended the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) issued under the country's declaration of emergency rule on November 3 to allow the country's president to revoke the state of emergency. The original PCO was issued by Musharraf in capacity as head of the military, but Musharraf said earlier this …

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by Patrick Porter

Rwandan investigators delivered a report Friday to Rwandan President Paul Kagame on alleged French involvement in the 1994 genocide in the African nation. Specific details have not yet been disclosed, but Rwandan Attorney General Tharcisse Karugarama told Reuters that "the report does implicate very heavily different key players in the Rwandan …

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by Jaime Jansen

The UN General Assembly's Third Committee on Thursday voted 99-52 to place a worldwide moratorium on the death penalty. Thirty-three countries abstained from the vote. Opponents of the resolution, including Singapore, Egypt, and Botswana, argued before the committee Wednesday that it would infringe on nations' sovereignty, and …

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by Jaime Jansen

More than 1,000 suspected human rights abusers from 85 countries are currently living in the United States, according to to a statement delivered by Marcy Forman, director of the Investigations Office of the US Department of Homeland Security, to the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law. Forman noted that Immigration and Customs …

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by Jaime Jansen

A New York appellate court unanimously upheld the convictions of former Tyco International CEO L. Dennis Kozlowski and former CFO Mark Swartz Thursday, rejecting arguments that the pair had been convicted of grand larceny, securities fraud and falsifying business records on insufficient evidence. The court affirmed their eight to 25-year prison …

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by Jaime Jansen

US President George W. Bush Thursday announced five nominations for top posts in the US Department of Justice (DOJ), including a federal judge sitting in Chicago for the number two spot. Bush's nominations include:US District Judge Mark Filip for deputy attorney general;US Attorney Kevin O'Connor for associate attorney general;Acting Associate General Attorney …

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by Jaime Jansen

UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Paulo Sergio Pinheiro said Friday that he obtained enough information from a five-day visit to Myanmar to determine the number of people killed during September's crackdown on pro-democracy protests. Pinheiro said he will compile his findings and report them to the UN Human Rights Council in December. …

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by Jaime Jansen

The US House of Representatives passed the RESTORE Act of 2007 ("Responsible Electronic Surveillance That is Overseen, Reviewed and Effective Act of 2007") by a margin of 227-187 late Thursday without including a provision that would grant immunity to telecommunication companies that aided the US government in its domestic surveillance program [JURIST …

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