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Legal news from Wednesday, November 28, 2007
by Andrew Gilmore

Human rights groups have expressed concerns about repression and rights violations in the run-up to Russian parliamentary elections scheduled for Sunday. Amnesty International (AI), alleged Wednesday that the Russian government has interfered with opposition parties' rights of freedom of expression and free assembly. It characterized opposition candidate and former chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov - …

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by Deirdre Jurand

The Japanese House of Councillors passed a bill Wednesday to end Japan's air force mission in Iraq, with opposition leaders insisting that Japan should work through the United Nations rather than the United States. Japan withdrew its ground troops from Iraq last July, but a Japanese unit stationed in Kuwait still provides air support for the Multi-National …

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by Andrew Gilmore

A military court established in the Gaza Strip by the Palestinian militant group Hamas handed down its first ruling on Wednesday, sentencing three members of rival party Fatah to 18 months in prison and fining them $280. A fourth Fatah member was sentenced to one year in prison and …

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by Deirdre Jurand

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) ruled Wednesday that former Croatian general Ante Gotovina must remain in detention in The Hague until his trial. The court denied Gotovina's motion for release and dismissed the motion to strike because of the risk he could …

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by Caitlin Price

The Iraqi parliament met briefly Wednesday to continue debate on a controversial bill that would allow former Baath Party members not convicted of any crimes to return to their previously held government positions, participate in the political process, and serve in the civil and military service. Discussion …

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by Caitlin Price

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Wednesday reduced the sentences of three Rwandan media executives imprisoned for their roles in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Ferdinand Nahimana and Hassan Ngeze, sentenced to life in prison in 2003, were granted sentence reductions to 30 years and 35 …

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by Caitlin Price

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in Rowe v. New Hampshire Motor Transport, 06-457, where the Court is considering whether a Maine tobacco transport law is preempted by federal law. In 2003, Maine passed a law requiring special inspection of incoming tobacco packages to prevent …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The UN Security Council on Wednesday unanimously approved the appointment of Serge Brammertz as the new chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon nominated Brammertz earlier this month to replace outgoing chief prosecutor Carla Del …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

Twelve states filed a lawsuit against the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Wednesday, seeking to invalidate new regulations that relax disclosure requirements for companies storing or emitting 500 or more pounds of toxins. The civil case will be led by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, …

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by Brett Murphy

The last two witnesses for the prosecution in the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia case against former Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj and two other members of the Kosovo Liberation Army failed to testify on Wednesday citing fears that the ICTY would be unable to protect them. One of the …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf stepped down as head of Pakistan's army Wednesday, the day before he is scheduled to take an oath of office as Pakistan's civilian president. Musharraf's role as army chief complicated his recent bid for re-election as president, with several legal challenges filed against him in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The court, reconstituted …

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by Brett Murphy

The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit on Tuesday upheld a district court's dismissal of a lawsuit brought by illegal immigrant detainees over their transfer from Massachusetts to Texas holding centers following a March 6 factory raid in which 360 people were arrested. The district court dismissed the lawsuit …

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by Brett Murphy

The judicial panel of the UK House of Lords, also known as the Law Lords, Wednesday upheld a controversial ban on hunting with hounds under the Hunting Act 2004. The Lords said that overturning the ban, which prohibits fox and deer hunting and rabbit coursing with dogs in England and Wales, would subvert the democratic process …

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by Brett Murphy

Ousted Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry Tuesday urged Pakistan's political parties and people to boycott parliamentary elections scheduled for January 8, saying that they were comprised by being held under unconstitutional emergency rule and should not proceed because Pakistan was in unusual circumstances with the rights of its judges, lawyers and people restricted or suspended. …

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by Brett Murphy

A Greek appeals court Tuesday dismissed criminal charges against former Getty Museum curator Marion True for her alleged involvement in the looting of an ancient gold wreath from Greece. The Los Angeles museum acquired the wreath in 1993, and Greek prosecutors brought charges against True alleging that the artifact had been illegally removed from the country. Under …

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by Natalie Hrubos

Political arrests in China more than doubled in 2006 compared to the previous year, according to a report Wednesday from human rights group Dui Hua. The 2007 Chinese Law Yearbook revealed that the state arrested 604 individuals for "endangering state security" in 2006, the highest number since 2002. In 2005, China arrested …

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by Natalie Hrubos

An Egyptian court sentenced three police officers to seven years in prison late Tuesday for torturing 38-year-old carpenter Nasr Abdullah to death in July. The sentencing is part of the country's recent crackdown on police brutality. Earlier this month, two police officers were sentenced to three years in prison for sodomizing and beating Emad el-Kabir in 2006 …

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by Devin Montgomery

The appeals chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Tuesday affirmed the genocide and crime against humanity convictions of former lawmaker and retired colonel Aloys Simba. The appeals chamber also affirmed Simba's 25-year prison sentence. Simba's defense team challenged his conviction on …

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by Natalie Hrubos

Russian officials said Wednesday that leaders in the country want to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with a formal, binding agreement with the US that will limit the creation of new nuclear weapons. The treaty, which signaled the end of the Cold War, will expire in 2009. US President George Bush's administration has …

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by Lisl Brunner

The Simon Wiesenthal Center announced Tuesday that it will extend its campaign to capture and prosecute suspected Nazi war criminals to four South American countries. In a press conference in Buenos Aires, director Efraim Zuroff outlined the details of Operation Last Chance, which will offer rewards to anyone providing information that leads to the capture …

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