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Legal news from Monday, December 3, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that Russia will recommence participation in the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE) if western nations ratify the treaty. NATO is currently discussing the possibility of ratifying an adapted CFE, according to a spokesperson. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also demanded in a statement that NATO …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Over thirty military officers and supporters involved in an aborted coup attempt against Philippine President Gloria Arroyo last week were formally charged with rebellion Monday. Last Thursday, about a dozen officers on trial in the Philippines in connection with a failed 2003 mutiny walked out of court, took …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

A panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit that included retired US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor ruled Monday that using taxpayer money to fund a faith-based treatment program in a state jail is unconstitutional. The voluntary program, the InnerChange Freedom Initiative, immerses prisoners in evangelical Christianity …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The military government of Myanmar reported Monday that it has released 8,585 detainees since the middle of November to celebrate progress toward drafting a national constitution, but opposition party National League for Democracy said that number only includes 10 political prisoners. International groups believe that Myanmar is still detaining 1,800 political prisoners, including …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

The Israeli cabinet on Monday approved the release of 429 Palestinian prisoners as a gesture of good will toward Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the wake of talks renewed peace talks between Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at last week's Annapolis peace conference. Most of the released inmates belong to …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Monday sentenced a former witness to nine months in prison for contempt of court and giving false testimony before the tribunal. The witness, who was only identified as GAA, pleaded guilty to giving false testimony during the 2004 trial of former Rwandan Higher Education Minister Jean de Dieu …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The retrial of six Frenchmen who were released from the US detention center in Guantanamo Bay began Monday in Paris. The six stand accused of attending combat training at an al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan. France freed five of the suspects after their repatriation to France from Guantanamo in July 2004 and March 2005. …

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by Brett Murphy

Pakistani election officials ruled Monday that former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif cannot not run as a candidate in January parliamentary elections because of a 2000 criminal conviction. A rival candidate had challenged Sharif's nomination based on his involvement in an illegal attempt to prevent a plane carrying then army chief and current President Pervez Musharraf [official …

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by Brett Murphy

The US Supreme Court on Monday granted certiorari in three cases, including Philippines v. Pimental (06-1204) [docket; cert. petition], in which the Supreme Court will consider whether the government of the Philippines had the right to be a party in litigation on claims to a $35 million account for a Panamanian …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The military government of Myanmar Monday rejected calls from the United Nations for the country's constitution-drafting process to be opened to outside groups, saying that the new constitution would be drafted solely by a 54-member constitution-drafting commission. The constitution-drafting commission, announced in October, will be comprised of both civilian and military members, all of …

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by Katerina Ossenova

A unanimous panel of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) Monday denied bail to former Khmer Rouge official Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch, for fear that he might flee or threaten witnesses. Defense lawyers had argued last month that Duch should be granted …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir Monday pardoned British school teacher Gillian Gibbons, convicted of insulting Islam last week for allowing her students to name the class teddy bear Muhammad. Last Thursday, Gibbons was sentenced to 15 days in prison and deportation under Article 125 of the Sudanese criminal code. Gibbons had originally been charged with inciting …

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by Jaime Jansen

Incoming Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Monday that he has signed Australia's instrument of ratification for the Kyoto Protocol, ending nearly 10 years of Australian opposition to the pact. Rudd was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Australia on Sunday, replacing the more conservative John Howard, who …

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by Jaime Jansen

Venezuelans have rejected sweeping constitutional reforms proposed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez by a narrow margin of 51 to 49 percent, preliminary results of Sunday's constitutional referendum showed on Monday. Chavez, accepting his first electoral defeat, acknowledged that his proposed reforms - which would have allowed him to stand indefinitely for re-election, …

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by Jaime Jansen

Russian President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party won parliamentary elections Sunday amid claims of vote-rigging and fraud. United Russia won 64.1 percent of the vote according to preliminary results, far ahead of the Communist Party challenger with 11 percent of the votes. Election observers from the Council of Europe (CoE) and the Organization …

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