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Legal news from Friday, December 14, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf Friday promulgated an order to amend the Pakistani constitution, allowing the president to declare a state of emergency without parliamentary ratification and providing that any judge who has not taken an oath under the Oath of Office (Judges) Order, 2007 established under Musharraf's Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) …

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by Steve Czajkowski

Jean-Marie Le Pen, leader of France's far-right National Front party, went on trial Friday for "complicity in contesting crimes against humanity and complicity in justifying war crimes." The charges stem from Le Pen's 2005 comments during an interview with the right-wing weekly magazine Rivarol that the World …

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by Steve Czajkowski

The UK parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) Friday issued a report opposing a proposal by the government to extend the time limit on detaining terror suspects from 28 to 42 days. The JCHR concluded that the government had not made an adequate case for the increase and that:i) it can find …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A court in Chad has set December 21 as the trial date for six French nationals connected with the abortive effort by French charity Zoe's Ark to airlift so-called "Darfur orphans" out of Chad to Europe. The six will be tried on kidnapping, fraud, and forgery charges. Zoe's Ark founder …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Friday defended a Russian government directive earlier this week to shut down local offices of the British Council by January 1, saying that the offices in Yekaterinburg and St. Petersburg were originally established in breach of international and Russian law. Russian authorities insist the Council has violated Russian …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Libyan Foreign Minister Abdel-Rahman Shalqam Friday denied that Libya engages in torture in response to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by a Palestinian doctor detained in Libya after being accused of deliberately infected hundreds of children with the HIV virus. Ashraf Jima Hajuj filed the lawsuit against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, as well as five police …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has launched a criminal probe of Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) Stuart Bowen on allegations that he misappropriated taxpayer money to pay for his legal defense during a 2006 administrative probe and that he improperly accessed employees' emails, according to a Thursday report in CongressDaily. The …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

UN special envoy for human rights defenders and co-founder of the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Hina Jilani told US lawmakers in Washington Thursday that Pakistan's parliamentary elections scheduled for January 8 have already been rigged and that there was no point in sending election monitors or observers to them. Jilani, an outspoken Lahore …

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by Brett Murphy

US District Judge Joan A. Lenard Thursday ordered a mistrial in a terrorism case against six men charged with allegedly conspiring to bomb the Sears Tower in Chicago and the FBI headquarters in Miami, after the jury was unable to reach a verdict after nine days of deliberations. A seventh man, Lyglenson Lemorin, was acquitted on terrorism …

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by Brett Murphy

The Spanish National Court Thursday dismissed a complaint against Cuban President Fidel Castro and former Cuban tourism minister Osmani Cienfuegos, alleging that the two had committed crimes against humanity. The complaint alleged that Castro and Cienfuegos were responsible for the death of nine prisoners during the 1961 anti-Castro Bay of Pigs Invasion. The court …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism Martin Scheinin said Thursday that the destruction of CIA videotapes suggests that US interrogators may have violated international prohibitions against torture. Scheinin told reporters after the presentation of his latest report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that he believes the CIA continues …

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