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Legal news from Monday, December 17, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

Nigeria has secretly carried out at least seven state executions in recent years despite official denials, Amnesty International claimed Monday in a new report. The executed men, who were all hanged, were generally tried without representation and not given any opportunity to appeal their convictions. Amnesty accused Nigeria of "misleading the world," and called …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The alleged head of Southeast Asian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) went to trial in Indonesia Monday. Zarkasih is charged with training and equipping JI members as well as conspiracy to commit terrorism. He could face the death penalty if convicted. BBC News has more.JI was responsible for the 2002 Bali nightclub …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A federal judge ruled Monday that White House visitor logs are public documents, rejecting a Bush administration bid to have the logs treated as confidential presidential records. Visitor logs are compiled by the Secret Service, and thus subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests; the Bush administration had ordered that the …

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by Leslie Schulman

Former Uruguay military dictator and army chief Gregorio Alvarez was charged Monday with crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the country's 1973-85 period of military rule and specifically for his alleged role in the secret transfers of several political prisoners in 1978, who disappeared and are presumed dead. He faces up to 25 years in …

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by Leslie Schulman

Incoming Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez Monday dismissed Argentinian coast guard head Carlos Fernandez, one week after former Argentinian coast guard officer and torture suspect Hector Febres was found dead in his military jail cell with high levels of cyanide in his blood. Febres went to trial in October on charges of …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The government of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has amended the controversial Public Order and Security Act, according to Monday media reports. The law prohibits public political gatherings without prior police approval. If police turn down a party's application to hold a rally, the party can appeal its case to the Minister of Home Affairs [official …

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by Leslie Schulman

Iran has charged women's rights activists Ronak Safarzadeh and Hana Abdi with acting "against national security" by allegedly participating in terrorist acts, an Iranian judge said Sunday. The two women were arrested [RFE/RL report] in October and are accused of having connections to Kurdish leftist group Party for Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK) …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Former Hollinger International President David Radler was sentenced Monday by a US federal judge to 29 months in prison. Radler pleaded guilty in 2005 to one count of mail fraud after agreeing to serve as a witness against the company's former Chairman and CEO Conrad Black, who was convicted earlier this year …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Prosecutors in Malaysia on Monday dropped attempted murder charges brought against 26 ethnic Indians for their role in anti-discrimination demonstrations held last month. The defendants have instead pleaded guilty to lesser charges of illegal assembly, mischief and damaging property. They face a maximum of five years in prison and will be sentenced on December 27. …

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by Jeannie Shawl

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine on Monday signed into law a bill ending the use of capital punishment, making New Jersey the first state to abolish the use of the death penalty since the US Supreme Court reinstated it nationally in 1976. The legislation was passed by the New Jersey Assembly last week, just days …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The Bush administration has proposed a draft regulation that would give political appointees in the Defense Department a role in the promotion of military lawyers working as members of the Judge Advocate General Corps, the Boston Globe reported over the weekend. Some 4,000 lawyers work as JAGs across the military, and their hirings and promotions are currently determined by …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The ranking member of the US House Select Committee on Intelligence said Sunday that the committee would proceed with its investigation into the CIA's destruction of videotapes showing the interrogation of terror suspects, despite the Justice Department's advice that the CIA not cooperate with the probe and request that the committee delay its investigation pending …

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