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Legal news from Wednesday, January 16, 2008
by Andrew Gilmore

The number of political prisoners in Cuba has decreased from 283 at the end of 2006 to to 234 at the end of 2007, but human rights abuses continue in the communist Caribbean state, according to the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN) Wednesday. The CCDHRN, led by Cuban …

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by Andrew Gilmore

Mark Deli Siljander, a former Republican US congressman from Michigan and US representative to the United Nations, was indicted Wednesday for conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering, obstruction of justice, and forfeiture. The charges stem from Siljander's association with the now defunct charity Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA), which allegedly …

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by Patrick Porter

Spanish National Court judge Santiago Pedraz said Wednesday he will switch the focus of his investigation into genocide, torture, and other crimes against humanity in Guatemala's 36-year civil war towards obtaining witness testimony in light of recent setbacks. The decision came after a Guatemalan court ruled in December that former dictator Efrain Rios Montt and …

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by Patrick Porter

New International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz said Wednesday that finding and prosecuting Balkan war crimes suspects will be a top priority under his leadership. Brammertz called on the states of the former Yugoslavia to cooperate in working toward the arrest of Bosnian Serb leaders Ratko …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The Supreme Court of France Wednesday overturned a November 2007 ruling by the Court of Appeal of Paris that approved the transfer of Rwandan genocide suspect Dominique Ntawukuriryayo to the custody of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, finding that the lower court had committed several procedural errors. …

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by Deirdre Jurand

A federal judge in San Francisco sentenced former Brocade Communications Systems CEO Gregory Reyes Wednesday to 21 months in prison and imposed a $15 million fine for backdating stock options. Judge Charles Breyer stayed the sentence pending an appeal. A federal jury found Reyes guilty in August 2007 of conspiracy, securities fraud, …

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by Alexis Unkovic

US District Court Judge Alia Moses Ludlum of the Western District of Texas has ordered the City of Eagle Pass, Texas to temporarily turn over 233 acres of its land to the federal government so it can begin construction of a 670-mile fence on the border between the US and Mexico. Ludlum's ruling came in …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in Quanta Computer v. LG Electronics, 06-937 [docket; cert. petition, PDF], a patent infringement case on whether a patent holder's rights may be exhausted through certain license agreements. LG Electronics holds a patent on certain computer components, but had …

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by Katerina Ossenova

US President George W. Bush on Tuesday authorized the US Navy to continue using sonar in its anti-submarine warfare training off the coast of southern California despite a November 2007 ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that the Navy should limit its use of high-powered sonar [JURIST …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The White House admitted late Tuesday that it had recycled its back-up computer tapes of e-mails prior to October 2003. US Magistrate Judge John Facciola ordered the White House earlier this month to report whether e-mails deleted from its servers in fact existed on back-up tapes. White House Office of Administration Chief Information Officer Theresa …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Supporters of Kenya's main opposition party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), fought with police Wednesday during demonstrations staged across the country over the disputed re-election of Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki. At least two protesters were killed and another half dozen injured as police tried to disperse the demonstrations by firing tear gas and …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The US Supreme Court handed down decisions in two cases Wednesday, including New York Board of Elections v. Torres, where the Court upheld New York's procedure for selecting state trial judges. In New York, judicial candidates are selected through nominations at political conventions rather than through primaries, a …

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by Brett Murphy

Additional charges, including attempted murder, were filed Tuesday against the alleged plotters of an attack on Fort Dix. The US Attorney for New Jersey declined to say why the attempted murder charge was added, but a grand jury found that there was sufficient evidence to allow the charges. In addition, the indictment accuses the plotters of scouting …

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by Leslie Schulman

US District Judge Henry Kennedy ruled Tuesday that the Libyan government and six Libyan officials should pay more than $6 billion in damages to families of seven Americans who died in the 1989 bombing of French passenger jet UTA Flight 772, which killed all 170 people on board. Kennedy ruled last year …

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by Leslie Schulman

US House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) sent a letter Tuesday to Attorney General Michael Mukasey urging him to appoint a special counsel to investigate allegations that the US Central Intelligence Agency ordered the destruction of videotapes showing the interrogation of terror suspects. In the letter, Conyers wrote that:Justice …

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by Leslie Schulman

Bringing criminal charges against Blackwater employees for the September 16 killings of 14 Iraqi civilians in West Baghdad would require surmounting numerous legal hurdles, US Department of Justice officials told Congress during a private meeting in December, the New York Times reported Wednesday. The meeting, which was held after a US federal …

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