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Legal news from Friday, January 18, 2008
by Steve Czajkowski

A US federal judge on Friday sentenced Mohamed Mansour Jabarah to life in prison for plotting to bomb US embassies in Singapore and the Philippines. Jabarah, a Canadian citizen of Iraqi descent, pleaded guilty in 2002 to five counts:(1) conspiracy to kill United States nationals; (2) conspiracy to kill United States officers and employees …

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by Eric Firkel

The five alleged plotters of an attack on Fort Dix pleaded not guilty Friday to new charges filed against them, including attempted murder, and received a new date for trial. Prosecutors filed the additional charges earlier this week. Jury selection is scheduled for September 29, and prosecutors said the trial will probably last four to …

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by Eric Firkel

Jaafar al-Moussawi, the chief prosecutor in the trial of Saddam Hussein says he has been demoted and transferred from Baghdad to the northern city of Sulaimaniya after speaking out against the Iraqi High Tribunal, according to Reuters Friday. Al-Moussawi claims he is being punished for criticizing "financial and ethical corruption" within …

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by Steve Czajkowski

Switzerland has suspended an investigation into US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agents allegedly involved in the 2003 abduction and rendition of Egyptian cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, a spokesperson from the Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office said Friday. The Swiss Federal Council authorized the criminal proceedings in February 2007 based on alleged unlawful …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US Supreme Court on Friday granted certiorari in six cases, including Crawford v. Nashville and Davidson Cty., TN (06-1595) [docket; cert. petition], in which the Supreme Court will consider whether Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects a government employee against being fired for cooperating with an …

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by Patrick Porter

A Chinese dissident writer will face trial next week on subversion charges related to essays exposing corruption within the Communist Party of China, the writer's wife told AP Friday. Lu Gengsong was arrested last October on charges of "inciting subversion of power," according to advocacy group Chinese Human Rights Defenders. Lu's wife said that the …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Supreme Court of Thailand Friday rejected the major legal challenges brought against last month's election results. The ruling frees the People Power Party (PPP), which won 233 out of 480 parliament seats in the first election since the current interim military-backed government came to power in a September 2006 bloodless coup, to begin setting up a …

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by Josh Camson

Turkish President Abdullah Gul Friday signed a bill banning smoking in government buildings, offices, bars and restaurants. The bill was passed by the Turkish Grand National Assembly earlier this month. The ban includes penalties for anyone caught smoking in a prohibited area or any company advertising or distributing tobacco. The …

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by Patrick Porter

Prosecutors dropped all criminal charges Friday against former Canadian Red Cross national medical director Dr. Roger Perrault, who had been implicated in Canada's tainted blood scandal, finding that there was "no reasonable prospect of conviction in this case." Perrault's lawyer said that his client should never have been charged and suggested that he was merely …

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by Josh Camson

Niger authorities will release on bail two French journalists charged this week with threatening state security, the journalists' lawyer said Friday. Reporter Pierre Creisson and cameraman Thomas Dandois will be released when each journalist posts bail for $22,000. Passports have already been returned to the French journalists, and once they post bail they can …

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by Jaime Jansen

A Serbian court convicted 26 members of Belgrade's "Zemun clan" and sentenced them collectively to 465 years in prison Friday. The Zemun clan once acted as a hit squad for former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. Those convicted, including former paramilitary commander Milorad Ulemek, had been charged with 18 murders, three abductions and two terrorist attacks. Eight …

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by Jaime Jansen

North Korea has shown no improvement in its human rights record and still systematically tortures its citizens, a UN special rapporteur said Friday. Vitit Muntarbhorn and a special UN envoy visited Japan this week to assess the impact of the North Korean rights situation on that country. In remarks concluding his …

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by Jaime Jansen

Kenya's main opposition party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) said Friday that it would use economic boycotts and strikes to continue protests over the disputed re-election of Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki after ODM supporters clashed with police during three days of demonstrations staged across the country this week. Opposition spokesman Salime …

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by Jaime Jansen

US House Government Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) has scheduled a hearing for mid-February to look into White House compliance with the Presidential Records Act and to investigate the contradiction between comments made Thursday by White House Deputy Press Secretary Fratto that that no electronic messages had been lost …

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