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Legal news from Tuesday, January 29, 2008
by Devin Montgomery

A Spanish prosecutor on Tuesday filed an anticipated request before the Supreme Court of Spain to ban two Basque political parties for alleged ties to ETA, the armed Basque separatist movement. Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega has said the …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

US Attorney General Michael Mukasey said in a Tuesday letter to the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee that he had completed his investigation into CIA interrogation methods used on terror suspects, finding the agency's current methods to be legal. In the letter to Senator Patrick Leahy, Mukasey again refused to characterize waterboarding …

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by Devin Montgomery

The US House of Representatives Tuesday voted to extend the Protect America Act of 2007 for an additional two weeks past its original February 1 expiration date. The extension was passed as a last-minute compromise between House Democrats and Republicans to give the Senate time to pass new surveillance legislation that Republicans hope will …

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by Deirdre Jurand

The Portuguese government helped in the rendition of more than 700 prisoners to Guantanamo Bay by allowing the US to use Portuguese territory and airspace, a British prisoner rights group reported Tuesday. Reprieve said that 728 out of the 774 prisoners processed at Guantanamo came through Portuguese jurisdiction and that a significant …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

An influential UK Conservative Party donor has launched a legal effort to force the UK government to put the ratification of the new EU reform treaty properly known as the Treaty of Lisbon to a public vote, the BBC reported Tuesday. Stuart Wheeler argues that Prime Minister Gordon Brown [official …

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by Caitlin Price

Hate crimes in Russia rose 13 percent in 2007 over 2006, but police have done little to stop attacks, according to a Tuesday report by the SOVA Center rights group. Deputy Director Galina Kozhevnikova told reporters that race-related crime resulted in 67 deaths and 550 injuries in 2007, with African students, Asian visitors, and …

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by Caitlin Price

A bill to lift a ban on women wearing headscarves in universities was submitted Tuesday to the Turkish Grand National Assembly amidst protests by secular groups. Last week, an agreement between Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party and key opponent Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) propelled the bill forward after …

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by Caitlin Price

An Iranian airport customs contractor convicted of corruption has been executed and three other customs workers are scheduled to face the death penalty, according to comments from the Iranian judiciary reported by Reuters Tuesday. The convicted individuals apparently accepted bribes totaling more than $1 million in connection with their positions at the Mehrabad airport …

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by Leslie Schulman

The European Court of Justice Tuesday ruled against Promusicae, a Spanish music industry coalition, finding that telecommunication companies have no duty to disclose the names and addresses of people suspected of engaging in illegal file sharing. A lower Spanish court had asked the European Court of Justice to issue an opinion …

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by Leslie Schulman

US Office of Special Counsel (OSC) head Scott J. Bloch has accused the Department of Justice (DOJ) of impeding an investigation into the "politicization" of the DOJ under former US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales during the 2006 US Attorney firings, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday. The …

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by Michael Sung

Moroccan authorities have arrested Abdelilah Hriz, an alleged participant in the 2004 Madrid train bombings, a Spanish judicial source said Monday. Hriz, whose DNA and fingerprints linked him to a house where explosives were prepared and an apartment where several suspects killed themselves after being pursued by police, will be tried in Morocco. According to Reuters' …

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by Michael Sung

The Syrian government has detained former parliamentarian and dissident Riyad Sayf, the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria (NOHR) said Tuesday. Sayf is a prominent member of the "Damascus Declaration" group, which in 2005 issued a declaration urging Syria to embark on democratic transition and improve relations with Lebanon. In December, the Syrian government arrested …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Ten activists who led anti-government protests against fuel prices [BBC Q&A; JURIST report] in Myanmar last August and September have been charged under Myanmar's Printing and Publishing Act with the crime of making illegal statements. Myanmar's ruling military junta has detained the ten activists pursuant to its emergency powers since their arrests in September. According to Amnesty International, 700 …

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by Michael Sung

Three Indonesian Islamic militants sentenced to death for their roles in the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings have filed a second appeal with the Indonesian Supreme Court, a spokesperson for the Indonesian attorney general's office said Tuesday. The three militants - Mukhlas, Amrozi, and Imam Samudra - are not entitled under Indonesian law to a second …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Former Malaysian Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim told a Royal Commission inquiry panel Monday that a December 2001 video that appears to show prominent Malaysian lawyer VK Lingam brokering Halim's appointment to become chief justice is a fabrication. Former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who released the first part of the video [JURIST …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

US President George W. Bush signed an executive order Tuesday implementing promises on earmarks made in his final State of the Union address delivered Monday. Executive Order 13457 commands heads of federal agencies to take "all necessary steps" to ignore earmarks that are not explicitly written into law. The policy …

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