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Legal news from Wednesday, January 30, 2008
by Andrew Gilmore

The extortion trial of former Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed resumed Wednesday in Dhaka, after the Bangladesh Supreme Court last week rejected Hasina's appeal of the proceedings. Hasina had argued that she could not be tried under the current state of emergency rules because the alleged crimes occurred before the state …

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by Patrick Porter

Jailed Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky said Wednesday that he would begin a hunger strike to protest denial of medical treatment to Vasily Aleksanian, an imprisoned former executive and lawyer at the now-defunct Yukos oil company, who has AIDS. Khodorkovsky said officials were denying medical treatment to …

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by Deirdre Jurand

Iran's chief judge issued a ban Wednesday against all public executions not specially permitted by the head of the judiciary. Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi also banned the publication of pictures and videos of executions and ordered state prosecutors to enforce the bans. Commentators said that Shahroudi probably wants to remove executions from the public eye …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The International Judges and Prosecutors Programme of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) has failed to meet international standards to ensure fair trials, according to a report released Wednesday by Amnesty International. The report blamed "flaws in the concept, limited resources and the low priority that international justice …

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by James M Yoch Jr

The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit on Tuesday reversed a controversial trial court judgment in favor of a plaintiff class of cattle ranchers claiming that defendant meat-packing companies underpaid them based on erroneous price data provided by the US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA). The class action plaintiffs filed suit under …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Jakob Kellenberger, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Wednesday expressed optimism after completing a two-day visit to Washington DC to speak with top US officials, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Attorney General Michael Mukasey, and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, about ICRC concerns regarding the status and treatment of US …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty Tuesday called for restrictions on media coverage of terrorism cases, saying that media disclosure should be delayed until judicial proceedings have been completed. In a speech entitled "Terrorism: Policing's New Paradigm" delivered to the Sydney Institute, Keelty said:In the United Kingdom, to provide a contrast with Australia, contempt …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was acquitted of false accounting by a Milan court on Wednesday. The charges were related to Berlusconi's membership in a group trying to buy the SME state food conglomerate in the 1980s, but the court found that the allegations against Berlusconi did not amount to a crime under …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Kenyan opposition candidate Raila Odinga has condemned as illegal the latest "shoot to kill" order given to Kenyan police in response to continued violence across the country after last month's disputed presidential election, according to Wednesday media reports. Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in the country to help mediate the conflict between supporters …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The Israeli Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the Israeli government can continue to cut supplies of fuel and electricity to the Gaza Strip, rejecting legal challenges by human rights groups that the blockade deprived Gaza residents of basic humanitarian needs in violation of international law. Israeli officials say that withholding fuel …

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by Katerina Ossenova

US Attorney General Michael Mukasey on Wednesday refused to provide the Senate Judiciary Committee an opinion on whether waterboarding constitutes an illegal form of torture. Wednesday's hearing is Mukasey's first appearance before the Judiciary Committee since being sworn in as attorney general in November. On Tuesday, Mukasey sent a letter to the committee confirming that …

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by Brett Murphy

The judicial panel of the UK House of Lords unanimously ruled Wednesday that a sexual assault victim could sue a convicted attacker who later won £7 million in the National Lottery even though the six-year limitation for bringing compensation claims had expired. The Lords held that the victim could bring the claim against Iorworth Hoare. …

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by Brett Murphy

Ousted Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry labeled Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf an "extremist" on Wednesday, chiding Musharraf for deposing 60 judges, slandering judges, and keeping Chaudhry under house arrest. The government of Pakistan has kept Chaudhry and several other judges and lawyers under preventative detention since Musharraf declared emergency rule …

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by Brett Murphy

The US Attorney's Office for the Central District of California has recommended that former Milberg Weiss partner William Lerach receive two years in prison for his part in the firm's illegal kickback scheme. Lerach pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to obstruct justice after reaching an agreement with prosecutors in September. In court …

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by Leslie Schulman

Lawyers for former Khmer Rouge official Nuon Chea on Wednesday filed a motion with the Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia (ECCC) requesting the removal of Cambodian military court chief Ney Thol from Nuon Chea's scheduled February 4 pre-trial hearing and all future proceedings relating to war crimes and crimes against …

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by Leslie Schulman

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Tuesday issued a report pushing for the enforcement of sanctions against more than 12 countries who continue to use child soldiers in armed combat. According to the report, child soldiers continue to be used in African and Asian countries, including in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Sudan and Sri Lanka, …

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