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Legal news from Wednesday, February 6, 2008
by Patrick Porter

Guantanamo Bay commander US Navy Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby confirmed the existence of a secret camp at the detention facility for alleged al-Qaeda members classified as "high-value detainees" in an interview with AP Wednesday. Buzby said prisoners in so-called "Camp 7" are kept apart from other prisoners to prevent violence against those who have provided information …

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by Deirdre Jurand

The Grand National Assembly of Turkey Wednesday preliminarily approved a proposed amendment to the country's constitution that would ease a current ban on Islamic headscarves and allow women to wear headscarves in universities. The measure passed 401-99 in a secret ballot. A final vote on the constitutional revision proposed by the ruling Justice and …

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by Andrew Gilmore

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak sharply criticized the White House Wednesday for defending the use of waterboarding, calling the practice "absolutely unacceptable under international human rights law." Nowak's comments, as well as the White House defense of the interrogation technique, came after CIA Director Michael Hayden confirmed at a Tuesday …

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by Patrick Porter

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown Wednesday said he supports allowing UK courts to hear some evidence obtained through wiretap surveillance, telling parliament that the long-time prohibition against wiretap evidence should be lifted in situations where "key conditions" are met. Brown said that admissible wiretap evidence would be limited to only information which cannot be acquired by …

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by Deirdre Jurand

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) said Wednesday that the trial of former Croatian general Ante Gotovina and two other military commanders will begin March 11. Gotovina and commanders Ivan Cermak and Mladen Markac were indicted in 2001 for alleged crimes against humanity …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Peter Herby, head of the Arms Unit of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), expressed hope Wednesday that text of a treaty to ban the use of cluster bombs could be approved at a conference in Dublin in May and signed by most countries within the year, even if the …

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by Alexis Unkovic

US Attorney General Michael Mukasey is expected to testify before the House Judiciary Committee Thursday in opposition to a unanimous December 2007 decision by the US Sentencing Commission to retroactively reduce penalties for crack cocaine offenders. That decision gives retroactive effect to an earlier amendment to the Federal Sentencing …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Spanish National Court Judge Fernando Andreu Wednesday indicted 40 members of the Rwandan military on genocide and terrorism charges stemming from crimes allegedly committed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide that claimed some 800,000 lives. Andreu reportedly began investigating the Rwandan case in 2005 and indicated Wednesday that he could have also indicted Rwandan President Paul …

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by Brett Murphy

The White House Wednesday defended the use of waterboarding, saying that the technique is legal. In response to questions as to whether waterboarding constituted torture, White House spokesman Tony Fratto reiterated that the US does not practice torture and "that the programs have been reviewed, and the Department of Justice has determined them …

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by Brett Murphy

A Russian court Wednesday denied former Yukos executive and lawyer Vasily Aleksanian temporary release from jail to receive medical treatment, even as the trial was suspended to allow him to be treated for health issues. Aleksanian's lawyers had requested that he be admitted to a hospital for treatment for AIDS-related cancer and tuberculosis, but the court …

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by Leslie Schulman

US District Judge James Ware of the US District Court for the Northern District of California heard arguments Tuesday on the government's motion to dismiss a lawsuit against Jeppesen Dataplan on state secrets grounds. The Justice Department argued that the lawsuit, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union over Jeppesen's alleged role in the CIA's …

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by Leslie Schulman

The corruption trial of former Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed was halted Wednesday when the Dhaka High Court ruled that she could not be tried by a special court established under state of emergency rules because the alleged crimes occurred before the national state of emergency was declared last January. Hasina …

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by Leslie Schulman

Opponents of a new anti-immigration measure in Farmers Branch, Texas filed a lawsuit Tuesday arguing that the measure was not properly approved. The ordinance was passed by the Dallas suburb's City Council last month, but the suit alleges that it was approved in violation of the Texas Open Meetings …

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