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Legal news from Thursday, February 7, 2008
by Nick Fiske

The French Senate and National Assembly Thursday approved the new EU reform treaty, properly known as the Treaty of Lisbon. The treaty now goes to French President Nicolas Sarkozy for signature. France's opposition Socialist Party had pushed for a national referendum regarding …

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by Nick Fiske

Canadian Federal Court Justice Anne Mactavish Thursday refused to issue an interlocutory injunction that would have prohibited the Canadian military from turning over detainees to Afghan authorities. Amnesty International Canada and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) had requested the injunction, alleging that detainees may be subjected to torture in Afghan custody …

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by Benjamin Klein

Former Yukos executive and lawyer Vasily Aleksanian will be transferred from jail to a civilian clinic for medical treatment, Russia's Federal Penitentiary Service said Thursday. The announcement apparently reverses a Wednesday Russian court ruling denying Aleksanian temporary medical release. The European Court of Human Rights has called on Russia three times to …

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by Benjamin Klein

The UK Home Office Thursday approved the extradition of Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri to the United States on charges of supporting terrorism. Abu Hamza, currently serving a seven-year sentence in the UK for urging his followers to kill Jews and other non-Muslims, faces US charges …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Lawyers for Yemeni Guantanamo Bay detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan argued at a preliminary hearing Thursday that the charges against Hamdan should be dropped because his alleged crimes were not considered violations of the rules of war at the time they were committed and that the Military Commissions Act of 2006 [PDF text; …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

US Attorney General Michael Mukasey Thursday rejected Democratic calls to launch a Department of Justice (DOJ) probe into the CIA's admitted use of waterboarding on three terror detainees. In testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Mukasey said that because the CIA had relied on a DOJ opinion that found waterboarding to be legal, …

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by Brett Murphy

The Pakistani Interior Ministry has arrested two suspects for their alleged involvement in the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, officials said Thursday. The two men, identified only as Hasnain and Rafaqat, are said by the Pakistani government to be "two very important alleged terrorists." AFP has more. AP has additional coverage.In January, …

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by Brett Murphy

Former Khmer Rouge official Nuon Chea asked the Pre-Trial Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia (ECCC) to release him from provisional detention Thursday and argued that his prior contact with the court was illegal because he did not have a lawyer with him and had not waived his …

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by Brett Murphy

Chadian President Idriss Deby said Thursday that he is prepared to pardon six aid workers convicted in Chad in December of attempting to kidnap 103 African children. In an interview with Europe-1 radio, Deby said that he was willing to issue a pardon but could only do so if he received a request …

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by Brett Murphy

Iranian judiciary chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Shahroudi has issued a decree barring judges from ordering the detention of suspects without the filing of formal charges, Iranian media reported Wednesday. Currently, the Iranian Constitution allows suspects to be held for up to 24 hours without charges. The decree also calls on judicial institutions to refrain from summoning people or granting …

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by Brett Murphy

Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo arrested former Nationalist and Integrationist Front (FNI) leader Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui on Wednesday on war crimes and crimes against humanity charges and transferred him to the International Criminal Court at The Hague. Ngudjolo is accused of planning and carrying out an attack against …

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by Jaime Jansen

The lower house of the Canadian parliament passed a new security certificates bill Wednesday by a margin of 196-71. The House of Commons introduced the bill in October in response to last year's Supreme Court decision that gave it one year to re-write existing law or have it voided as unconstitutional. Security certificates …

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by Jaime Jansen

The federal judge presiding over the trial of 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui was seeking information about the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah around the time the CIA destroyed videotapes of the interrogations of terror suspects, including Zubaydah, according to court documents released in the Moussaoui case Wednesday. The court …

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by Jaime Jansen

A federal judge rejected an argument Wednesday by US Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) that an indictment against him unconstitutionally violated the Speech or Debate Clause, saying that Jefferson has "focused immunity" rather than "expansive immunity" under the clause. Jefferson had argued that grand jury testimony given by his staffers violated the …

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