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Legal news from Monday, February 11, 2008
by Andrew Gilmore

Amnesty International on Monday sharply criticized the Cambodian government for forcibly evicting impoverished citizens from their homes to make way for tourism development and infrastructure projects. In a report entitled "Rights Razed - Forced Evictions in Cambodia," Amnesty said that since 2003 nearly 30,000 Cambodians in the capital city of Phnom Penh have been …

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by Alexis Unkovic

A nine-member judicial committee of the UK House of Lords heard testimony Monday in the case of two mothers of soldiers killed in Iraq who are seeking to force the British government to hold a public inquiry into the UK's decision to go to war in Iraq. Beverley Clarke and Rose Gentle argue that the government's refusal …

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by Alexis Unkovic

A former Chinese-American engineer at Boeing was arrested Monday for allegedly stealing corporate trade secrets related to the Space Shuttle and other aerospace programs and turning them over to China. Dongfan "Greg" Chung was indicted last Wednesday on charges of economic espionage, conspiracy to commit economic espionage, obstruction of …

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by Alexis Unkovic

US District Judge John Walter of the Central District of California on Monday sentenced former Milberg Weiss partner William Lerach to 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 …

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by Alexis Unkovic

An Egyptian appeals court Monday overturned the jail sentence of an Al Jazeera television reporter convicted for her role in producing a film on police torture. Howayda Taha was tried in May 2007; she was sentenced in absentia to six months in prison and fined 20,000 Egyptian pounds for her work on a …

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by Caitlin Price

Jailed Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky ended a nearly two-week long hunger strike Monday as former Yukos executive and lawyer Vasily Aleksanian was confirmed to have been transferred to a Moscow hospital for treatment. Khodorkovsky began his hunger strike after Aleksanian was denied medical treatment for AIDS, …

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by Caitlin Price

Estonia has signed an enforcement of sentences agreement with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to allow ICTY convicts to be held in Estonian prisons, the ICTY announced Monday. Under the agreement, ICTY suspects who are held at a detention unit in The Hague during …

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by Caitlin Price

Former Congolese Nationalist and Integrationist Front leader Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui on Monday appeared before the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague for the first time. The public hearing allowed judges to verify Ngudjolo Chui's identity and to read his arrest warrant for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity. Ngudjolo Chui's lawyer …

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by Michael Sung

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Rwanda Monday urged the international community and Interpol to ignore arrest warrants issued last week for 40 Rwandan military officers by Spanish National Court Judge Fernando Andreu, saying the warrants were based on "falsehoods" from "well-known detractors of Rwanda." Last Wednesday, Andreu indicted the officers …

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by Michael Sung

Two opposition groups in Myanmar, the 88 Generation Students and the National League for Democracy (NLD), on Monday urged citizens to reject a proposed constitutional referendum put forth by Myanmar's military government. In a statement to Reuters, the 88 Generation Students called the proposal a "sham" to legalize military rule. Last Saturday, the military …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) on Monday launched a new nationwide boycott of the courts to protest President Pervez Musharraf's November ouster of Pakistani Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and to demand his reinstatement and that of other ousted superior court judges. Chaudhry and the other judges were effectively dismissed on November …

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by Michael Sung

A multi-party coalition of Japanese parliamentarians said Monday that they have drafted a bill proposing a four-year moratorium on the death penalty and giving convicts already on death row life sentences without the possibility of parole. The bill is likely to face opposition from Japanese Minister of Justice Kunio Hatoyama, who is a supporter of the death penalty [JURIST …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Spanish police on Monday arrested 13 suspected members of Batasuna, the banned political arm of the armed Basque separatist group ETA, one month before Spain's March general elections. The same Spanish National Court judge who ordered Monday's arrests last week banned two Basque political parties from fielding candidates in the …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The Pentagon is expected to announce Monday that military prosecutors will seek the death penalty against six Guantanamo detainees accused of involvement in the Sept. 11 terror attacks, according to government sources speaking on condition of anonymity. Under the 2006 Military Commissions Act (MCA), the convening authority who oversees the military commissions process, former US Court of …

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