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Legal news from Tuesday, February 19, 2008
by Kiely Lewandowski

Former Rwandan Minister of Youth and Sports Callixte Nzabonimana was arrested Monday in Tanzania on charges relating to Rwanda's 1994 genocide, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) said Tuesday. Nzabonimana faces charges of conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitements to commit genocide, …

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by Devin Montgomery

The US Supreme Court heard consolidated oral arguments Tuesday in Morgan Stanley Capital Group v. Public Utility Dist. 1, 06-1457 [docket; cert. petition, PDF], and American Elec. Power Service Corp. v. Public Utility Dist. 1, 06-1462 [docket; cert. petition, PDF]. Both cases involve long-term contracts made between …

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by Deirdre Jurand

A federal judge Tuesday refused to block enforcement of an Arizona law that penalizes employers who hire illegal immigrants while opponents of the law appeal their case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Civil rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund [advocacy …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

US District Judge Larry Burns sentenced former US defense contractor Brent Wilkes to 12 years in federal prison Tuesday for bribing now-former congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham in exchange for almost $90 million in Pentagon work. Wilkes was convicted in November 2007 of 13 felonies, including money laundering, fraud, and conspiracy. …

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by Deirdre Jurand

A New Jersey civil union law has not been able to effectively ensure that same-sex couples receive the same rights and privileges as heterosexual couples because of federal law, according to an official report issued Tuesday by the New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission (NJ-CURC). The New Jersey Civil Union Act requires that employers …

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by Caitlin Price

Former Russian Atomic Minister Yevgeny Adamov was found guilty in Moscow's Zamoskvoretsky District Court Tuesday of fraud and abuse of office for his involvement in a corruption scheme which misappropriated millions of dollars of US aid designated to upgrade unsafe Russian RBMK nuclear reactors. Adamov and co-defendants Vyacheslav Pismenny and Revmir Frayshut …

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by Caitlin Price

US District Judge Reggie B. Walton Tuesday threatened to hold a reporter in contempt of court if she continues to violate an August 2007 order to testify about government sources who provided five reporters with information about former US Army germ-warfare researcher Dr. Steven J. Hatfill. Former USA Today reporter Toni …

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by Caitlin Price

The government of Uganda has reached an agreement with the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) to establish a war crimes court to prosecute crimes against humanity committed during Uganda's civil war [BBC Q&A], the BBC reported Tuesday. A government spokesman said that a special unit will be established to investigate and prosecute …

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by Leslie Schulman

A committee appointed by the military government of Myanmar has completed work on a new draft constitution, state media reported Tuesday. The document was drafted by a 54-member constitution-drafting commission appointed by the junta, despite calls from the UN that the drafting process be open to outside groups. The draft is scheduled to go …

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by Leslie Schulman

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear five cases, including Herring v. United States (07-513) [docket; cert. petition, PDF], where the Court will decide whether evidence seized during a search incident to an arrest must be suppressed when the sole premise for the arrest was information later found to …

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by Michael Sung

The Federal Magistrate Court of Australia Tuesday relaxed certain control order restrictions against former Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks, permitting him to reside anywhere in the country subject to approval from the Australian Federal Police (AFP). Hicks will have to report twice a week to the AFP, and will still …

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by Michael Sung

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon Monday refused to comment on the legality of Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia, instead calling on all parties to "exercise maximum restraint" in response to the declaration. Ban also reiterated that "the recognition of states" is a decision for other states and not the UN Secretariat. He …

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by Michael Sung

The six children of former Indonesian President Haji Mohammed Suharto failed to appear in court Tuesday, ignoring a court summons to defend Suharto's estate in a civil corruption case. Suharto's defense lawyer, who wanted to introduce legal expert testimony on behalf of the heirs, was unable to represent Suharto's children because he …

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by Michael Sung

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) conceded defeat Tuesday in parliamentary elections as unofficial results tentatively gave the opposition parties of assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approximately 60 percent of 272 seats in the National Assembly of Pakistan. …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The Afghan journalism student who was sentenced to death in January for distributing papers questioning gender roles under Islamic practice will be provided the right to appeal his death sentence in open court, an Afghanistan Supreme Court justice told London's Independent on Monday. Sayad Parwez Kambaksh was convicted of blasphemy for distributing papers questioning why Islam permits …

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