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Legal news from Wednesday, February 20, 2008
by Andrew Gilmore

Members of the European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee have criticized the European Union's terrorism watch list as unfair and opaque, saying that the process for adding names to the list should be changed, according to Wednesday media reports. The comments came during a debate on a November 2007 report by Rapporteur Dick …

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by Patrick Porter

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said through a spokesperson Wednesday that freedom of expression should take into account respect for religious beliefs. The comments come in response to the recent controversy over the reprinting of a cartoon depiction of the Muslim prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper. Ban's spokesperson added that the UN …

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by Deirdre Jurand

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) is urging the US Department of Justice to charge resigning Cuban leader Fidel Castro with murder for the 1996 killings of four US aid workers, according to Wednesday media reports. In a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Ros-Lehtinen said that prosecution would be possible as Castro will relinquish …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Kenyan opposition leaders said Wednesday that they would begin renewed demonstrations next week if the government does not make progress on writing a new constitution. Negotiations between Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and opposition candidate Raila Odinga appear to have stalled, but last Thursday both sides did agree to write a new constitution, a …

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by James M Yoch Jr

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday filed a complaint accusing former Refco Inc. CEO Phillip R. Bennett of committing civil fraud in connection with allegations that he reported false information about the futures trader's financial health. The civil fraud charges follow Bennett's guilty plea …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Russia Wednesday condemned a decision by the European Union to send a task force of police, prosecutors and judges into Kosovo to support the rule of law there after the expiry of the current UN mandate, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov calling it "in breach of …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday narrowly passed a bill legalizing euthanasia, in a move that could make Luxembourg the third European Union country to allow the controversial practice. Before it can take effect, the bill still has to be approved in a second reading. Provisions in the bill require …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Lawyers for a US Marine charged in connection with the killings of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha in November 2005 filed motions Tuesday requesting that the charges be dropped. Lt. Col. Jeffrey R. Chessani faces court-martial on April 28 for dereliction of duty and violation of a lawful order …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Pakistani lawyers will resume protests in Islamabad unless the superior court judges ousted in November 2007 by President Pervez Musharraf are reinstated, Pakistani Supreme Court Bar Association President Aitzaz Ahsan said Wednesday. Ahsan, originally detained in a security sweep after Musharraf's November 3 proclamation of emergency and put under house arrest again earlier …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The United States engages in widespread and systematic racial discrimination in violation of its obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), human rights groups said Wednesday. US Human Rights Network Executive Director Ajamu Baraka told reporters that the US has not adequately implemented ICERD since it first adopted the treaty …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Indictments for the leaders of Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) still remain in effect despite a recent agreement between the LRA and the Ugandan government to establish a national war crimes court, the International Criminal Court prosecutor's office said Wednesday. The ICC functions under the principle of complementarity …

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by Lisl Brunner

An Argentinean woman has brought charges against her adoptive parents for kidnapping her and falsifying her identity during Argentina's "Dirty War". While several other cases have dealt with the abduction of children by Argentinean military agents in the 1970s, this marks the first in which charges were brought by the adopted child. …

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by Brett Murphy

Former Cambodian head of state Khieu Samphan is ending his cooperation with the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), Khieu Samphan's lawyer told the Cambodia Daily in a Wednesday report. Khieu Samphan was arrested by the ECCC in November 2007 upon being released from the hospital where he was receiving …

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by Brett Murphy

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning on Tuesday filed a motion for rehearing asking the Nebraska Supreme Court to reconsider its recent decision banning the use of the electric chair. The motion listed five errors in the ruling as reasons why the court should rehear the case, including:1. The ruling created a …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The US Supreme Court handed down decisions in five cases Wednesday, including Rowe v. New Hampshire Motor Transport Association, where the Court held that federal law preempts two provisions of a Maine tobacco transport law requiring special inspection of incoming tobacco packages to prevent purchases from unlicensed retailers who …

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by Leslie Schulman

Egyptian police arrested 70 more members of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood Wednesday, most of whom were expected to run in upcoming provincial council elections scheduled for April 8. Egypt's provincial councils administer local municipal government services. These municipal elections were originally scheduled for 2006, but the Egyptian legislature passed a law …

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by Leslie Schulman

The court-martial of US Army Specialist Christopher P. Shore began in Hawaii Tuesday for charges of third-degree murder in the June 23, 2007 killing of an unarmed Iraqi civilian near the Iraqi city of Kirkuk. Shore originally faced charges of premeditated murder of the unspecified "Iraqi national," but those charges were later reduced. Closing arguments were expected …

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by Lisl Brunner

The resignation of Cuban President Fidel Castro could prompt lawsuits against him in Spanish courts for crimes against humanity, Spanish human rights lawyers indicated on Tuesday. In December, the Spanish Audiencia Nacional dismissed a claim against Castro and Cuban Minister of Tourism Osmani Cienfuegos for genocide, crimes against humanity, torture and terrorism. It was …

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