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Legal news from Wednesday, March 5, 2008
by Patrick Porter

The US Department of Defense said Wednesday that two charges have been referred against Guantanamo Bay detainee Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud al Qosi. The military commission charges referred are "providing material support to terrorism and conspiring with Usama bin Laden and other al Qaeda members to target, attack and murder civilians; attack …

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by Deirdre Jurand

A federal jury in the US District Court for the District of Connecticut on Wednesday convicted a former sailor of providing material support to terrorists and disclosing confidential national defense information. Hassan Abu-Jihaad, formerly known as Paul R. Hall, was a signalman on the USS Benfold in 2001, when prosecutors alleged that …

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by Patrick Porter

The government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will refuse to execute Ali Hassan al-Mahid, better known in the Western media as "Chemical Ali," over the Iraqi Presidency Council's decision not to approve the death sentences of al-Mahid's two co-defendants, an Iraqi government spokesperson told AP Wednesday. The Presidency Council approved al-Mahid's execution [JURIST …

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by Deirdre Jurand

Mexican drug lord Francisco Rafael Arellano-Felix was released from a US prison Tuesday and has returned to Mexico, according to a source at the Mexican Attorney General's office. Arellano-Felix ran the Arellano-Felix cartel until his 1993 arrest. He served more than 11 years in prison in Mexico on drug and illegal-weapons charges, before …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The UK House of Commons Wednesday voted 311-248 against putting ratification of the new EU reform treaty, properly known as the Treaty of Lisbon, to a public vote, thereby rejecting proposals for a national referendum. Parliament itself will now consider whether to ratify the treaty, drafted to replace the failed European Constitution …

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by Alexis Unkovic

US District Judge Adalberto Jordan of the Southern District of Florida Tuesday ordered former Peruvian military official Maj. Telmo Ricardo Hurtado to pay $37 million in damages to two survivors of the 1985 Accomarca massacre and the estates of their slain family members after previously ruling that Hurtado had committed torture, …

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by Alexis Unkovic

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour told members of her staff Wednesday that she will not seek a second term when her four-year commission ends on June 30, confirming a Monday report by the Washington Post. Arbour reportedly did not specify a reason for her decision, but said she plans to make …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The number of discrimination charges against private employers filed with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) increased by nine percent in 2007, the biggest annual increase since the early 1990s, according to EEOC statistics released Wednesday. Of the 82,792 complaints filed with the EEOC in 2007, 37 percent covered allegations of racial …

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by Katerina Ossenova

FBI Director Robert Mueller told the US Senate Judiciary Committee in testimony Wednesday that the FBI had inappropriately accessed private citizens' communication and financial records in 2006 through national security letters (NSLs), according to an as-yet-unreleased report by the DOJ Office of the Inspector General. A March 2007 DOJ report on …

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by Katerina Ossenova

A former Bosnian Serb leader who was convicted in 2004 of war crimes committed during the Bosnian War has been transferred to a Danish prison, a Danish Ministry of Justice spokesman said Wednesday. In 2004, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) sentenced Radislav …

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by Lisl Brunner

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe declared Tuesday that his country would bring charges against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in the International Criminal Court (ICC) for allegedly "sponsoring and financing genocide" in Colombia. It was not immediately evident, however, how the ICC could take jurisdiction of such a case [Radio …

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by Leslie Schulman

A Pakistani court Wednesday dropped five graft cases against Asif Ali Zardari, the new leader of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and widower of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. The court also released Zardari's assets, which had been frozen pending the corruption cases. The court's decision follows a "reconciliation …

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by Leslie Schulman

The head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday refused to disclose a timeline for the agency's compliance with last year's Supreme Court ruling that the EPA has the authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate the emission of "greenhouse gases," such as carbon dioxide, by automobiles. In its …

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