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Legal news from Friday, March 7, 2008
by Steve Czajkowski

Texas oil baron David Chalmers was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to forfeit $9 million Friday for paying millions in bribes to Iraqi officials in connection with the UN oil-for-food scandal. Chalmers, the owner of Bayoil USA Inc and Bayoil Supply and Trading Ltd, pleaded guilty last August to conspiracy to …

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by Steve Czajkowski

The US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is currently referring approximately 40 percent fewer criminal cases to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) for prosecution than it did 20 years ago, according to a study released Friday by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University. The study partly attributed the drop in …

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by Patrick Porter

A Scottish court Friday rejected the latest appeal for disclosure by defense lawyers representing Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, convicted in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Specifically, they were seeking access to a "missing document" that allegedly contains information about the timer used to bomb Pan Am Flight …

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by Patrick Porter

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on Friday concluded its review of US compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD). The committee praised the US for reauthorizing key laws, including the Violence Against Women Act and the Voting Rights Act, but …

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by Patrick Porter

Total payments in clergy abuse settlements nearly doubled in 2007 to reach $526 million, the highest number ever, according to an annual report by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops released Friday. The number of new allegations of abuse fell for the third year in a row, dropping by three …

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by Jaime Jansen

Two former Bosnian Serb police officers pleaded not guilty Friday to war crime charges before the War Crimes Chamber of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Krsto Savic is accused of involvement in the arrest and killing of 80 Muslims in Kalinovik during the Bosnian war, while Milko …

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by Jaime Jansen

A bill that would overturn a decision by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to deny a greenhouse emissions waiver to California was introduced in the US House of Representatives Thursday. The bill, which would allow states to introduce higher greenhouse emissions standards than those mandated by federal law, …

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by Jaime Jansen

Chinese rights activist Teng Biao has disappeared and is thought to have been detained by state authorities, rights group China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group said Friday. Teng, a lawyer with close ties to civil rights activist Hu Jia, did not return home Thursday evening, and neighbors witnessed an unidentified man being dragged …

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by Jaime Jansen

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said Friday that she will not seek a second term when her commission ends on June 30. Arbour's decision not to seek a second term was made public earlier this week, but Friday's comments during her annual report to the UN Human Rights …

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by Jaime Jansen

Chadian President Idriss Deby said Thursday that he may pardon six French aid workers convicted in Chad in December of attempting to kidnap 103 African children within a month. In February, Deby said that he is prepared to pardon the French citizens, but that he would only do so …

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