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Legal news from Tuesday, March 11, 2008
by Jeannie Shawl

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday granted a request filed by former USA Today reporter Toni Locy to block a daily contempt of court fine while Locy appeals the district court decision to impose sanctions against her for refusing to disclose government sources who provided information about …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Leaders of Uganda's rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) will stand trial in Uganda rather than at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni told AP Tuesday. Museveni said that the Ugandan government and LRA had reached a deal to try some LRA members under a traditional mediation …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The US State Department Tuesday heavily criticized the right records of North Korea, Iran, Myanmar, Syria, Zimbabwe, Cuba, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Eritrea and Sudan Tuesday in its annual report on worldwide human rights observance. In the introduction to the its 2007 Reports on Human Rights Practices, the Department noted that "Countries in which power was concentrated in the …

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by Deirdre Jurand

A Belgian government commission on restitution for Holocaust victims issued its final report Tuesday, finding that Holocaust survivors, victims' families and the general Jewish community should receive $170 million to compensate for the money and goods they lost during World War II. The Belgian government and Belgian banks Tuesday agreed to pay the figure; $54 …

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by Deirdre Jurand

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the state's anti-funeral picketing law is unconstitutional, finding that it violates the separation of powers doctrine implied by the Kansas constitution. The court ruled that the law's judicial trigger provision, which said the law could not be enforced until it was declared constitutional …

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by Deirdre Jurand

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo asked the Philippine Congress Tuesday to work with her administration to pass a comprehensive anti-corruption reform act to fight the corruption she said has plagued the country for decades. Arroyo noted that the country's 2008 budget dedicates more money than previous budgets to anti-corruption efforts. Reuters has more.Corruption …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

South African politician Jacob Zuma launched a legal challenge Tuesday in the South African Constitutional Court seeking to have evidence excluded from his upcoming corruption trial. Zuma argued that evidence seized in 2005 raids by the Directorate of Special Investigations, also known as "The Scorpions," should be thrown …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The legitimacy of military commissions of Guantanamo Bay detainees will be undermined by "the admission of evidence tainted by torture," according to a report released Monday by Human Rights First. The report cites the cases of six Guantanamo Bay detainees who have alleged that they were tortured in US custody, …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The first trial of a defendant accused of involvement in "forced disappearances" during Guatemala's 36-year civil war opened Monday. Felipe Cusanero, a former member of a civilian paramilitary unit, is alleged to have been responsible for the disappearances of at least six people from the farming village of Choatalum between 1982 and 1984. AP has more.During the …

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by Michael Sung

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) began the trial of Croatian general Ante Gotovina and two other militant commanders Tuesday. Gotovina, Ivan Cermak, and Mladen Markac, are charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity for their alleged involvement in the 1995 Operation …

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by Michael Sung

US House Government Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) accused the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Monday of withholding information from the committee and threatened to take action to compel production of the requested information connected to the EPA's decision to turn down California's greenhouse gas emissions waiver request. In a letter …

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by Michael Sung

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) issued new guidelines Monday limiting the appointment of independent monitors to verify corporate compliance with deferred-prosecution agreements. The new guidelines, which prohibit corporations from hiring monitors with existing ties to the government or the corporation, will also require US attorneys to obtain clearance from the deputy attorney general before hiring monitors. …

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by Michael Sung

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak accused Nigeria's national police of widespread human rights violations Monday, telling the UN Human Rights Council that Nigerian police routinely tortured suspects during investigations. Nowak also deplored Nigeria's unsanitary and overcrowded detention facilities, saying that some prisoners even lacked food and water. The UN Human Rights Council is …

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