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Legal news from Wednesday, March 12, 2008
by Mike Rosen-Molina

An Afghan Guantanamo Bay detainee alleged that he has been mistreated in custody and asked to boycott his upcoming trial at his first pretrial hearing before a military commission Wednesday. Mohammed Jawad is charged with attempted murder and intentionally causing serious bodily harm for allegedly throwing a grenade at …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Justice Anne Mactavish of the Federal Court of Canada ruled Wednesday that the protections of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms do not extend to Afghan detainees captured by Canadian soldiers. Amnesty International Canada and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association had filed complaints against the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal (CFPM) [official …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

A second employee of French bank Societe Generale has been detained in connection with the investigation into fraudulent activity allegedly committed by rogue trader Jerome Kerviel, the bank said Tuesday. A Societe Generale spokesperson did not name the man but did confirm that he is not the same banker questioned in late February. …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

The appeals chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) Wednesday upheld the conviction of Catholic priest Father Athanase Seromba for genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and increased his sentence to life in prison. Seromba, who was acquitted of the …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A former militia commander testified Wednesday before the Special Court for Sierra Leone at the war crimes trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor, describing scare tactics used by Taylor to intimidate the population and frighten his enemies. Joseph Marzah said that Taylor had ordered him to kill civilians and told him …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

The resignation of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer Wednesday following disclosure of his involvement with a prostitution ring subject to a federal wiretap has interrupted and potentially compromised a series of law reform initiatives championed by the former state attorney general. Among the most prominent of those is a bill to …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Several provincial Egyptian courts ruled Tuesday that members of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood must be allowed to register as candidates in the upcoming local council elections in April, even as Egyptian police continued arrests of group members. Egyptian police arrested at least 10 Brotherhood members on Wednesday, adding to the 54 members arrested last Tuesday …

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by Devin Montgomery

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak said Tuesday that US officials have refused to grant him access to US prisons operating in Iraq when he travels to the country later in the year. Nowak told reporters in Geneva that US officials told him the facilities were outside his purview because of the ongoing military conflict in …

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by Devin Montgomery

Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra Wednesday pleaded not guilty to charges of abuse of power for personal gain, conflict of interest violations, and dereliction of duty for personal gain in corruption proceedings before the Supreme Court of Thailand. The charges stem from a 2003 land purchase by his wife Pojamarn from …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US House of Representatives Tuesday voted 229-182 to pass a resolution creating an independent ethics panel to investigate allegations of malfeasance against House lawmakers. The Office of Congressional Ethics will consist of six non-House members of "exceptional public standing." This represents the first time that the House has delegated the authority …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Telecommunications companies who have assisted the government in its warrantless surveillance program would not be provided retroactive immunity from prosecution under the latest version of proposed surveillance legislation being considered by the US House of Representatives. The companies, however, would be allowed to present classified evidence in their defense without granting access to plaintiffs. Democratic Party …

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by Jeannie Shawl

A member of the National Human Rights Commission of Indonesia said Tuesday that the commission has launched an investigation into human rights abuses committed during the regime of former Indonesian President Haji Mohammad Suharto, telling AP that four separate teams will work until mid-May to gather evidence into killings, kidnappings and other …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The UK House of Commons voted 346-206 Tuesday in favor of the EU reform treaty, properly known as the Treaty of Lisbon. MPs adopted the European Union (Amendment) Bill, which will incorporate the Treaty of Lisbon into UK law, after the bill's third reading. The bill now …

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by Devin Montgomery

Democrats in the US House of Representatives Tuesday failed to secure enough votes to override President George W. Bush's veto of the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2008, which would have prohibited the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from using waterboarding and other interrogation techniques not explicitly authorized by the 2006 …

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