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Legal news from Thursday, March 27, 2008
by Benjamin Klein

A magistrate in Zimbabwe on Thursday handed down a six-month suspended jail sentence to the first white farmer convicted for refusing to vacate his farm after it was declared state property under Zimbabwe's farm seizure program. Deon Theron was convicted last Tuesday of unlawfully remaining on his farm, and several other white farmers are …

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by Nick Fiske

The Belarus KGB Thursday detained at least 16 journalists and searched their homes and offices for materials that allegedly libel Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko. The Belarus Deputy Prosecutor General said that the searches related to an animated Internet cartoon that allegedly insulted Lukashenko and had been broadcast on Belsat TV, a …

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by Benjamin Klein

The UN has raised sufficient funds to cover the first-year costs of an international tribunal with the mandate of investigating and trying suspects in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, UN Legal Counsel Nicolas Michel said Thursday. Michel said that the UN has so far received a total of $60.3 …

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by Nick Fiske

US Attorney General Michael Mukasey said Thursday he would personally ensure that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) does not bow to political pressure as it prosecutes government officials for corruption. In a speech to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Mukasey said:Public corruption can inflict damage that is not only costly but also …

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by Katerina Ossenova

UK Secretary of State for Defence Des Browne admitted Thursday that British soldiers had violated the human rights of several Iraqi detainees in Basra in 2003, saying that the Ministry of Defence would specifically admit to substantive breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights at a hearing scheduled to take place Friday. Nine Iraqi …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution Thursday urging Sudan to address human rights violations and to prosecute perpetrators of rights abuses. The resolution, introduced by Egypt, also acknowledged that Sudan had instituted some measures to protect human rights, a concession apparently included to avoid a contentious vote. Last week, the UN High Commissioner for Human …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Proposals put forth by the European Commission to regulate passports and create a centralized fingerprint database fail to adequately address privacy concerns, the head of the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) said in an opinion letter released Wednesday. Peter Hustinx said the Commission's plans do not adequately address the inherent imperfections of …

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by Joshua Pantesco

A federal grand jury in San Juan, Puerto Rico charged Puerto Rican Governor Anibal Acevedo Vila and 12 associates with 27 counts of conspiracy, false statements, wire fraud, federal program fraud and tax crimes related to campaign financing, and other crimes in an indictment unsealed Thursday. The charges stem from the …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Journalist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted in 1982 of killing Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner after a traffic stop, may escape the death penalty after the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on Thursday issued an opinion affirming a federal judge's allowance of a new sentencing …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) made good on earlier promises to investigate high-ranking governmental officials on Wednesday by formally launching an investigation into former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo. An EFCC spokesperson advised the public to be patient with the pace of the investigation, which he said will take time to produce results. …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Thursday urged the United Nations to scrutinize the Philippine government's response to accusations that the Philippines military has engaged in extrajudicial killings of left-wing activists since 2001. HRW's press release comes two weeks before the UN Human Rights Council is scheduled to hold the first meeting of the …

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by Jaime Jansen

EU and NATO forces on Thursday raided the homes of family members of wanted Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic, looking for information on Karadzic's location. In a sunrise raid, the forces entered the homes of Karadzic's wife Ljiljana Zelen Karadzic, his daughter Sonja Karadzic Jovicevic and alleged aide Smiljka Popov. The forces questions …

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by Jaime Jansen

An Indonesian court cleared former Indonesian President Haji Mohammed Suharto and his heirs Thursday of civil liability in a corruption case involving state funds allegedly stolen by a charitable foundation run by Suharto. Dismissing the $1.1 billion damage claim leveled against Suharto, the court ordered the foundation to repay $110 million out of $440 …

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by Jaime Jansen

A federal judge in the Eastern District of Michigan on Wednesday struck down a Michigan election law that limits access to information on presidential primary voters to the Democratic and Republican parties, blocking the state from releasing the voter lists from the Jan. 15 presidential primary election to the two political parties. The …

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