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Legal news from Thursday, April 3, 2008
by Benjamin Klein

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Thursday overturned class action certification for a lawsuit brought by "light" cigarette smokers against Philip Morris USA Inc., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and other light cigarette makers. The class action, which included anyone who has ever bought light cigarettes since they hit the market …

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by Steve Czajkowski

The detention of five prominent members of the Hindu Rights Action Force is proper because they are a threat to national security, Malaysian Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail told the country's Federal Court Thursday. Gani disputed arguments made Wednesday by the detainees' lawyer that their detention is illegal, saying that Malaysian Prime Minister …

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by Benjamin Klein

Turkish Chief Prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya said on Wednesday that critics of his decision to seek the disbanding of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) could face legal action. Yalcinkaya, who earlier this month petitioned the country's Constitutional Court to disband the AKP and bar 71 politicians, including Turkish …

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by Steve Czajkowski

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius Thursday signed legislation that bans protests within 150 feet of a funeral one hour before, during and two hours after the end of a service. The Kansas funeral privacy act also prohibits impeding a procession by obstructing a public street or sidewalk. A similar law was …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Thursday acquitted former Kosovo prime minister and Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) commander Ramush Haradinaj of all charges. Haradinaj and his two co-defendants, KLA fighters Idriz Balaj and Lahi Brahimaj, were charged with 37 counts …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Zimbabwe security forces Thursday detained journalists working for the New York Times and the Canadian Broadcasting Coiporation and raided offices belonging to opposition candidates in what some see as indications that long-time Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe may refuse to relinquish power if he is found to have lost last Saturday's general …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Law enforcement officials from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) violated the constitutional privacy and due process rights of suspected illegal aliens by raiding their homes, according to a complaint filed in New Jersey federal court Thursday. The lawsuit alleges that immigration officials entered eight homes in New Jersey between August 2006 …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The European Union Thursday certified that Kosovo's constitution is in line with its international obligations, guaranteeing the individual and community rights of all its citizens. The constitution is expected to come into effect on June 15, close to the date that EULEX Kosovo, a 1,800-strong European Union police and …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The European Union's Court of First Instance Thursday ruled that the Council of the European Union improperly listed the militant Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) on its list of terrorist organizations in 2002 because it failed to state its justifications for doing so. An EU official said that a new terror …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Milberg Weiss partner and co-founder Melvyn Weiss pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of racketeering conspiracy stemming from a long-running US Attorney investigation into an alleged kickback scheme. Weiss was indicted last year for conspiracy, racketeering, obstruction of justice and making false statements and initially pleaded not guilty in October 2007. …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

All 50 states have been granted extensions to comply with new requirements under the REAL ID Act, the US Department of Homeland Security said Wednesday. The extension pushes back the deadline for states to begin implementing new, more secure drivers' licenses to Dec. 31, 2009; in the meantime, citizens can continue …

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by Jaime Jansen

Chinese human rights activist Hu Jia was sentenced Thursday to 3.5 years in prison on charges of inciting subversion of state power. Hu's trial began last month; he was formally charged in February after he made public letters and recordings from Chinese lawyer Gao Zhisheng alleging that …

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by Jaime Jansen

Liberia struggles with corruption in its criminal justice system, poor detention conditions and sexual and gender-based violence, including rape and forced marriage, according to a UN Mission in Liberia combined quarterly report covering May-October 2007 that was released Wednesday. The report recommended that Liberia, a country still recovering from its civil war, institute …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Egyptian state prosecutor ordered an investigation Wednesday into accusations that 147 members of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood caused riots during unauthorized protests on Tuesday against the government for not allowing them to participate in municipal elections set for April 8. Egyptian security forces Tuesday arrested five members of the Brotherhood as they were posting …

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by Jaime Jansen

The US Justice Department advised the Bush administration in October 2001 that the protection against unreasonable searches and seizures enshrined in the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution did not apply to "domestic military operations" conducted in pursuit of terrorism suspects after the Sept. 11 attacks. The October 23, 2001 memo, authored by former Deputy …

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