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Legal news from Friday, April 4, 2008
by Steve Czajkowski

Lawyers for the US Department of Justice defended the six-year detention of Huzaifa Parhat, a Chinese Uighur Muslim, at Guantanamo Bay in oral arguments before the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit Friday. The US claims Parhat is an "enemy combatant" due to his ties with the East Turkestan Islamic …

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by Eric Firkel

Zimbabwean opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) filed a lawsuit in the Harare High Court Friday to compel the country's Electoral Commission to release the results of last Saturday's elections. The commission has not yet announced a winner in the presidential election, although independent observers say that opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai [BBC …

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by Steve Czajkowski

Tibetan courts will swiftly prosecute demonstrators involved in protests against Chinese rule in Tibet last month, according to Friday state media reports. A top Tibet official was quoted as saying that over 1,000 protesters will face prosecution before May 1. Chinese officials have blamed the exiled Dalai Lama for organizing the protests by Buddhist monks …

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by Eric Firkel

A Montana death row inmate filed a lawsuit Thursday asserting that the lethal injection protocol used by Montana's Department of Corrections constitutes cruel and unusual punishment under both Article 2 of the Montana Constitution and the Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution. American Civil Liberties Union of Montana lawyers representing Ronald A. …

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by Patrick Porter

Serbian officials Friday condemned the Thursday war crimes acquittal of former Kosovo Prime Minister and Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) commander Ramush Haradinaj by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). In a television interview, Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica called the ruling "truly worrisome." Serbian officials …

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by Patrick Porter

Russian President Vladimir Putin Friday renewed assurances that Russia was ready to resume participation in the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE), so long as Western nations ratify the 1999 version of the treaty. Speaking at a NATO-Russia Council summit held in Romania, Putin said Russia is "ready to return to the …

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by Patrick Porter

South Korean prosecutors Friday questioned Samsung Chairman and CEO Kun-Hee Lee about allegations of corruption, including accusations that Samsung maintained a $200 million slush fund to bribe prosecutors, judges and civil servants. Former Samsung lawyer Yong-Chul Kim first raised the allegations in November 2007, but Samsung and Lee have denied that such a fund exists. …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Friday called on 12 countries, including Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Lebanon, to join the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) as the organization prepared to hold a review conference next week. So far, 183 countries have joined the treaty, which prohibits the use …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Russian State Duma, the country's lower house of parliament, voted 363-8 Friday to approve new restrictions on national referendums, despite a universal walk-out by all 57 Communist Party members. Referendums are binding under Russian law, and the new restrictions effectively bar referendums on issues including the national budget, taxes and …

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by Jaime Jansen

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said Friday that he will restore Pakistan's constitution, ensure the supremacy of the country's parliament, and preserve judicial independence. Speaking at a news conference commemorating the death of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the former civilian PM and founder of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) executed …

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by Jaime Jansen

The UN disability rights treaty will take effect on May 3, 30 days after the 20th country ratified the treaty. Ecuador became the 20th signatory of the pact Thursday after it opened for signature last March. The treaty protects the 650 million persons living with disabilities worldwide …

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by Jaime Jansen

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers announced in a joint statement Thursday that they have teamed up to provide experienced defense attorneys to defend seven or more specific detainees at Guantanamo Bay facing trials before a US Military Commission. The two groups are preparing …

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by Jaime Jansen

US Attorney General Michael Mukasey, National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff joined forces Thursday to speak out against the Free Flow of Information Act of 2007 in separate letters to US senators, arguing that the bill …

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