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Legal news from Wednesday, April 9, 2008
by Bernard Hibbitts

Opposing groups of Pakistani lawyers clashed with each other in the city of Karachi Wednesday, prompting widespread rioting that led to at least seven deaths. Lawyers supporting Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf who gathered to protest the Tuesday lawyers' beating in Lahore of former Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sher Afgan Niazi were confronted after their meeting by anti-Musharraf …

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by Deirdre Jurand

The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Tuesday that it will not allow the new UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) envoy on Israeli human rights to enter either Israel or the Palestinian territories after he called current Israeli actions against Palestinians a "Holocaust in the making." In a Tuesday BBC interview, Richard Falk, …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform issued a subpoena Wednesday to compel the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to turn over documents relating to White House involvement in the EPA decision to deny California's request for a greenhouse emissions waiver in December 2007. In a statement, Committee Chairman Rep. …

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by Patrick Porter

The Nebraska Supreme Court Wednesday rejected a motion for rehearing filed by state Attorney General Jon Bruning asking the court to reconsider its February ruling that execution by electric chair is "cruel and unusual" punishment and therefore prohibited by the Nebraska constitution. Bruning said he would appeal the decision to …

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by Andrew Gilmore

A four-member Iraqi judiciary committee has dismissed terrorism-related charges against Associated Press (AP) photographer Bilal Hussein and ordered his release. Hussein has been held by the US military since his arrest in April 2006 for allegedly possessing equipment to construct roadside bombs. The panel's ruling comes under a new amnesty law passed …

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by Deirdre Jurand

A judge in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled Wednesday that an Afghan tribal chief charged with conspiring to violate US narcotics laws must face trial even though US officials lured him into the United States. Drug Enforcement Administration officials arrested Bashir Noorzai in April …

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by Patrick Porter

The Court of Appeal in London Wednesday blocked two separate orders to extradite two terror suspects to Libya and another convicted terrorist to Jordan, citing concerns that they would face torture and be denied a fair trial on arrival. The ruling overturned a February 2007 decision by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission to deport Islamic …

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by Alexis Unkovic

A Saudi Arabian Guantanamo Bay detainee said during a pre-trial hearing Wednesday that he plans to boycott his upcoming military commission trial and does not wish to attend or have legal representation. Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed Haza al-Darbi described the proceedings as a "sham" and argued that the US military commissions system constitutes a "crime against humanity." A …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Malaysia Abdul Hamid Mohamad indicated his support Wednesday for the creation of an independent body to govern the appointment and promotion of judges, reportedly telling a group of judges that it would help "regain the confidence of the public in the judiciary." In March, newly appointed Malaysian Law Minister Zaid …

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by Alexis Unkovic

Police in China have detained 953 people, of which 403 have been formally arrested, in connection with protests against Chinese rule in Tibet last month, Chairman of the Government of the Tibet Autonomous Region Qiangba Puncog said Wednesday. Last Friday, a top Tibetan official was quoted as saying that Tibetan courts would …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Myanmar's 45-member Referendum Holding Commission has scheduled a planned national constitutional referendum for May 10, the military government announced Wednesday. Opposition groups like the National League for Democracy (NLD) have urged citizens to reject the proposed constitution put forth by the military government, labeling the referendum a "sham" to legalize military rule. AP reported last …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The US Department of Defense has assigned Navy Captain Prescott Prince to defend confessed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed before a US military commission, the Miami Herald reported Tuesday. In February, the US government said it would seek the death penalty for Mohammed and five other Guantanamo …

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by Katerina Ossenova

A 2003 US Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel memorandum demonstrates that the detention of Illinois resident and Qatari native Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri "lacks legal basis" as the detention was based on now-discredited legal opinions, a lawyer for al-Marri argued in a letter submitted to the US …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The Assembly of Kosovo Wednesday adopted the country's new draft constitution without a vote, which was signed earlier this week by top Kosovo officials. Last week, the European Union certified that the seceded Serbian province's constitution is in line with its international obligations, guaranteeing the individual and community …

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by Brett Murphy

A Peruvian court Tuesday convicted four former Peruvian military officers of kidnapping and murder for their roles in the 1992 La Cantuta massacre, which left one professor and nine students at Lima's La Cantuta University dead. The military general and three military death squad soldiers convicted each received prison sentences ranging from 15 to 35 years, while …

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by Brett Murphy

The judicial members of the House of Lords making up Britain's highest court on Wednesday denied a request by two mothers of soldiers killed in Iraq for a public inquiry into the legality of UK's decision to go to war in Iraq. The mothers had requested an inquiry into the decision to go to war based …

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by Brett Murphy

Human Rights Watch accused the CIA Tuesday of transferring terror suspects to Jordan following September 11, saying that the US sent them there for interrogations as part of the CIA's rendition program. HRW reported that at least 14 persons were sent to Jordan, saying that:From 2001 until at least 2004, Jordan's …

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by Leslie Schulman

Pakistani Supreme Court Bar Association President Aitzaz Ahsan said Tuesday he was resigning as head of the lawyer's association and then appeared to back away from that statement after a crowd of lawyers and other persons in Lahore beat up former Pakistani Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sher Afgan Niazi. Ahsan, who has …

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by Leslie Schulman

The National Assembly of Senegal on Tuesday amended the Senegalese Constitution to give Senegalese courts jurisdiction over the trial of former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre, who is accused of crimes against humanity. Habre was accused in 1992 by a Chadian Truth Commission of committing some 40,000 acts …

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by Leslie Schulman

Daniel Bellemare, the former Canadian federal prosecutor now heading the United Nations probe into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, asked the UN Security Council Tuesday to extend his investigative authority beyond its mandated June 15 expiration, saying the investigation was making progress but that no indictments would be …

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