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Legal news from Thursday, April 17, 2008
by Nick Fiske

An Egyptian military court has yet to release details of the charges on which 25 members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood were convicted and sentenced Tuesday, a lawyer for the Brotherhood told Reuters Thursday. In a unusual move, the court had blocked the Brotherhood's lawyers, the media, and defendants' families from the courtroom …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A Chilean court Thursday sentenced a retired general to 15 years in prison for his role in the 1974 disappearance of a political dissident. General Manuel Contreras, the secret police chief under former dictator Augusto Pinochet, is already serving a cumulative prison sentence of 57 years for several other convictions. AP has more.In January, …

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by Nick Fiske

The US House Judiciary Committee Thursday called upon former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove to testify concerning any involvement in the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman on federal corruption charges in 2005. In a letter to Rove, the committee expressed concern over allegations …

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by Benjamin Klein

Nepalese police detained more than 500 Tibetan monks, refugees, and other protesters near the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu Thursday as demonstrations continued against China's recent crackdown against pro-Tibet protests. Thursday's detentions follow a sweep of arrests in late March in which hundreds were taken into Nepalese police custody. Since demonstrations began …

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by Benjamin Klein

A Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas judge Thursday issued a temporary restraining order blocking Philadelphia from enforcing new gun control legislation that would have banned the sale of assault weapons, required owners to report lost or stolen guns within 24 hours, and limited firearms purchases to one per month. The National …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Former Russian Atomic Energy Minister Yevgeny Adamov was released from prison Thursday after a Moscow City Court suspended his sentence. Adamov was convicted on charges of fraud and abuse of office in February and sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison by Moscow's Zamoskvoretsky District Court. Adamov said he plans to appeal …

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by Katerina Ossenova

A lawyer for Chinese human rights activist Hu Jia, sentenced in early April to over three years in prison on charges of inciting subversion of state power, said Thursday that his client has been denied an appeal. Hu's lawyer said that Hu had 10 days to appeal his conviction, …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Two videotapes showing CIA officers interrogating al Qaeda suspects are likely not related to a federal case filed by a Guantanamo Bay detainee and thus not covered by a court order entered in that case directing the CIA to preserve evidence relating to the case, the CIA argued in court papers filed Wednesday. The filing came in response to …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Martial law will be lifted in most of Thailand, new Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej said Thursday. Sundaravej said that while the restrictions were no longer necessary after elections in December and the passage of the controversial Internal Security Bill, martial law will still remain in effect in three southern provinces, which are home to …

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by Katerina Ossenova

Current Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) Thursday accused opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) of treason. Mugabe's government has said that Tsvangirai and Britain are conspiring to overthrow Mugabe; Tsvangirai denied the …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Iowa House voted 84-16 Wednesday to pass a bill that would require Iowa employers to verify within 10 business days of hiring a new employee that they are a legal US resident. Employers would have to sign a statement under penalty of perjury that they checked the employee's driver's licenses or state-issued …

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by Joshua Pantesco

The movement in Malaysia to reform the judiciary took another step forward Thursday as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi told a Bar Council assembly that the government will implement a Judicial Appointments Commission that will identify and nominate candidates for the bench, hopefully bringing transparency to the process. A similar proposal was made by the …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Afghan President Hamid Karzai should reinstate a moratorium on the death penalty and should not sign execution orders for 100 prisoners, approved by the Supreme Court this week, advocacy group Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Thursday. According to the HRW press release:Supreme Court officials told the media those sentenced to death had been convicted …

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by Joshua Pantesco

Serbia is not doing enough to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), ICTY Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz said Thursday. Brammertz said he was especially concerned with Serbia's inability to find and capture four fugitives wanted in connection with the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, including alleged Srebrenica masterminds Ratko …

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by Jaime Jansen

South Korean prosecutors on Thursday charged Samsung Chairman and CEO Kun-Hee Lee with breach of trust and tax evasion, but decided not to charge him based on accusations that Samsung maintained a $200 million slush fund to bribe prosecutors, judges and civil servants. Nine other Samsung executives were indicted on similar charges, but none have …

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by Jaime Jansen

The Nagoya District Court in Japan ruled Thursday that Japan's air force mission to Iraq breaches the Japanese constitution, but did not order the government to redeploy the 210 air force personnel in Kuwait aiding the US-led Multi-National Force-Iraq. In a lawsuit brought by more than 1,100 people demanding that the dispatch of air force troops be suspended, …

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by Jaime Jansen

US military interrogators allegedly abused Afghan detainees in 2003 at the Gardez Detention Facility [Globalsecurity.org backgrounder] in southeastern Afghanistan, according to Pentagon documents released Wednesday under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The documents indicate that eight Afghan detainees complained of abuse by interrogators, and …

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