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Legal news from Wednesday, April 23, 2008
by Mike Rosen-Molina

FBI Director Robert Mueller testified before the US House Judiciary Committee Wednesday that he had advised officials at the Departments of Justice and Defense that some interrogation tactics employed against terror suspects might be illegal. Mueller said that the FBI had first raised concerns about the use of harsh interrogation methods in …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) on Wednesday adjourned a hearing to consider an appeal by former Cambodian head of state Khieu Samphan against his detention after Samphan's French lawyer Jacques Verges refused to participate, saying that documents necessary for Samphan's defense had not been translated …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Federal prosecutors said at a hearing Wednesday that they would press for a third terrorism prosecution of six men charged with conspiring to bomb the Sears Tower in Chicago and the FBI headquarters in Miami after two previous prosecutions ended in mistrials. US District Judge Joan A. Lenard declared the second mistrial …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The UK Court of Appeal Wednesday rejected an appeal by four men convicted for plotting the failed bomb attacks on London's subway and bus systems on July 21, 2005, two weeks after a similar attack killed 52 people. In 2005, Hussein Osman, Muktar Said Ibrahim, Yassin Omar, and Ramzi Mohamed were all …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The Federal Court of Australia on Wednesday ruled that a lower court made several errors of law in its 2006 decision giving Aborigines native title to land in the Australian city of Perth, and said that the case must be reheard. The Australian government appealed the decision in October 2006, arguing that …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US government has abandoned a prototype "virtual fence" along the US-Mexico border after the system failed to perform up to expectations, according to Wednesday media reports. The prototype fence, which consists of nine unmanned towers equipped with radar, sensors and cameras along a 28-mile stretch of the US-Mexico border, was too slow in alerting …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Federal prosecutors filed felony charges Tuesday against Capt. John Joseph Cota, the California maritime pilot accused in the November 2007 spill of approximately 58,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil in the San Francisco Bay. Cota, who was piloting the M/V Cosco Busan when it collided with the San Francisco Bay Bridge last year, was also …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Ali Hassan al-Majid, better known in the Western media as "Chemical Ali," has been released from the hospital and returned to a US detention facility in Baghdad, US military officials said Tuesday. Al-Majid was hospitalized earlier this week after launching a hunger strike over his detention conditions. US officials said that al-Majid …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The US Supreme Court handed down its decision Wednesday in Virginia v. Moore, where the Court ruled that Virginia police did not violate Moore's Fourth Amendment right when they arrested him based on probable cause and performed a search incident to arrest, even when the arrest was prohibited by Virginia …

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by Leslie Schulman

US District Judge Cormac J. Carney of the Central District of California on Monday sentenced former Chinese television executive Tai Wang Mak to 10 years in prison for conspiring with his brother, Chi Mak, to smuggle sensitive naval intelligence data to China. The US government indicted Tai Mak, along with his …

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by Leslie Schulman

US prisons currently house the world's largest inmate population, according to a Wednesday New York Times report citing data provided by the International Center for Prison Studies. The US currently holds 2.3 million inmates, far more than second-in-line China, which holds only 1.6 million inmates even though its population is four times that …

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by Jeannie Shawl

Former US Justice Department official Robert Coughlin II pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of criminal conflict of interest in connection to his relationship with disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Coughlin, charged on Monday, served as the deputy chief of staff of the DOJ's Criminal Division before resigning last year. …

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by Leslie Schulman

Flavio Sosa, a leader of the 2006 popular uprising in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, was released from jail this weekend after prosecutors failed to convict him of any charges related to the uprising. Sosa, a prominent figure in the People's Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO), had allegedly led a five-month protest demanding the …

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