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Legal news from Wednesday, May 7, 2008
by Bernard Hibbitts

Incoming Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, a lawyer who won Russia's presidency in March elections, stressed the importance of rights and freedoms at the outset of his inauguration address in the Kremlin Wednesday as he took over from outgoing President Vladimir Putin. Medvedev, a lawyer, said:I have just sworn the presidential oath, the …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering Wednesday faulted the ruling junta of Myanmar for saying it would go ahead with a scheduled May 10 referendum on a draft constitution in the aftermath of a devastating weekend cyclone that may have left up to 100,000 people dead. In a statement, Poettering said:We all …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Court of Appeal in London Wednesday rejected a government bid to challenge an order by the Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission to remove an Iranian opposition group from its blacklist of terror organizations. The Court of Appeal ruled there was no evidence that the People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran (PMOI) had been involved …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A technical problem delayed the start of the arraignment hearing for Yemeni Guantanamo detainee Ali Hamza Ahman Sulayman al-Bahlul Wednesday when a courtroom sound feed in the brand new Guantanamo legal compound cut off for reporters in the spectator gallery. The compound's military commissions building is part of the US military's Expeditionary Legal Complex, otherwise known …

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by Steve Czajkowski

The ruling Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) both filed legal challenges to the parliamentary results of Zimbabwe's March 29 general election Wednesday. ZANU-PF filed lawsuits challenging the outcome of 53 out of the 210 constituencies, while the MDC filed lawsuits challenging the results of …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez, a former US commanding general in Iraq, said in a new book published Tuesday that there is "irrefutable evidence" that the US military tortured and killed detainees in Afghanistan at the end of 2002. In Wiser in Battle: A Soldier's Story, Sanchez said that designating detainees as "enemy combatants" and denying …

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by Steve Czajkowski

US President George W. Bush submitted three new nominations for the Federal Elections Commissions (FEC) to the Senate Tuesday in an effort to break a deadlock which has left the FEC without a quorum to conduct business during a presidential election year. The new nominees include former legislative director for Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) Cynthia …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Lawyers for Guantanamo detainees claim that the US government of has eavesdropped on conversations with their clients, according to court papers filed Tuesday by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). The filing came as part of a 2007 Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in which lawyers for Guantanamo detainees are …

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by Steve Czajkowski

Kenyan Chief Prosecutor Keriako Tobiko Tuesday asked the country's high court to freeze the assets of wealthy Hutu businessman and Rwandan war crimes suspect Felicien Kabuga. Kabuga is accused of funding Rwandan militias that killed more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Tobiko said that Kabuga …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Agents from the White House Office of Personnel Management and the FBI Tuesday searched the home and office of US Office of Special Counsel (OSC) head Scott J. Bloch as part of an investigation into a 2005 complaint filed by current and former OSC employees. The complaint alleged that Bloch had intimidated or forcibly transferred …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Georgia Tuesday evening carried out the first execution in the United States since the US Supreme Court rejected a challenge to Kentucky's lethal injection protocol and ended a de facto national moratorium on the death penalty. Both the Georgia Supreme Court and the US Supreme Court earlier Tuesday declined to stay the execution by lethal injection of …

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