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Legal news from Wednesday, May 14, 2008
by Mike Rosen-Molina

A Texas appeals court Wednesday overturned a jury verdict that found pharmaceutical giant Merck liable for the death of a 71-year-old man who died from a heart attack within a month of taking Merck's painkiller Vioxx. The jury had ordered Merck to pay $32 million …

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by Andrew Gilmore

A Polish judge ruled on Wednesday that prosecutors must amend their indictment against former communist leader General Wojciech Jaruzelski and other former communist officials to present a greater range of evidence against the defendants. Jaruzelski was charged in March 2006 with "organizing crimes of a military nature" and "carrying out crimes that …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Danish government said Wednesday that it would propose new legislation to ban sitting judges from wearing religious dress, including Islamic headscarves, in court. Also Wednesday, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen criticized Immigration Minister Birthe Roenn Hornbech for writing a newspaper editorial published Tuesday opposing the proposal; Rasmussen said that …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) announced Wednesday that it will conduct a public inquiry into the death of Baha Mousa, an Iraqi hotel receptionist who died in British military custody in 2003. Mousa's death allegedly occurred as the result of abuse at the hands of British troops who …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Indiana Court of Appeals Tuesday ruled that a 2006 state law [Indiana Code 35-42-4-11 text] barring convicted sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school, public park or youth center is unconstitutional as applied to offenders who purchased their homes before the law went into effect. The ruling upholds a lower court …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The curator of a Russian art gallery has been charged with "inciting hatred" for hosting an exhibit of art banned from other galleries, including pieces that mocked the Russian Orthodox Church and the nation's military, the Independent reported Wednesday. Yury Samodurov, director of the Sakharov Museum in Moscow, named after Soviet dissident Andrei …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A coalition of anti-war activists represented by the Constitutional Law Clinic at Rutgers University Law School-Newark Tuesday filed a lawsuit in US District Court for New Jersey seeking a declaratory judgment that the war in Iraq violates the US constitution. The groups argue that under the US Constitution only Congress has the …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US Department of Defense has still not issued security clearances to civilian lawyers seeking to participate in the defense of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said Tuesday. ACLU Anthony Romero said that not one …

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by Andrew Gilmore

US immigration agents transiting involuntarily sedated immigration deportees through foreign countries have been challenged by local authorities, the Washington Post reported Wednesday. The paper said French and Belgian law enforcement officials had raised objections to the sedation of individuals by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents at stopovers during two recent deportation flights from the US …

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by Andrew Gilmore

Italian Judge Oscar Magi ruled on Wednesday that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi can be called to testify in the trial of 26 Americans and several former Italian intelligence officials for the 2003 abduction and rendition of Egyptian cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr. Defense lawyers for …

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by David Hanna

Ecuador's election court announced Wednesday that a two-year suspension from politics for former Ecuadorian President Lucio Gutierrez, had formally come to an end Sunday, leaving him free to run for office again. Gutierrez was suspended from politics and barred from running in the country's 2006 elections because he declined to …

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by Andrew Gilmore

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told Australian news service Sky News Wednesday that his government is considering bringing a lawsuit against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for alleged incitement of genocide. Rudd characterized some of Ahmadinejad's comments in recent …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The Federal Court of Malaysia Wednesday rejected an appeal by five ethnic Indian protesters being detained by Malaysian authorities under a controversial security law. The five detainees, prominent members of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), had appealed a judgment by a lower court which found that their detention was …

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