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Legal news from Friday, May 23, 2008
by Mike Rosen-Molina

A Marine Corps General Friday declined to press charges against two US Marines involved in a March 2007 incident in which 30 US Marines opened fire on civilians alongside a road in Nangahar province, Afghanistan, after a suicide bomber drove a vehicle carrying explosives into their convoy. Lt. Gen. Samuel Helland made the decision after hearing …

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by Devin Montgomery

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) Friday ruled that a small uninhabited island on which Singapore operates a light beacon does in fact belong to the country, ending a 38-year long dispute between it and neighboring Malaysia. The court held that the strategically important island had originally belonged to …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Supreme Court of Canada unanimously ruled Friday that Canadian Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr has a constitutional right to see confidential documents compiled by Canadian officials following interviews with Khadr in prison, but found that the government could withhold some information for national security purposes. Lawyers for Khadr expressed disappointment with …

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by Devin Montgomery

A court in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Thurday sentenced three members of the Bundu dia Kongo (BDK) separatist movement to death after finding them guilty of assassination and murder in a mass trial. A defense lawyer said the convictions were politically motivated and vowed to appeal the decision. …

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by Devin Montgomery

Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman filed a petition Thursday for the arrest of former Argentine President Carlos Menem and five others accused of covering up the possible involvement of businessman Alberto Jacinto Kanoore Edul in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. In 2004, an Argentine judge conducted an investigation into the …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Friday provisionally released a Kosovar journalist indicted on contempt of court charges for allegedly publishing the identity of a witness in the war crimes trial of former Kosovar Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj [TrialWatch profile; JURIST Forum op-ed]. Baton Haxhiu was arrested Tuesday …

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by Devin Montgomery

US military judge Col. Ralph Kohlmann Thursday denied a request by military-appointed defense lawyers to postpone the arraignment of the five Guantanamo Bay detainees charged with plotting the Sept. 11 attacks. The lawyers had asked for more time to mount defenses for their clients, but the arraignments are still scheduled for June 5 …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The US will re-check its detention records to verify the accuracy of a report filed last week by US officials with the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child concerning the number of minors it has detained in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay, Department of Defense officials said Thursday. According to the …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US military has failed to ensure that over $8 billion dollars in Iraq reconstruction contracts awarded between 2001 and 2006 complied with federal anti-fraud laws, according to a report released Thursday by the Department of Defense Inspector General's Office. The same day, Deputy Inspector General for Auditing Mary Ugone testified before the …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The German Bundesrat, the upper house of the German parliament, voted Friday to approve the EU reform treaty, known formally as the Treaty of Lisbon. All but one of the sixteen states represented in the Bundesrat voted in favor of approval. The treaty was approved by the Bundestag, the lower …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Supreme Court of China and the country's Ministry of Justice have released new rules to clarify China's death penalty review procedures, state media reported Friday. Under the new system, three Supreme Court judges must review all death sentences imposed by local courts. The rules also contain provisions meant to ensure that criminal defendants facing possible death …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Permanent Representatives Committee of the Council of the European Union Thursday agreed on a draft proposal for new rules to combat illegal immigration. Under the proposal, illegal aliens caught within the EU could be deported and banned from returning for five years. Authorities in member states would be allowed to detain aliens for …

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by Andrew Gilmore

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Thursday defended the Bush administration's authorization of the use of harsh interrogation tactics, including waterboarding, on suspected terrorist detainees. In her comments at the headquarters of the technology company Google, Rice stated that a special legal atmosphere existed in the US after the Sept. 11 …

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by Andrew Gilmore

Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative Christian legal advocacy group, petitioned the Supreme Court of California Thursday to stay its May 15 decision overturning a ban on same-sex marriage until the outcome of the November state elections. It is expected that the November ballot will include an amendment to the …

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