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Legal news from Thursday, July 17, 2008
by Andrew Gilmore

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was released on bail Thursday, one day after being arrested  by Malaysian authorities investigating sodomy allegations made against him by a former aide. According to a statement posted Thursday, Anwar was told that he would be released immediately after undergoing DNA testing, but was instead held …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The California Supreme Court Wednesday rejected without comment a challenge seeking to remove a November ballot initiative that would ban same-sex marriage in the state. The petition, filed by Equality California, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union, argued that the amendment would deprive …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US House of Representatives Wednesday approved by voice vote a ban prohibiting the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from allowing private contractors to interrogate detainees. The ban is part of a bill authorizing intelligence expenditures for the 2009 fiscal year. US President George W. Bush has threatened to veto the legislation, objecting to provisions …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A Swedish legal organization Monday filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights, challenging a controversial warrantless wiretapping law passed by the Swedish parliament last month. The law gives Sweden's National Defence Radio Establishment broad authority to monitor international telephone and electronic communications passing through …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces Tuesday ruled that racist comments made online by a US Army soldier were protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution. The court confirmed that the free speech rights of military personnel were more limited than those of civilians because they had to be balanced …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A committee of the Italian House of Deputies Wednesday approved funding for a national fingerprinting effort to begin in 2010. Italian leaders have pushed to require all Italian citizens and resident foreigners to be fingerprinted for national ID cards. The move is seen by some as an attempt to deflect accusations of "ethnic cataloguing" [EUobserver …

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by Devin Montgomery

The UK officially completed its ratification of the EU reform treaty, formally known as the Treaty of Lisbon, by filing approval documents in Rome on Thursday. The Treaty was incorporated into British law by a bill that was passed by the House of Commons in March and the House …

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by Andrew Gilmore

US President George W. Bush invoked executive privilege Wednesday to prevent members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform from obtaining an FBI report on an interview with Vice President Dick Cheney concerning the Valerie Plame CIA leak scandal. The Committee had subpoenaed Attorney General Michael Mukasey in …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia Thursday convicted former Yugoslav general Pavle Strugar on additional charges related to his role in the 1991 shelling of Dubrovnik, the historic Croatian city that UNESCO has declared a World Cultural Heritage site. The Appeals Chamber found that …

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by Deirdre Jurand

The French Senate on Wednesday passed a constitutional reform bill which is backed by French president Nicolas Sarkozy and which was designed to modernize the constitution and redefine governmental powers. The subject text of the bill, which passed by a vote of 162-125, said that The draft constitutional …

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by Devin Montgomery

The Indonesian Supreme Court Thursday rejected the third appeal made by Mukhlas, Imam Samudra and Amrozi Nurhasyim of their convictions for the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings. Lawyers for the three said they had been denied an earlier opportunity to present expert testimony in their clients' defense, but the court dismissed the request for …

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by Deirdre Jurand

A military judge has denied a motion to dismiss by Guantanamo Bay detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan, holding that the military commission assigned to his trial has the appropriate jurisdiction to hear the case. Hamdan's lawyers moved for dismissal of the charges in January, arguing that because the charges of conspiracy and providing …

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by Steve Czajkowski

The UK parliament approved legislation Wednesday that would allow the use of testimony from anonymous witnesses at criminal trials. The Criminal Evidence (Witness Anonymity) Act 2008 was introduced last month by UK Justice Secretary Jack Straw as an emergency measure following the Law Lords …

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by Steve Czajkowski

The Supreme Court of Wisconsin on Wednesday ruled that a homeowner's insurance policy does not cover a wife's negligence in not preventing her husband, who was covered by the same policy, from sexually abusing a child. With a 4-3 decision in J.G. v. Wangard, the Supreme Court upheld the …

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