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Legal news from Wednesday, August 6, 2008
by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Iraqi Parliament has failed to agree on a draft election bill prior to adjourning for the summer on Wednesday. Kurdish legislators have strongly opposed the bill's proposal to establish a provincial council in Kirkuk made up of equal numbers of Kurdish, Arab, and Turkmeni representatives. Kurds constitute the majority in the area, and have …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Constitutional Court of Thailand ruled Tuesday that the law establishing the National Counter Corruption Commission (NCCC) is appropriate under the country's current constitution. Ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife Pojamarn Shinawatra had filed a constitutional challenge to the NCCC statue, …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Venezuelan Supreme Court Tuesday upheld a list blocking 272 political candidates from running for office because of suspected corruption. Critics had argued that the list was unconstitutional because many of those included had not been convicted of any crime. Some also alleged that the list focused …

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by Devin Montgomery

Iran has commuted the sentences of four people scheduled to be executed by stoning and has suspended the use of the punishment, local media reported Wednesday. Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi, the head of the country's judiciary, had originally placed a moratorium on the punishment in 2002, but nine people were given the sentence in July for adultery and …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Serbia's Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor indicted two war crimes suspects Tuesday in connection with the 1992 killing of 700 Muslim civilians in the town of Zvornik. Former Zvornik mayor Branko Grujic and former local defense chief Branko Popovic are accused of using their positions to detain and kill civilians. In 2005, prosecutors …

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by Deirdre Jurand

Sudan Justice Minister Abdel-Basit Sabdarat said Wednesday that he had named one primary prosecutor and three assistants to investigate and try war crimes suspects from the country's Darfur region. The International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Netherlands currently handles such proceedings, but if Sudanese domestic courts are created with appropriate human rights and accountability …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A military group staged a coup in Mauritania early Wednesday, detaining President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi and Prime Minister Yahya Ould Ahmed Waqef. The coup's apparent leader, Gen. Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, also backed a 2005 coup that removed then-President Maaoya Sid'Ahmed Taya. Aziz had previously supported Abdallahi, …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Judge Royce Lamberth  of the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Wednesday ordered the unsealing of hundreds of documents related to the FBI's probe into the 2001 anthrax attacks. Among other papers, the released documents include 14 search warrants issued against government scientist and biodefense researcher Bruce Ivins [NPR …

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by Deirdre Jurand

The jury in the military commission trial of Salim Ahmed Hamdan found Hamdan guilty on Wednesday of providing material support for terrorism, marking the first verdict rendered by a military commission trial at Guantanamo Bay. The jury, made up of six military officers, was selected on July 21, and the trial …

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by Deirdre Jurand

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched a new program Tuesday that allows certain illegal immigrants to coordinate their removal from the US with ICE without the risk of home raids, arrest or detention. The Scheduled Departure Program, a pilot program that will run through August 22 in five major cities, …

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by Devin Montgomery

The state of Texas executed Mexican national Jose Ernesto Medellin late Tuesday evening after the US Supreme Court narrowly refused to stay his sentence. Medellin's appeal was based on a July order by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which had …

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by Nick Fiske

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled Tuesday that a radio talk-show host's inflammatory remarks about a company which conducted interrogations for the US military at Abu Ghraib prison were protected under the First Amendment. In 2005, CACI International filed a defamation suit in federal district court against …

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by Nick Fiske

Spain's National Court agreed Tuesday to hear a suit filed by pro-Tibet advocacy groups alleging that seven Chinese officials committed acts of genocide in connection with China's attempts to suppress protests against Chinese rule in Tibet in March. The suit, filed July 7 by the Tibet House Foundation, Support Tibet Committee [advocacy websites, …

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