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Legal news from Friday, September 12, 2008
by Joe Shaulis

US military prosecutors have brought war crimes charges against a detainee at Guantanamo Bay who they allege stored and concealed anti-tank mines in Afghanistan. The detainee, named Obaidullah, was charged Wednesday with conspiracy and providing material support for terrorism [text, 10 USC 950v(b)(25),(28)]. For Obaidullah to stand trial, the charges …

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by Joe Shaulis

Voting-rights advocates and elections officials fear that a lawsuit brought by the Wisconsin Department of Justice will effectively disenfranchise thousands of voters by causing chaos at the polls in November. Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen filed suit against the state's Government Accountability Board on Wednesday, seeking to …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The Teachers Retirement System of Louisiana on Thursday settled a shareholder suit against a group of former executives from American International Group (AIG), including AIG ex-CEO and chairman Maurice "Hank" Greenberg. The lawsuit, filed in 2002 in the Delaware Chancery Court, concerned improper transfers of approximately $1 billion from AIG to C.V. Starr & Co. …

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by Joe Shaulis

The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on Thursday ruled that a claimant had produced insufficient medical evidence to recover from a settlement fund established to compensate those harmed by the weight-loss medication known as fen-phen. The Philadelphia-based court affirmed a decision by the US District Court for …

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by Andrew Gilmore

US Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) introduced a new bill entitled the "Support for Democracy and Human Rights in Ethiopia Act of 2008" [S. 3427 text, PDF] in the Senate on Tuesday, calling for greater support for individual and political rights in Ethiopia. The bill is meant to "build on successful diplomatic efforts that contributed …

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by Joe Shaulis

Grand jury transcripts released Thursday suggest that testimony critical to the 1953 espionage conviction of Ethel Rosenberg was perjured. The National Archives made public nearly 1,000 pages of testimony given by 41 of the 45 grand jury witnesses in the Rosenberg case, as ordered by the US District Court …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged the Maoist-led Nepalese government Thursday to 'vigorously' investigate and prosecute those responsible for the grave human rights violations allegedly committed during the country's civil war. In a joint report, HRW and the Nepal-based Advocacy Forum recommended that even members of the security forces must be investigated …

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by Devin Montgomery

Fiji's former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase said Friday that police have failed to take his statement regarding treason allegations he has made against the country's interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama. Earlier this month, Qarase charged that Bainimarama and others who participated in a December 2006 military coup had committed …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

Serbian President Boris Tadic urged UN members Thursday to support his country's request for an International Court of Justice (ICJ) advisory opinion on the legality of the unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosovo. In Thursday's letter to all UN members, Tadic stated: The opinion of the ICJ as to whether Kosovo’s …

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by Joe Shaulis

US Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne pledged Thursday that he would "take swift action to restore the public trust" following an investigation which found corruption in the Department of the Interior (DOI) agency charged with collecting royalties from mineral rights to federal land. In a memorandum accompanying reports released Wednesday, …

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by Devin Montgomery

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) found Ljubisa Petkovic guilty of contempt on Thursday for refusing to testify against Serbian war crimes suspect Vojislav Seselj. Petkovic had been a member of the Serbian Radical Party [party website, …

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by Joe Shaulis

EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Jacques Barrot on Thursday said Google is taking a "step in the right direction" by keeping data on search engine users for nine months rather than 18. Google announced the change this week "to address regulatory concerns" and protect users' privacy [JURIST …

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