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Legal news from Thursday, September 18, 2008
by Joe Shaulis

US blogger and attorney Gopalan Nair was sentenced to three months in jail Wednesday for insulting a Singaporean judge. Justice Kan Ting Chiu of the Singaporean High Court told Nair that he had "scandalized" the nation's judiciary by accusing a judge of "prostituting herself" in a defamation case brought by …

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by Benjamin Klein

The High Court of Uganda will not try soldiers from the Ugandan People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) if they are accused of human rights abuses, according to Wednesday statements by Justice Dan Akiiki-Kiiza, the head of the Court's War Crimes Division. The head justice insisted that the mandate of the court is restricted to the prosecution …

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by Devin Montgomery

Russian president Dmitry Medvedev Wednesday signed military defense agreements with Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia despite heavy international criticism. Medvedev said that Russia now recognized the regions as independent countries since its conflict with Georgia, and that his country planned to permanently station troops in the …

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by Devin Montgomery

The Iraqi Parliament Wednesday failed to agree on a controversial provincial election bill in light of new disagreements over procedure. Kurdish legislators had strongly opposed the bill's proposal to establish a provincial council in Kirkuk made up of equal numbers of Kurdish, Arab, and Turkmeni representatives. A UN proposal would have compromised by allowing elections in the …

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by Devin Montgomery

US Army Specialist Belmor Ramos pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy for his involvement in the killings of four unarmed Iraqi prisoners west of Baghdad in 2007. In his confession, Ramos said he willingly took part in the killings as retribution for earlier deaths of US soldiers. As part of a plea agreement, Ramos was sentenced to …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The Supreme Court of Thailand delayed a ruling Wednesday regarding corruption charges against former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his wife Pojamarn Shinawatra. The couple are being tried in absentia over a controversial purchase of government land at a below-market price which occurred while Thaksin was in office. The …

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by Devin Montgomery

Pakistani lawyers Thursday boycotted legal proceedings in the country and continued to hold protests calling for the restoration of all judges ousted by former President Pervez Musharraf last November. According to local reports, some proceedings did go ahead at the reconstituted Pakistani Supreme Court, but many other courts, including the …

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by Steve Czajkowski

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Wednesday that his administration had reached a settlement in a long-standing lawsuit over homeless families' right to use shelters throughout the city. The main lawsuit, McCain v. Koch, was initially filed in 1983 by the Legal Aid Society. As that lawsuit …

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by Steve Czajkowski

Three US Army soldiers were charged with murder Wednesday for their alleged roles in the killings of four Iraqis in April 2007. Sgt 1st Class Joseph Mayo, Sgt John Hatley, and Sgt Michael Leahy Jr, who were formerly part of the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, were all charged with premeditated murder, conspiracy …

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by Benjamin Klein

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday upheld as constitutional an Arizona law which revokes the business licenses of employers who hire illegal immigrants. Pro-immigration, business, and civil rights groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union had challenged the Legal Arizona Workers Act, arguing that it …

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by Joe Shaulis

A bill [PDF text; S. 3406 materials] overwriting judicial interpretations which have narrowed protections under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) awaits President Bush's signature following passage by the US House of Representatives on Wednesday. The ADA Amendments Act of 2008, which was approved by a voice vote, purports to "restore the intent and protections" …

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by Joe Shaulis

The US House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to open an impeachment investigation of US District Judge Thomas Porteous of the Eastern District of Louisiana, who is accused of perjury and accepting bribes from lawyers. The committee unanimously approved a resolution creating a task force to conduct the inquiry, which is the …

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by Joe Shaulis

FBI Director Robert Mueller on Wednesday defended proposed investigation guidelines before the US Senate Judiciary Committee as a "necessary step" in fighting terrorism. Opponents have argued that the changes could allow inappropriate racial and ethnic profiling and would permit agents to open terror investigations without evidence of any crime having been …

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by Joe Shaulis

Prosecutors told the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Wednesday that they plan to revise the charges against former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic by Monday. Appearing in the war crimes tribunal's Trial Chamber, prosecutor Alan Tieger said he would seek court permission to amend an indictment …

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