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Legal news from Thursday, October 2, 2008
by Leslie Schulman

A court of appeals in The Hague on Thursday extended prison terms for four Dutch terror suspects convicted in 2006 for planning attacks against Dutch politicians and government facilities after finding them guilty of an additional charge of membership in a terrorist organization. The court agreed with evidence that they shared a single belief system and made …

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by Leslie Schulman

A US Army soldier pleaded guilty Thursday to accessory to murder in connection with the killings of four unarmed Iraqi prisoners west of Baghdad last year. Specialist Steven Ribordy, formerly a member of the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, testified at his court-martial that he stood at his post and watched as other members …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

The trial of former Yugoslav army chief of staff and general Momcilo Perisic began Thursday at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at The Hague. The trial was scheduled to commence Wednesday but was postponed due to a procedural glitch in the naming of judges; it was restarted after …

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by Benjamin Klein

Human Rights Watch (HRW) Wednesday called on the Ethiopian government to release rendition victims in custody or prosecute them in an open court that meets basic fair trial standards. The renditions were the result of a US-backed Ethiopian military intervention in neighboring Somalia in late 2006 in support of …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

Former Polish leader General Wojciech Jaruzelski testified Thursday at the resumption of his trial that he had no choice but to impose martial law on Poland in 1981. Jaruzelski, who is charged with "organizing crimes of a military nature," among other offenses, read from a 200-page statement [Warsaw Business …

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by Joe Shaulis

The US Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear 10 cases, including two implicating the land rights of Native peoples, during its term that begins next week. In Hawaii, et al. v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs, et al. (07-1372) [docket; cert. petition], the court will consider whether a congressional resolution …

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by Benjamin Klein

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) last Friday ended the segregation of five defendants currently in pretrial detention. The decision, released to the public on Wednesday, was a response to an appeal filed by defendant Nuon Chea, who argued that the prison conditions were …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The US Senate voted Wednesday to approve legislation establishing a cooperative nuclear energy agreement with India. The bill, entitled the "United States-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act," was approved by a vote of 86-13, and now heads to the White House for signature. The agreement is an important step for …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The annual UN Treaty Event, celebrated yearly to promote universal participation in international treaties and agreements, concluded Wednesday after a number of states signed and ratified various treaties and conventions. This year's event, entitled "Treaty Event 2008: Towards Universal Participation And Implementation - Dignity And Justice For All Of Us," celebrates the sixtieth …

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by Eric Firkel

The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit on Wednesday ruled that the United States Postal Service (USPS) was entitled to immunity in a lawsuit alleging that a postal employee had interfered with the delivery of a political opponent's campaign fliers ahead of a municipal election. The court held that such conduct …

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by Eric Firkel

Millions of Americans have been effectively disenfranchised because of criminal convictions, according to a report released Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Brennan Center for Justice. The report found that state and county election officials receive little or no training regarding the applicable laws, resulting in widespread misunderstanding. …

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by Devin Montgomery

The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) released a report Wednesday expressing concern over a proposed UK anti-terror bill [materials; BBC Q/A] which would allow authorities to detain terror suspects without charge for up to 42 days. The group said that to decrease the …

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by Devin Montgomery

The Russian Supreme Court on Wednesday declared the 1918 killing of Tsar Nicholas II an act of political "repression." The ruling, long sought by the Tsar's descendants, is seen an exoneration of the country's last monarch, who had been villainized as "Bloody Nicholas" since the country's Bolshevik revolution …

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by Steve Czajkowski

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Merck & Co. in support of state agencies that were harmed by Merck's allegedly deceptive marketing campaign promoting its prescription painkiller Vioxx. The lawsuit filed in the US District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana claims that …

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by Andrew Gilmore

Under a new judicial dress code that took effect Wednesday, civil and family judges in the Judiciary of England and Wales will no longer wear wigs during court proceedings. The new dress code also features redesigned robes, intended to give a more modern and grounded appearance to members …

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by Andrew Gilmore

Serbian President Boris Tadic refused to rule out partitioning parts of Kosovo, should other options regarding the resolution of a dispute between Serbia and the newly independent state fail. In an interview with Serbian television channel RTS, Tadic said that the option is "not off the table." Alexander Ivanko, the Director of Public …

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