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Legal news from Monday, October 20, 2008
by Deirdre Jurand

The US Supreme Court on Monday appointed a special master to investigate and oversee a water rights case brought by Montana against Wyoming and North Dakota. Montana officials argued in February 2007 filings that Wyoming officials breached the 1950 Yellowstone River Compact by failing to …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

A Bulgarian court on Monday began criminal proceedings against nine people accused of embezzling millions of dollars from European Union (EU) aid funds. The defendants are accused of stealing 14 million leva ($9.6 million) from funds made available to Bulgaria by the EU as part of the Special Accession Program for Agricultural and Rural Development (SAPARD) …

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by Devin Montgomery

US military and civilian prosecutors have petitioned to have the prison term for Salim Ahmed Hamdan reconsidered, arguing that the Guantanamo military commission which heard his case improperly gave him credit for time spent in custody, according to documents released to the Wall Street Journal last week. Hamdan was sentenced …

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by Devin Montgomery

The High Criminal Court in Istanbul, Turkey, on Monday began the trial of 86 defendants accused of attempting to destabilize and overthrow the country's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). The accused are said to belong to the secular Ergenekon group, believed responsible for bombing the headquarters of the newspaper Cumhuriyet …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

Spanish prosecutors Monday challenged a probe launched by Judge Baltasar Garzon into the disappearances of tens of thousands of people from the beginning of the Spanish Civil War through the early years of Francisco Franco's dictatorship, asserting that any wartime disappearances and executions are covered by Spain's 1977 amnesty law, …

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by Kiely Lewandowski

The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Sunday issued a new policy paper liberalizing the country's land use laws in an effort to decrease rural poverty and increase the country's agricultural capacity. The CPC announced its approval of the Decision on Major Issues Concerning the Advancement of Rural Reform and Development last …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court on Monday granted certiorari in the case of Flores-Figueroa v. United States (08-108) [docket; cert. petition, PDF]. The Court will consider whether the government must show that the defendant had actual knowledge that the means of identification he used belonged to another person in order to prove …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

Opening arguments began Monday in the US District Court for the District of New Jersey in the criminal trial of five men accused of plotting to kill US soldiers at Fort Dix. The accused, all foreign-born Muslims in their 20s, are charged with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and weapons offenses. In his …

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by Steve Czajkowski

The former vice mayor of Beijing, Liu Zhihua, has been given a suspended death sentence for bribery and corruption, according to state media reports Sunday. Liu had been in charge of construction projects for China's capital city in preparation for the 2008 Olympic games. He had been elected to the position in 1999 and served until June …

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