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Legal news from Thursday, December 4, 2008
by Jaclyn Belczyk

The Iraqi presidential council on Thursday approved a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that sets a 2011 deadline for the withdraw of US troops but also approved an additional law calling for a national referendum on the pact in July 2009. The approval of the council, comprising President Jalal Talabani and two vice …

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by Tarah Park

The European Court of Human Rights unanimously ruled Thursday that the British practice of keeping the fingerprints and DNA profiles of people arrested but not convicted of crimes was against privacy rights and should not continue. The suit was originally brought by UK nationals Michael Marper and a juvenile named as "S," both of whom …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

Canadian Governor General Michaelle Jean Thursday morning granted a request by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to suspend the Canadian parliament until January, heading off for the moment a constitutional crisis that might have been triggered if she had invited a coalition of opposition parties to form a new government without an intervening …

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by David Weber

Hate crimes committed against Arab Americans have been steadily decreasing since the 9/11 attacks, according to a report released Thursday by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. The report found that there were 120 to 130 incidents per year between 2003 and 2007. The report also concluded that the government has not engaged in …

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by Benjamin Klein

Italian Judge Oscar Magi on Wednesday suspended the in absentia trial of 26 Americans, most of them suspected of working for the CIA, and five former Italian intelligence officials for the 2003 abduction and rendition of Egyptian cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr after the government said the testimony could compromise …

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by Benjamin Klein

Moscow Military District Court judge Yevgeny Zubov on Thursday ordered that the trial of three men accused of the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya be closed to the public to hear classified evidence, limiting an earlier decision to keep the proceedings open to the public. In November, Zubov ordered the trial to …

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by Andrew Morgan

A group of 112 former presidents and prime ministers signed a letter sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday urging him to pay a visit to Myanmar before year's end to press for the release of political prisoners there. The signatories, led by former Norwegian …

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by Jake Oresick

The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Wednesday upheld a $156 million verdict against three US-based Islamic charities accused of aiding Hamas in the murder of David Boim, a 17-year-old American killed in Israel in 1996. Boim's estate sued the groups - the American Muslim Society, the Islamic …

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by Eric Firkel

A federal judge on Wednesday re-issued a 22-year prison sentence for so-called "millennium bomber" Ahmed Ressam. Judge John Coughenour of the US District Court for the Western District of Washington first sentenced Ressam to 22 years in 2005 for plotting to blow up Los Angeles International Airport on New Year's Eve 1999 [CBC …

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