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Legal news from Monday, December 8, 2008
by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in two cases. In Peake v. Sanders, the Court considered whether the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) bears the burden of proof that it adequately informed a veteran of the information needed to process a …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) on Sunday announced plans to collect signatures to initiate a referendum to make the province of Basra autonomous so that it can benefit from its oil wealth. The referendum was initiated by Wael Abdul Latif, an independent member of parliament and former magistrate. Signatures will be collected from …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

War crimes and other human rights violations are being committed in the ongoing Somali conflict, according to a report released Monday by Human Rights Watch (HRW). The report, titled "So Much to Fear: War Crimes and the Devastation of Somalia," accuses all parties to the conflict of committing war crimes, including the Transitional …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday unsealed indictments for five Blackwater USA guards involved in the September 2007 killings of 17 Iraqi civilians. The 35-count indictment, which was returned under seal last Thursday, charges each defendant with 14 counts of voluntary …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

Pakistani police on Sunday night raided a militant camp and arrested the alleged plotters of the Mumbai terror attacks. Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, head of the Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), was arrested, along with several other individuals believed to be responsible for the November attacks that left more than 170 dead. Lakhvi was allegedly …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

Five Guantanamo Bay detainees, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self proclaimed architect of the 9/11 attacks, indicated at a military commission pre-trial hearing on Monday that they wished to plead guilty to the charges against them. The judge, Army Col. Stephen Henley, read a letter from …

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by Ximena Marinero

A judge in the Court of First Instance of the High Court of Hong Kong ruled on Monday that inmates have a constitutional right to vote while serving sentences. The court's decision stipulates that the justice department and the electoral commission must find a way to implement it within 14 days. A spokesman from the Constitutional Affairs …

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by Ximena Marinero

Human rights conditions are worsening in 12 Arab nations, according to a report published Friday by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS). The publication, which is the group's first annual report, is titled "From Exporting Terrorism to Exporting Repression," and was released to coincide with the 60th …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The Dong Da district court in Vietnam on Monday convicted eight Catholics of disturbing public order and destroying property during protests over disputed land, but gave them light sentences, letting them all go free. Seven defendants received suspended sentences of 12-15 months, and the remaining defendant received a warning. The defendants, who denied all government allegations [VietCatholic …

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