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Legal news from Tuesday, January 20, 2009
by Jaclyn Belczyk

A spokesperson for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) announced Tuesday a large-scale media campaign to encourage more victims to come forward and participate in the trial of Khmer Rouge leader Kaing Guek-Eav, better known as "Duch." The trial is set to begin …

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by Andrew Morgan

A court in the Rwandan capital of Kigali on Tuesday sentenced former justice minister Agnes Ntamabyariro to life in prison for inciting violence during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The Court of First Instance of Nyarugenge found that Ntamabyariro and co-defendant Jean-Leonard Hategekimana, classified as Category 1 Suspects, had participated in planning the genocide, …

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by Safiya Boucaud

A fact finding team for human rights group Amnesty International (AI) on Monday accused Israel of war crimes, citing the use of white phosphorous in the midst of a dense civilian population. White phosphorous is a highly explosive substance that can burn into human skin and muscle and can cause serious wounds as …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

Delivering his inaugural address Tuesday in Washington DC shortly after taking the oath of office as the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama insisted that his administration would pursue US national interests without sacrificing basic legal principles enshrined in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. Taking an apparent swipe at some of …

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by Jake Oresick

Canadian Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr admitted throwing a hand grenade that killed a US soldier in Afghanistan, according to the pre-trial testimony Monday of an American intelligence official. The official, identified as Interrogator 11, said Khadr expressed pride in learning he had caused the death of an American. Khadr's attorneys contend there are photographs …

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by Safiya Boucaud

In one of his final acts as President of the United States, George W. Bush on Monday commuted the sentences of two former border patrol agents convicted of the shooting of a Mexican drug smuggler. The two former agents, Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos, are expected to be released from prison in March. …

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by Jay Carmella

The US District Court for the District of Columbia granted summary judgment on Monday in favor of Vice President Dick Cheney, giving Cheney broad discretion over which vice presidential records should be preserved. The lawsuit, initiated by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) against Cheney and …

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by Jay Carmella

Prominent Russian human rights lawyer, Stanislav Markelov, was shot dead by a masked gunman in Moscow on Monday. Markelov, known for his work on high profile human rights cases including representing journalist Anna Politkovskaya, was protesting the early release of Colonel Yuri Budanov. Anastasia Baburova, a journalist covering Markelov for the …

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