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Legal news from Wednesday, January 28, 2009
13:01 EDT

[JURIST] Japanese defense minister Yasukazu Hamada [official profile] on Wednesday ordered [press release] the country's Maritime Self-Defense Force [official website] to prepare to travel to the waters surrounding Somalia to combat piracy in the region, despite concerns that combat could be prohibited by the country's constitution. Hamada has said the [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] Former Malawi President Bakili Muluzi [BBC profile] will likely be tried for corruption after the country's Supreme Court of Appeal Tuesday struck down an injunction that had stalled the investigation into his alleged theft of international aid money. Muluzi contends that the charges are political, as he intends to [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] voted 17-2 Wednesday to approve the nomination of Eric Holder [professional profile] to serve as Attorney General. Holder won the approval of all the Democrats on the committee, as well as some of the Republicans, including ranking Republican committee member Senator Arlen [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] Prosecutors at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website; JURIST news archive] Tuesday began the war crimes trial [press release] of former Serbian general Vlastimir Djordjevic [ICTY backgrounder, PDF; case materials]. Djordjevic was arrested [JURIST report] in 2007 and formally indicted [indictment, PDF] in July 2008 for his participation in [read more]

09:01 EDT

[JURIST] A Peruvian court on Tuesday ruled that two alleged members of the Colina Group [AI backgrounder] must be released without charge after six years in custody. Douglas Arteaga Pascual and Angel Pino Diaz were never convicted during the 72 months they spent in prison. Peruvian law mandates that prisoners [read more]

09:01 EDT

[JURIST] Sudan's Khartoum North Court on Wednesday sentenced a Sudanese man to 17 years in prison on charges of spying, criminal conspiracy and passing on confidential military documents after he attempted to share information with the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] relating to the investigation of a Darfur [JURIST [read more]

08:01 EDT

[JURIST] The British Information Tribunal [official website] has ruled [decision, PDF] that the government must release redacted minutes of two Cabinet [official website] discussions from the months preceding the war in Iraq [JURIST news archive]. The discussions of March 13 and 17, 2003, centered on the legality [BBC report] of [read more]

07:01 EDT

[JURIST] A spokesperson for Russian President Dmitry Medvedev [official website] on Tuesday announced that Medvedev's administration will modify a legislative proposal that would change the definition of treason, state secrets, and espionage, amid criticisms that the current text could limit human rights. Civil rights activists have warned that the bill [read more]

07:01 EDT

[JURIST] A French court on Tuesday postponed a ruling on whether to overturn the sentences of five French citizens who were released from US custody at the Guantanamo Bay [JURIST report] detention center in July 2004 and March 2005 [BBC reports]. The five, identified as Brahim Yadel, 37, Mourad Benchellali, [read more]

06:01 EDT

[JURIST] US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) [official website] officials on Tuesday said that the SEC is committed to greater enforcement in the wake of the recently-revealed fraud scheme allegedly perpetrated by Bernard Madoff [JURIST news archive], at a hearing [materials] before the US Senate Banking Committee [committee website]. The [read more]

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