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Legal news from Wednesday, February 18, 2009
by Lucas Tanglen

A five-judge panel of the UK's Law Lords ruled unanimously Wednesday that Islamic cleric Abu Qatada could be deported to Jordan despite fears he might be tortured upon his arrival. Qatada, accused of being one of Osama bin Laden's chief associates in Europe, faces terrorism charges in Jordan, which his lawyers say are based …

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by Jake Oresick

German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced Wednesday that her cabinet had agreed on a draft bill that would allow the government to forcibly nationalize some ailing financial institutions. The bill apparently targets Hypo Real Estate (HRE), a holding company that, despite receiving over 87 billion euros …

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by Lucas Tanglen

The Czech Republic's Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the nation's parliament, on Wednesday approved the European Union (EU) reform pact known as the Treaty of Lisbon. The approval brings the treaty closer to full ratification by the EU's 27 member states, though it still must pass the nation's Senate [official …

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by Devin Montgomery

A panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Wednesday reversed an October district court order that would have provided for the release of 17 Uighur Guantanamo Bay detainees into the US. Lawyers for the detainees had argued …

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by Devin Montgomery

Kenyan prime minister Raila Odinga said Tuesday that the country has been granted two additional months to form a special tribunal to hear cases surrounding Kenya's 2007 post-election violence. Odinga said that Koffi Annan, who facilitated the power-sharing agreement between Odinga and Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki, would give the …

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by Kayleigh Shebs

The Judiciary of Iran announced Tuesday that it has submitted proposed legislation to the Iranian Parliament recommending substantial changes to the treatment of juvenile offenders in Iran. The legislation seeks to amend the classification of minors into three age groups - 7-12, 12-15, and 15-18 - to allow …

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by Kayleigh Shebs

The French National Assembly approved a bill Tuesday to provide government subsidies to individuals who temporarily leave work to care for dying relatives. The proposed law states that family members will be paid a "daily allowance to accompany a dying person" for a maximum of three weeks. Supporters of the bill said …

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by Jake Oresick

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged financier Allen Stanford Tuesday with orchestrating a fraudulent $8 billion investment scheme by selling certificates of deposits on the promise of improbably high interest rates. Stanford, through his investment companies - Stanford International Bank (SIB), Stanford Group Company (SGC) and Stanford Capital …

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by Caitlin Price

An Italian court on Tuesday sentenced David Mills, a British barrister and former lawyer to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, to four-and-a-half years in prison for accepting a $600,000 bribe to give false testimony at two trials in 1997 and 1998 involving Berlusconi broadcasting company Mediaset. …

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by Caitlin Price

A judge in the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Tuesday rejected two motions challenging the court's ability to hear the case filed on behalf of five indicted Blackwater USA guards involved in the September 2007 killings of 17 Iraqi civilians. Lawyers for the defendants asserted that …

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by Ximena Marinero

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld Tuesday a New York City law that requires chain restaurants to post caloric content information on their menus and menu boards in an effort to address obesity rates. The court ruled that New York City Health Code Section 81.50 [NYC Health Department …

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by Andrew Gilmore

US President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed into law the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), intended to stimulate and grow the US economy in the current recession. Along with a number of tax incentives, renewable energy funding provisions, and infrastructure project funding, the law creates a new accountability and transparency regime and website …

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by Ximena Marinero

A lawyer for one of the men accused in the killing of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya alleged in his closing statements Tuesday that the prosecution's main pieces of evidence are flawed and have been fabricated. Defense lawyer Murad Musayev pointed out that phone records released by the telephone operator Megafon show evidence of manipulation. …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday charged four executives from Research In Motion (RIM), the company that makes BlackBerry, with stock options backdating and reached a settlement agreement. The four RIM executives, co-CEOs James Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, CFO Dennis Kavelman, and VP of Finance Angelo Loberto, are accused of …

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