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Legal news from Wednesday, March 18, 2009
by Devin Montgomery

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday charged accountant David Friehling with fraud for his alleged role in the securities fraud scheme committed by financier Bernard Madoff. In the complaint, the SEC alleges that Friehling and his accounting firm made fraudulent representations that they had audited Madoff's records …

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by Devin Montgomery

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Tuesday called on US Attorney General Eric Holder to commission a special prosecutor  to investigate tactics used by CIA interrogators against terrorism suspects. ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said in a letter to Holder that recently published characterizations [NYRB op-ed; JURIST report] …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

A US magistrate judge in South Carolina ruled Wednesday that suspected al Qaeda operative Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri must remain in prison as the criminal case against him proceeds. Judge Robert Carr denied al-Marri's request to be freed on bail, finding that he had failed to prove that he was not a danger to …

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by Matt Glenn

The High Constitutional Court of Madagascar announced in a radio address Wednesday that it would accept the military's decision [L'Express report, in French] to install opposition leader Andry Rajoelina as the country's new president, one day after the resignation of President Marc Ravalomanana. The court approved the presidency of …

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by Lucas Tanglen

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Tuesday praised the reinstatement of Pakistan Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry. Pillay's spokesman called the move "an important step in the process of restoring the rule of law in Pakistan," adding …

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by Ximena Marinero

The administration of US President Barack Obama intends to endorse a UN declaration that calls for decriminalizing homosexuality, according to an anonymous official quoted in a Tuesday Associated Press report. In December, the Bush administration declined to sign the statement signed by 66 other nations. The Bush administration offered the rationale …

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by Ingrid Burke

US President Barack Obama on Tuesday nominated Judge David Hamilton to serve on the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, thereby moving to fill the first of 15 federal appellate vacancies. Hamilton previously served for 14 years as a district judge for the US District Court for …

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by Ximena Marinero

The Iraqi Cabinet urged the Presidency Council Tuesday to ratify death sentences against three former Saddam Hussein officials. The sentences have been delayed because two of the members, President Jalal Talabani and Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi, have opposed the sentences of Hashim al-Taie and Hussein Rashid Mohammed, alleging that both …

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by Lucas Tanglen

The US Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals upheld Tuesday a military judge's dismissal of the charges against Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, the top-ranking US Marine to face court-martial in the killing of 24 Iraqis in Haditha. The court affirmed the appearance …

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by Andrew Gilmore

A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld Tuesday a district court decision finding former El Salvador chief military commander Nicolas Carranza liable for murder and torture committed during the El Salvador civil war in the 1980s. In 2005, a Tennessee federal jury found Carranza …

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by Andrew Gilmore

A Russian court Tuesday refused a request by defense lawyers to drop new embezzlement and money laundering charges against former Russian oil executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his former business partner Platon Lebedev. The court also rejected a request by defense lawyers to have the case returned to state prosecutors [ITAR-TASS …

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