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Legal news from Friday, May 1, 2009
by Jaclyn Belczyk

The Swiss Federal Office of Justice on Friday announced that it has filed a brief in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida arguing that a lawsuit filed by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) seeking information on 52,000 UBS account holders suspected of …

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by Adrienne Lester

The Criminal Court in Liberia on Friday acquitted former interim president Gyude Bryant of embezzlement charges. The former leader was charged with the embezzlement of $1.4 million during his interim presidency, which lasted from October 2003 to January 2006. The charges stemmed from an audit conducted by the Economic Community of West …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on Friday denied a stay of deportation for accused Nazi prison guard John Demjanjuk. Last month, the court granted a stay of deportation to consider Demjanjuk's appeal of an order by the Board of Immigration Appeals that …

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by Brian Jackson

The Supreme Court of India on Friday ordered the formation of five special courts to hear cases stemming from the 2002 Gujarat riots. The court did not move the cases outside of Gujarat however, as the National Human Rights Commission had requested, instead ordering that the courts …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The Maine Senate voted 21-14 in favor of a bill that would allow same-sex marriage in the state. The vote split mainly along party lines, with only one Democrat voting against the measure. The bill will now go before the Maine House of Representatives on Tuesday, where it is expected to …

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by Brian Jackson

The Japanese government on Thursday pledged to donate USD $4.17 million to assist the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), the tribunal set up to try former members of the Khmer Rouge. The funding comes at an opportune moment for the ECCC, which projected a $4.3 million dollar shortfall …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

Justice David Souter of the US Supreme Court will retire at the end of the 2008 term in June, according to Thursday reports. Souter has not issued a a public statement and no formal announcement has been made by the Court, but the White House was …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) on Thursday added Canada to its Priority Watch List of 12 countries that are not adequately protecting intellectual property rights. In its 2009 Special 301 Report, the USTR also elevated Algeria and Indonesia to the list and removed South …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The Brazilian Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a law restricting the press as unconstitutional. The court ruled 7-4 that the Press Law [Law No. 5250/67 text, in Portuguese], which was enacted in 1967 and allowed for censorship of news media, books, and other forms of communication, is incompatible with the Brazilian …

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by Ximena Marinero

A bill [S.896 materials] that would have aided homeowners in foreclosure was rejected 45-51 Thursday by the US Senate. The financial industry had lobbied heavily against the proposed legislation that had come to be known as the "cramdown bill" for a provision that would have allowed bankruptcy judges to modify mortgages from lenders that …

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by Bhargav Katikaneni

Al Qaeda operative Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support [18 USC § 2339B] to a foreign terrorist organization after reaching a plea agreement with federal prosecutors that may send him to jail for 15 years. Prosecutors said that al-Marri, a "sleeper operative" for …

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by Ximena Marinero

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed questions about the specific plans for closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility before the US Senate Committee on Appropriations on Thursday. Gates and Clinton presented the FY 2009 Supplemental Request, which included requests for $50 million for the Department …

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