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Legal news from Tuesday, October 20, 2009
by Jonathan Cohen

Spanish Judge Santiago Pedraz on Tuesday ordered the release of accused Somali pirate Abdou Willy to the Spanish Juvenile Court. Pedraz ordered the release after medical examinations could not determine his age to be over 18. Willy and one other man were charged last week with multiple counts …

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by Andrea Bottorff

Colombian prosecutor Luis Gonzalez said Monday that at least 27,384 civilians disappeared between 1988 and 2002, with nearly 75 percent of them allegedly kidnapped by illegal right-wing militias. The government's judicial Justice and Peace Office compiled the list after a three-year investigation of forced disappearances that included testimonies of the relatives of the missing persons. …

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by Sarah Miley

The trial of Rwandan genocide suspect Jean-Baptiste Gatete began Tuesday with opening statements from the prosecution and defense before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Gatete, the former Mayor of Murambi Commune in Byumba prefecture, is charged with six counts of genocide including complicity in genocide, conspiracy …

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by Jay Carmella

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday granted certiorari in two cases. In Kiyemba v. Obama [docket; cert. petition, PDF], the court will consider whether a group of 13 Uighur Guantanamo Bay detainees can be released into the US. In February, a panel of the US Court of Appeals …

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by Daniel Makosky

The Uruguayan Supreme Court on Monday found unconstitutional the country’s Expiry Law, which granted amnesty to military officials accused of human rights violations during the country's 1973-1985 dictatorship. The court's ruling applies only to the case of Nibia Sabalsagaray, allegedly murdered by the military in 1974, but the law is also subject to a voter …

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by Sarah Paulsworth

The US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio on Thursday issued a stay of execution for Ohio death row inmate Kenneth Biros, as the state continues to review its lethal injection procedures. Biros is the fourth Ohio death inmate to be granted a stay of execution since the failed attempt to execute Romell Broom [JURIST …

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by David Manes

The Iraqi Parliament delayed a vote Monday that would have updated the controversial provincial election law it passed in September 2008. The proposed election law changes, which include ballots that list candidates rather than closed lists of parties, particularly affects the city of Kirkuk and is designed to make the election …

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by Safiya Boucaud

The constitutional branch of the Supreme Court of Nicaragua on Monday struck down a constitutional provision that bans presidential candidates from running for two consecutive terms. Under Article 147 of the Nicaraguan Constitution, a president can serve a maximum of two terms in office, but the terms cannot be consecutive. Monday's decision …

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by Matt Glenn

US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy issued a temporary order Monday prohibiting the publication of the names of those who signed a Washington state petition to overturn a state law giving same-sex partners the same rights as married partners. Kennedy's order, which reversed an order issued last week by the …

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by Matt Glenn

Galleon Group hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam denied any wrongdoing Sunday, promising to fight charges brought against him in one of the US government's largest insider trading cases to date. Rajaratnam was arrested Friday and charged along with five other individuals and two business entities with insider trading. The complaint …

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by Steve Czajkowski

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday agreed to a runoff election against challenger Abdullah Abdullah after the UN-backed Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) announced Monday that it had invalidated election results from 210 polling stations in Afghanistan's disputed August presidential elections. The EEC …

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by Jay Carmella

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has ruled that 14 victims of Hurricane Katrina have standing to sue companies for allegedly contributing to global warming, which they claim played a role in increasing the severity of the hurricane. The court found Friday that the plaintiffs had …

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