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Legal news from Friday, January 29, 2010
by Steve Czajkowski

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Friday called the closed door trial of Cambodia's opposition leader Sam Rainsy and two others a "farce," saying the ruling demonstrates the government's control over the country's judiciary. Rainsy was convicted Wednesday, in absentia, of inciting racial discrimination and intentionally destroying posts demarcating the border between …

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by Steve Dotterer

US President Barack Obama on Friday ordered the federal government to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent by 2020. The reduction is pursuant to Executive Order 13514, signed by Obama in October. The order provides, in part:It is therefore the policy of the United States that Federal agencies shall increase …

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by Zach Zagger

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled Friday that while the treatment of Canadian Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr violated his rights, the government does not have to press for his return to Canada. In a unanimous decision, the court ruled that the interrogation of Khadr by Canadian officials while in …

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by Sarah Paulsworth

A Nigerian court ruled Friday that ailing President Umaru Yar'Adua is not required to formally transfer his powers to Vice President Goodluck Jonathan or any other interim leader. The Federal High Court in Abuja rejected a lawsuit brought by the Nigerian Bar Association, seeking to have presidential powers temporary endowed …

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by Jonathan Cohen

The White House is considering moving the trials of alleged 9/11 conspirator Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other high-profile terror suspects out of New York City, a senior official said Friday. Although the deputy press secretary reaffirmed earlier this week that US President Barack Obama "agrees with the Attorney General's opinion that ... he and others …

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by Patrice Collins

A French public prosecutor on Friday announced plans to appeal the acquittal of former prime minister Dominique de Villepin, which cleared him of all charges for his role in an alleged plot to defame several businessmen, including current President Nicolas Sarkozy. The appeal comes shortly …

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by Daniel Makosky

Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Luis Moreno-Ocampo said Thursday that he believes the ICC's appeals chamber will add a genocide charge to the case against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. The chamber will rule next Wednesday on an appeal challenging the ICC's decision not …

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by David Manes

A Vietnamese court sentenced writer and democracy activist Pham Thanh Nghien to a four-year prison term on Friday on charges of spreading anti-state propaganda. Foreign observers were not permitted to attend the trial, which took place in the city of Haiphong in the northern region of Vietnam and lasted less than a day. Nghien …

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by Matt Glenn

Kenya's Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Thursday recommended eliminating the position of prime minister in the country's draft constitution. Other PSC proposals include an expanded parliament, with some seats guaranteed to women, a prohibition on members of parliament serving in cabinet positions to maintain a separation of powers, and a presidency that requires …

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by Matt Glenn

Malaysia's Kuching High Court has issued an injunction to stop a company from destroying the homes of indigenous Malaysians. Last week, state-government agents began tearing down Iban houses on land controlled by the native Iban people at the request Tatau Land Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of ASSAR Group, a government-owned holding company …

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