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Legal news from Thursday, February 18, 2010
by Sarah Miley

Niger President Mamadou Tandja was taken hostage on Thursday in an apparent coup attempt by dissident army officials, leaving at least three Nigerien soldiers dead. The opposition forces invaded the presidential palace with machine guns during a meeting of government ministers and kidnapped Tandja along with half of his cabinet. The attack comes six months …

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by Zach Zagger

The Polish government joined a class-action on lawsuit Wednesday brought against Russia for the 1940 Katyn Massacre where 20,000 Poles were killed by the USSR. The suit, filed in May in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is being brought by 13 Polish citizens who are …

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by Haley Wojdowski

International Criminal Court (ICC) deputy prosecutor Fatou Bensouda arrived in Guinea Wednesday for a three-day investigation into the killing of more than 150 civilians in Conakry in September. During her investigation, Bensouda will determine whether the ICC has jurisdiction to try those responsible for the massacre if the government fails to …

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by Daniel Makosky

Lawyers representing Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr filed an emergency motion Wednesday in the Canadian Federal Court challenging a diplomatic note sent by the Canadian government to the US State Department. The note asks that all evidence collected by Canadian officials be omitted from any US proceedings against …

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by Jonathan Cohen

A federal judge on Thursday decided that the criminal trial of Galleon Group hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam will begin October 25. Prosecutors had asked the judge to schedule the trial for June or July, but Rajaratnam and former hedge fund consultant Danielle Chiesi asked for more time to prepare …

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by Brian Jackson

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday appointed 34 new judges, including three to the country's Supreme Court, after Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry blocked Zardari's original selections. The court blocked the selections last week because Zardari did not consult with the Supreme Court prior to …

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by Bhargav Katikaneni

The French Court of Cassation on Wednesday reversed an appellate court decision to overturn the convictions of five former Guantanamo Bay detainees, remanding the case to the lower court. A court spokesperson said the case will be heard by a specially created panel of the Paris appeals court. Regardless of the outcome, …

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by Andrea Bottorff

The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission on Wednesday overturned a man's 1993 murder conviction in its first exoneration of an inmate who claimed to have been wrongly convicted. George Taylor, who had served 17 years of a life sentence and had exhausted all other appeals options, became the first person to be exonerated under …

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by Bhargav Katikaneni

A Haitian judge on Wednesday ordered the release of eight of the 10 US missionaries held in a Haitian jail on kidnapping charges in the wake of the January 12 earthquake. Eight of the 10 members of the missionary group, affiliated with the Central Valley Baptist Church of Idaho and the New …

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by Matt Glenn

A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia granted summary judgment for the National Forest Service (NFS) Wednesday, upholding an agreement limiting the amount of timber that can be harvested in Alaska's Tongass National Forest. Several Alaska towns and companies challenged the 2008 Tongass National Forest Land …

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by Matt Glenn

Eighty-five victims of rocket attacks in Israel have filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the District of Columbia seeking damages from Iran and Iran's central bank for for injuries suffered in the 2006 Second Lebanon War. The suit, filed Monday, claims that Iran, between 2001 and 2006, gave Hezbollah …

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