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Legal news from Friday, April 16, 2010
by Steve Dotterer

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a civil suit on Friday alleging securities fraud against Goldman, Sachs & Co.. The complaint, filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges that Goldman made misleading statements and omissions to investors in early 2007 in violation …

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by Zach Zagger

Internal Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) documents released Thursday reveal that the former head of the agency Porter Goss may have agreed with the destruction of videotapes showing harsh interrogations of terror suspects. The heavily redacted documents reveal that, despite being unaware of the …

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by Daniel Richey

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Friday decried the recent decision by Hamas to execute several of its prisoners. On Thursday, the de-facto government of Palestinian Gaza executed Naser Abu Furaih and Mohamed al-Sabaa, both of whom were convicted of treason last February in …

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by Sarah Paulsworth

The Regensburg District Court in southern Germany convicted British Bishop Richard Williamson of incitement on Friday for denying the Holocaust and ordered him to pay a 10,000 euro fine. The case stemmed from an interview to Swedish TV channel SVT1, broadcast in January 2009,in which Williamson said he doubted that six …

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by Steve Dotterer

A judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York on Thursday ordered Imam Ahmad Afzali to leave the country within 90 days. Afzali pleaded guilty in March to lying to FBI agents in connection with the investigation of a plot to detonate explosives in the New York City …

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by Zach Zagger

A judge for US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin ruled Thursday that the National Day of Prayer is an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion. Judge Barbara Crabb issued summary judgment in favor of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, which challenged 36 USC § 119, establishing a day …

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by Jonathan Cohen

US President Barack Obama on Thursday ordered Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to expand the rights of patients and non-related visitors in hospitals that receive funding from Medicaid and Medicare. The rules that Obama asked HHS to establish are designed to ensure that hospitals respect the rights …

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by Sarah Paulsworth

The Kyrgyzstan Prosecutor General’s Office announced Friday that the son of deposed president Kurmanbek Bakiyev, Maksim Bakiyev, faces charges of abuse of power and misuse of state credit. Maksim Bakiyev ran Kyrgyzstan's Central Agency for Development, Investment and Innovation and is accused of transferring [RFE/RL report] USD $35 million of a $300 million loan from Russia into …

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by Daniel Makosky

A German court ruled Thursday that persons from the former East Germany do not constitute a unique ethnic group for discrimination prevention purposes. The matter arose when an East Berlin woman sued a Stuttgart company after the company rejected her employment application and returned her resume with the term "Ossi," a derogatory term for someone with ties …

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by Patrice Collins

US District Judge James Selna on Thursday ordered a May 13 pre-trial conference for the consolidated litigation against Toyota Motor Corporation surrounding the company's auto safety failures. The court found that, "ecause this docket involves both personal injury actions and actions for economic loss, the Court believes a somewhat unique structure is …

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by Carrie Schimizzi

An independent UN commission has blamed the Pakistani government and police forces for the 2007 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in its investigatory report released Thursday. According to the report, the Pakistani federal government "lacked a comprehensive security plan" and failed to provide adequate security for Bhutto by …

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by Matt Glenn

Council of Europe Commissioner on Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg on Thursday criticized an agreement reached Wednesday between Germany and Kosovo that would return to Kosovo thousands of refugees who fled to Germany during the 1998-1999 Kosovo War. The agreement calls for Germany to repatriate up to 2,500 refugees per year …

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by Matt Glenn

The Nova Scotian government officially pardoned and issued an apology to Canadian civil rights icon Viola Desmond in a ceremony Thursday attended by Premier Darrell Dexter and Minister of Justice Landry Ross. Desmond, an African-Canadian woman who died in 1965, was fined $20 and jailed overnight in 1946 on charges that stemmed from her refusal …

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