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Legal news from Tuesday, June 15, 2010
by Hillary Stemple

Ethiopian opposition parties on Tuesday filed suit against the National Electoral Board (NEB) alleging that parties' complaints regarding last month's elections were handled in an irregular manner. The parties allege they submitted 87 pages of evidence showing irregularities related to the election but were never questioned by the NEB regarding the allegations. The allegations included …

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by Drew Singer

Spanish Justice Minister Francisco Caamano said Tuesday that the Spanish government plans to introduce legislation to ban the Islamic burqa in public places. The measure will be included in Spain's Religious Freedom Bill, which would also prohibit religious symbols, such as crucifixes, in state-owned buildings. Caamano said that the reasons for the …

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by Dwyer Arce

A German court on Tuesday ruled that a same-sex marriage performed abroad must be recognized as a registered partnership in Germany. An administrative court in Berlin held that the marriage must be treated legally as a registered partnership, after finding that authorities could not recognize the relationship as a marriage due to the requirement …

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by Sarah Miley

The International Steering Group for Kosovo (ISG) urged the nation to strengthen its efforts in fighting organized crime and corruption, following a meeting with Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu and Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, according to local media. The ISG is made up of 25 …

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by Hillary Stemple

A spokesperson for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) piracy division announced Tuesday that donors will spend more than USD $9.3 million to fund courts in Kenya and Seychelles that prosecute suspected Somali pirates. The Kenyan government announced in April that it would no longer accept Somali pirate cases due …

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by Sarah Miley

The UK Bloody Sunday Inquiry released a report Tuesday concluding that casualties resulting from a 1972 attack on Northern Ireland civilians by British forces were unjustified. The inquiry was launched in 1998 by former prime minister Tony Blair in response to pressure from the victims' families. The report concluded that British soldiers fired upon …

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by Dwyer Arce

A Turkish criminal court on Tuesday began the trial of 33 retired and active naval officers accused of attempting to overthrow the government and establish military rule. The accused are before the Istanbul 12th High Criminal Court for their connection to a group called Ergenekon, which allegedly planned to assassinate prominent members of Turkey's …

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by Hillary Stemple

A Thai court on Tuesday charged 11 protest leaders with terrorism in connection with Thailand's latest round of political violence, denying them bail. The men held leadership positions in the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship opposition group known as red shirts that conducted anti-government protests spanning from March 12 …

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by Dwyer Arce

Three members of the Kenyan Parliament were arrested Monday after being accused of hate speech in statements made against Kenya's proposed constitution. The three parliamentarians were among six that were accused of hate speech Monday, including Assistant Minister for Roads Wilfred Machage and Minister of Higher Education William Ruto, for statements …

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by Sarah Miley

A Serbian appeals court on Tuesday upheld the conviction and sentences of three members of Serbia's "Scorpion" paramilitary group for the death of 14 civilians in March 1999 during the 1998-1999 Kosovo war. The court demanded a retrial for a fourth member of the paramilitary unit, holding that his conviction had been …

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by Hillary Stemple

A military judge on Monday ordered the release of US Marine Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins III, two months after his conviction for killing an Iraqi citizen was reversed by the Navy-Marine Court for Criminal Appeals, citing lack of a fair trial. Hutchins was convicted in 2007 of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, …

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by Dwyer Arce

Kyrgyzstan interim President Roza Otunbayeva on Tuesday announced that the referendum seeking approval of a new constitution and a popular mandate for the interim government will be held June 27 despite ongoing ethnic violence against the Kyrgyz Uzbek population. The constitution was approved by the interim government in May …

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by Sarah Miley

Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi on Tuesday called for the prosecution of those who committed fraud during the 2009 presidential election and vowed to continue leading the resistance movement against incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The statement was posted on Mousavi's website following the June 12 anniversary of the …

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by Hillary Stemple

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on Monday sent a letter to the Venezuelan government expressing their concern over the increasing threat to freedom of expression in the country. The IACHR cited three recent cases that caused them particular concern. In the first case, a journalist was sentenced to over three years in prison …

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by Dwyer Arce

The Swiss Federal Assembly on Tuesday approved an agreement with the US that will allow Swiss bank UBS to disclose account information of clients suspected by the US government of tax evasion, but also voted to send it to a referendum. The Swiss National Council, the lower house …

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by Ann Riley

The Israeli cabinet on Monday unanimously approved plans for an internal probe into the May 31 Israeli raid on several Turkish ships bound for the blockaded Gaza Strip. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his hope that the probe would show that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) acted appropriately. During the …

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by Andrea Bottorff

The US Conference of Mayors on Monday passed two resolutions opposing Arizona's immigration law and supporting federal immigration reform at their annual conference in Oklahoma City. Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon (D) and three mayors outside Arizona submitted Resolution 41, which criticizes the state's immigration law as being …

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