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Legal news from Wednesday, November 24, 2010
by Ashley Hileman

A Spanish judge on Tuesday ordered the release of former Guatemalan interior minister Carlos Vielmann after authorities in Guatemala failed to request his extradition. Vielmann has been imprisoned in Spain since his arrest in Madrid last month, and was to be extradited on charges that he ordered the extrajudicial execution of seven …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

A jury for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on Wednesday convicted five Somali men on charges of piracy, the first such conviction in the US in nearly 200 years. The men were found guilty on charges of piracy, attacking to plunder a maritime vessel and assault with a dangerous …

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by Andrea Bottorff

US Air Force Major Margaret Witt, who was discharged under the military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" (DADT) [10 USC § 654; JURIST news archive] policy, will become the first openly gay person to serve in the US military after the Obama administration Wednesday did not pursue a stay of a previous federal court decision ordering her reinstatement. The US …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

Germany's Federal Constitutional Court on Wednesday upheld restrictions on the use of genetically modified (GM) crops. The German state of Saxony-Anhalt had challenged the 2008 law, which requires "buffer zones" between GM and conventional crops. The law also mandates that GM farmers compensate neighbors if their crops become contaminated. Upholding …

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by Andrea Bottorff

A court in Kyrgyzstan on Wednesday sentenced 19 ethnic Uzbeks for their involvement in the June 2010 ethnic violence that resulted in more than 300 deaths and an additional 2,000 injuries. Seventeen of the Uzbeks received life sentences and two received 25-year sentences for their participation in a June 13 riot [24.kg report] that …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The Federal Court of Malaysia, the country's highest court, on Wednesday rejected a defamation suit filed by former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim against former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad. Anwar filed suit in 2006 after Mahathir allegedly suggested at a human rights conference that Anwar was unfit for office because …

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