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Legal news from Wednesday, May 18, 2011
by Julia Zebley

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and the UN Security Council called Wednesday for continued reforms in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in order to strengthen the country's rule of law. President of the Security Council, Gerard Araud, spoke on the DRC's "peace and security, the forthcoming elections, governance and institution …

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by Zach Zagger

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara has asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to launch an investigation into alleged crimes committed as a result of the disputed presidential elections last November, according to a letter dated May 3 and published to the ICC website Wednesday. The letter asks ICC chief prosecutor Luis …

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by Julia Zebley

The Bulgarian government passed a long-delayed bill on Wednesday that allows "civil confiscation" of assets before conviction. This allows the Commission for Establishing of Property Acquired from Criminal Activity to launch investigations of people who cannot account for their income, in a move designed to target organized crime. The bill has yet to be passed …

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by Julia Zebley

The International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo declared on Wednesday that any authority attempting to cover up crimes in Libya will be held accountable. In a letter sent to Libyan Foreign Minister Abdelati Obeidi, Ocampo warned against diplomats covering up crimes for Libyan leader Mummar Gaddafi. Further, Ocampo …

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by Zach Zagger

Judges at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) on Wednesday ordered a prosecutor to retract statements requesting further investigation into those responsible for war crimes committed under the Khmer Rouge regime. Co-Investigating Judges You Bunleng and Siegfried Blunk issued the order demanding that Co-Prosecutor Andrew …

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by Julia Zebley

Rhode Island's House Judiciary Committee sent Bill 2011-H6103 to the House floor after a 9-3 vote in favor of it on Tuesday. The bill was introduced earlier this month and is modeled after similar laws in Illinois, Delaware and Hawaii, granting all rights of marriage to same-sex …

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by Julia Zebley

Former Israeli president Moshe Katsav had his seven-year prison sentence for rape and sexual assault delayed Wednesday pending the completion of his appeal. The Supreme Court of Israel also ruled earlier that the 300-page appeal will be made public in the future under court restrictions. …

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by Julia Zebley

Eight former Argentine military officers were convicted on Monday of liability for the massacre of Margarita Belen during the nation's 1976-1983 "Dirty War". The massacre involved the torture and execution of 22 political prisoners mostly belonging to the Montoneros, an urban guerrilla rebel group, on December 13, …

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by Zach Zagger

Myanmar began releasing as many as 15,000 prisoners Tuesday as part of an amnesty program after a visit from a special envoy from the UN secretary-general, but rights groups claim the government has not gone far enough. On Monday, President Thein Sein issued an order commuting death sentences to life sentences and commuting prison sentences by one …

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by Julia Zebley

Lawyer for former Russian oil executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky on Tuesday appealed his December conviction and requested that an Investigative Committee open a probe against Judge Viktor Danilkin. In February, Danilkin's assistant accused the judge of not writing the verdict and stated he was coerced …

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by Daniel Richey

A Palestinian human rights group released a report this week criticizing Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas security forces for violations of civil rights in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. In its newest annual report, the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) accuses the PA of torture, onerous security screenings and arbitrary detentions, while …

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by Zach Zagger

US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced a bill Tuesday amending the 25-year-old Electronic Communications and Privacy Act (EPCA), which he authored, to require the government to obtain a warrant before searching private e-mails and other data stored on an Internet cloud. The bill removes the 180-day rule that only requires a warrant to search …

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by Daniel Richey

A panel in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) on Monday denied a motion for pretrial release by former Khmer Rouge official Ieng Sary. Ieng, 85, served as deputy foreign minister under the Khmer Rouge regime during its reign in Cambodia from 1975-1979. Citing Rules …

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