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Legal news from Friday, February 24, 2012
by Jaimie Cremeans

A federal immigration judge in Florida decided Thursday that former El Salvador General Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova can be deported for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed while in El Salvador. Judge James Grim found that Vides assisted in both the killing of four American women in 1980 and the torture of two Salvadorans during El …

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by Matthew Pomy

Former Commander of the Bosnian Serb Army, Ratko Mladic, accused the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) of being "biased" against Serbs and a "puppet" of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Mladic faces charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, including murder, political persecution, forcible transfer and …

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by Jaimie Cremeans

Former Somali prime minister Mohamed Ali Samantar on Thursday accepted legal responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity before the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The civil suit was brought by the Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) in 2004 against Samantar, who had been living in Washington, …

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by Jerry Votava

Human Rights Watch (HRW) expressed concern Thursday over the investigation into post-election violence in the Ivory Coast in 2010 and 2011 and advocated six-month extension of the probe. HRW's primary concern rests on the short time-frame of the investigation, begun in January 2012 and currently finalizing its findings, as well as reports …

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by Matthew Pomy

The Advancement Project filed a lawsuit Thursday on behalf of four other rights groups alleging that the new Wisconsin voter ID law, Wisconsin Act 23, is unconstitutional because it is racially discriminatory. The new law states that all voters must present photo identification at the polls in order to vote in local, state …

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by Jerry Votava

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, joined by attorneys general from six other states, filed a lawsuit Thursday in the US District Court for the District of Nebraska challenging new health care mandates that require the provision of contraception for all employees, including those of religious institutions. The new mandates were promulgated as a …

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by Sung Un Kim

UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Margot Wallstrom on Thursday presented the Secretary-General's annual report on conflict-related sexual violence to the UN Security Council. The report documents numerous conflict-related sexual violence cases in Colombia, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Libya, Myanmar, Somalia and …

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by Michael Haggerson

Pfc. Bradley Manning was formally charged with 22 counts, including aiding the enemy, under the Espionage Act on Thursday. Manning declined to enter a plea at the hearing. The maximum penalty Manning faces is life in prison. The government alleges that Manning transferred more than 700,000 confidential documents and video clips …

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by Kevin Green

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Thursday that buccal mouth swabs may be used to extract DNA samples from any adult arrested or charged with a felony in California. The 2-1 decision upholds a 2004 voter-enacted provision of the DNA and Forensic Identification Database and Data Bank Act …

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by Sung Un Kim

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has told the court that he is saddened by "charges of unfair and baseless fabrications" and expressed his confidence in the Egyptian judicial system. Mubarak's remarks were published in form of a memo by Tahrir newspaper on Thursday. Mubarak's remarks to the court became public …

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by Michael Haggerson

The continuing dispute between Cambodia and the UN over the appointment of Judge Laurent Kasper-Ansermet to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) threatens the legitimacy of the court, the Open Society Justice Initiative said Thursday. Kasper-Ansermet took over for Judge Siegfried Blunk who resigned in October …

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by Saheli Chakrabarty

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Thursday that heirs of victims of the Armenian genocide in Turkey cannot sue German insurance companies for failed life insurance payments from German insurance companies. Descendants of the genocide victims residing in California brought the suit nearly a decade ago, …

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by Keith Herting

The Maryland Senate on Thursday approved the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which would legalize same-sex marriage in the state. The legislation passed by a 25-22 margin in the Senate, having already been approved by the lower house earlier in the week. The bill goes next to Governor Martin O'Malley (D) who …

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