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Legal news from Friday, July 11, 2008
by Andrew Gilmore

The UN said Friday that it had reached a "broad understanding" with Pakistan on logistical issues and questions of access to government officials central to a potential investigation into the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met Thursday with Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The Flemish Parliament approved the new EU reform treaty Friday, finalizing Belgian approval of the document, also known as the Treaty of Lisbon. Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, congratulated Belgium on its approval of the treaty in a statement [text, …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A judge in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia Friday sentenced a former US Department of Defense (DOD) official to almost five years in prison for disclosing national defense information to Chinese agents. Gregg William Bergersen, an analyst at the DOD's Defense Security Cooperation Agency, pleaded guilty [DOJ …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit rejected a Bush administration appeal against a 2007 order requiring that White House visitor logs be released in compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The court held that it lacked jurisdiction to consider the appeal because the …

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by Andrew Gilmore

Members of the Pakistan lawyers' movement rallied Thursday against the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari for failing to reinstate judges deposed after the declaration of emergency by President Pervez Musharraf in November 2007. Among the deposed judges are a number of justices of …

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by Devin Montgomery

Singapore's Ministry of Law Wednesday rejected claims by the International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) that the country lacks an independent judiciary and fails to meet international standards of human rights. In its response to the claims, the Ministry rejected the IBAHRI's call for the country to provide increased protections of the …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert misappropriated approximately $100,000 by double-billing different sources for travel and hotel expenses, Israeli police said Friday after questioning the politician. Olmert's travel agency, Rishon Tours, would allegedly ask various state agencies and charities to pay Olmert's travel bills without telling them that other bodies were also being asked to pay the same …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Thai Attorney General's Office filed new corruption charges against former Thailand Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in the country's Supreme Court Friday. The charges relate to a 2003 resolution that reduced fees paid by mobile phone companies to state telecommunications agencies. A company then owned by Thaksin's family saw the greatest benefit from the …

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by Deirdre Jurand

Human rights groups and defense lawyers have criticized the refusal of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to interfere with US proceedings against Canadian Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr in light of documents released Thursday showing that the Canadian government knew Khadr had been mistreated. Harper spoke Friday of the …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) announced that next week it will rule on a Mexican petition asking to delay the executions of five Mexicans on death row in the US. Mexican authorities allege that US officials denied the five men the chance to speak with Mexican counselor officers in violation of the 1963 …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The European Parliament (EP) voted Thursday to adopt a resolution calling on member states to "review and repeal laws and policies that discriminate against the Roma on the basis of race and ethnicity." The EP resolution also calls on the European Commission and EU member states to enact legislation and policies to support …

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by Devin Montgomery

The Italian Chamber of Deputies, the country's lower house of parliament, approved legislation Thursday that would grant Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and other high-ranking officials immunity from prosecution while in office. Berlusconi's government proposed the legislation, saying the officials needed to operate …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Former UK shadow Home Secretary David Davis, who resigned his parliamentary position in protest over an anti-terror bill [materials; BBC Q/A] in June, won a forced by-election Friday with almost 72% of the vote. In his acceptance speech, Davis promised to stand for civil liberties and oppose what he termed "draconian" security …

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by Steve Czajkowski

Arab activist Sami Al-Arian was granted bail Thursday by a judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, but it is speculated that he might be detained by immigration officials upon release. The former University of South Florida (USF) computer science professor allegedly provided supported to …

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by Deirdre Jurand

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit against leaders of the US intelligence community on Thursday, acting on behalf of rights groups and activists. Filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, the action challenges the constitutionality of the newly-amended Foreign Intelligence Surveillance …

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by Steve Czajkowski

The US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled. Thursday that Virginia's method of execution by lethal injection does not violate the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Virginia death row inmate Christopher Scott Emmett had challenged the procedure, arguing that there is an unacceptable risk that the drugs …

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