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Legal news from Wednesday, February 13, 2008
by Andrew Gilmore

A Turkish court sentenced a lawyer to life in prison Wednesday for the murder of Turkish Judge Mustafa Yucel Ozbilgin in May 2006. Alparslan Arslan was accused of opening fire in Turkey's highest administrative court, the Council of State, to protest a February 2006 ruling by the court permitting a school to deny …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US Senate voted 51-45 Wednesday to approve the conference report for an intelligence funding bill, which includes a provision that would restrict CIA interrogators to using only those interrogation techniques explicitly authorized by the 2006 Army Field Manual. Field Manual 2-22.3, Human Intelligence Collector Operations, explicitly prohibits the use …

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by Alexis Unkovic

US Attorney General Michael Mukasey discussed ongoing DOJ efforts to promote the rule of law in Iraq during his first official trip to Baghdad Wednesday. Mukasey met with three high ranking judiciary officials, including the head of Iraq's Higher Judicial Council Chief Judge Medhat al-Mahmoud, to discuss US efforts …

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by Alexis Unkovic

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) plans to try as many as eight suspects on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for their roles in the Khmer Rouge communist regime of the 1970s, according to an ECCC planning document reported by AP on Wednesday. The document …

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by Alexis Unkovic

EU Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security Franco Frattini Wednesday unveiled a comprehensive new border management package on behalf of the European Commission. The border security improvement initiative includes proposals for the creation of a European Border Surveillance System to prevent unauthorized border crossings and the development of new …

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by Katerina Ossenova

A judge for the International Criminal Court (ICC) said Wednesday that the trial of former Union of Patriotic Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga will likely be postponed for at least two months to allow defense lawyers sufficient time to prepare their case. In November 2007, the ICC set Lubanga's trial date [decision, PDF; …

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by Katerina Ossenova

A media and financial tycoon who was recently charged with a conspiracy to overthrow the government of the Georgian Republic was found dead in his mansion near London Wednesday. A spokesman for Badri Patarkatsishvili said that Patarkatsishvili was believed to have died of heart failure, but police are treating his death as suspicious. In …

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by Katerina Ossenova

US President George W. Bush Wednesday urged the House of Representatives to immediately pass the version of the FISA Amendments Act passed by the Senate this week. The US Senate voted 68-29 Tuesday to pass the legislation, which is intended to "modernize" the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and replace the temporary …

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by Katerina Ossenova

The UK will likely not have a written constitution for another 10 to 20 years, UK Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor Jack Straw said in a BBC radio interview Wednesday. Straw confirmed that the Labour Party government of Prime Minister Gordon Brown is in the process of drafting a new "Bill of …

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by Brett Murphy

The Iraqi Council of Representatives passed an amnesty law as part of a package of legislation approved Wednesday, a day after speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani threatened to disband the legislature when Shi'ite and Sunni lawmakers walked out on budget hearings. In addition to the amnesty law that would release roughly 5,000 prisoners, …

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by Brett Murphy

Real estate businesses have filed a lawsuit against the New York City Campaign Finance Board claiming that a new law that greatly restricts the amount that city businesses can donate to city campaigns violates the US Constitution. The suit, filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Monday, alleges …

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by Leslie Schulman

Danish newspaper Jyllands-Poste reprinted a cartoon Wednesday drawn by Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard one day after Danish police arrested three people suspected in a plot to murder Westergaard for his characterization of Muhammad. Westergaard was one of 12 cartoonists who published cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammad in 2005 that sparked …

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by Leslie Schulman

The National Parliament of East Timor voted Wednesday to extend the state of emergency imposed this week after attacks against President Jose Ramos Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, during which Horta was critically wounded and rebel leader Alfredo Reinado was killed. The parliament voted to extend the state of emergency until February …

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by Brett Murphy

The US Senate on Tuesday voted 68-29 in favor of the FISA Amendments Act, legislation intended to replace the temporary Protect America Act in modernizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The Protect America Act is currently set to expire February 15. The bill passed by the Senate Tuesday would …

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by Leslie Schulman

The Guatemalan Congress voted to restore the death penalty Tuesday, passing a bill that ends a six-year moratorium on executions imposed by the Constitutional Court in 2002. Under the new law, Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom will have to decide whether to grant clemency to the 24 inmates currently on …

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