Moscow court orders paper to refute a report on Rosneft CEO

Headline Legal News 2016/10/10 22:44   Bookmark and Share
A court in Moscow has ordered a leading independent newspaper to retract an article about a luxury yacht allegedly owned by the chief of Russia's top state-controlled oil company. retract

The Basmanny District Court ruled Monday that the Novaya Gazeta report linking Rosneft Chairman Igor Sechin to the St. Princess Olga yacht was untrue.

The newspaper used social media and ship tracking data to allege that Sechin was the yacht's possible owner, but the court ruled that the allegations were unfounded.

Sechin has been a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He served as a deputy prime minister before taking helm of the giant Rosneft oil company.

Last month, another Moscow court ordered the business daily Vedomosti to withdraw a report about a mansion it claimed belonged to Sechin.

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Suspected people smuggler charged in Australian court

Headline Legal News 2016/10/02 13:00   Bookmark and Share
An Iranian citizen extradited from Indonesia was charged in a Sydney court on Thursday with attempting to smuggle 73 asylum seekers by boat to Australia.

Mohammad Naghi Karimi Azar, 56, on Wednesday became the eighth suspected people smuggler to be extradited from Indonesia to Australia since 2008, a government statement said.

Azar was charged in Sydney Central Local Court with 43 counts of people smuggling, an offense that carries a minimum five-year sentence and a maximum of 20 years.

He appeared by video from a Sydney police station.

Court documents allege Azar facilitated the passage of 73 men, women and children between 2011 and 2013. His lawyer, Archie Hallas, told the court that Azar had spent the last two and a half years in an Indonesian jail.

Azar did not apply for bail. Hallas told the court his client needed time to read the 100-page prosecution case against him. Azar is to appear in court next on Oct. 5.

Outside the court, another lawyer for Azar, Sayar Dehsabzi, told reporters his client intended to plead not guilty.

Dehsabzi said Azar told him he was a refugee registered with the United Nations and had fled Iran in fear of persecution because he was a member of an ethnic minority.

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Court again says New Jersey can't legalize sports betting

Headline Legal News 2016/08/15 16:11   Bookmark and Share
A federal appeals court on Tuesday dealt another defeat to New Jersey's yearslong attempt to legalize sports betting, setting aside the state's challenge to a federal betting ban.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling invalidated a law passed by New Jersey in 2014 that would have allowed sports betting at casinos and racetracks. The court found New Jersey's law repealing prohibitions against sports gambling violated the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which forbids state-authorized sports gambling.

"Because PASPA, by its terms, prohibits states from authorizing by law sports gambling, and because the 2014 law does exactly that, the 2014 law violates federal law," the court wrote.

Currently, only Nevada offers legal sports betting on individual games. Delaware offers multigame parlay betting in which players must pick several games correctly to win. Both were given exemptions when PASPA was passed.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and supporters in the state Legislature have sought to legalize sports gambling to help prop up the struggling casino and horse racing industries. It's estimated up to hundreds of billions of dollars are bet illegally on sports every year in the U.S.

Monmouth Park, in Oceanport on New Jersey's coast, is the only venue currently set up to offer sports gambling, if it were legalized.

The dispute has a lengthy legal history. New Jersey voters approved legal sports gambling in 2011, but the four major professional sports leagues and the NCAA sued the state the following year. The leagues claimed the expansion of betting to New Jersey would damage the integrity of their games and lead to more game-fixing.

Sports betting supporters have called the leagues' stance hypocritical, saying the leagues condone and profit from sports fantasy leagues in which participants assemble rosters of players from different teams and compete against others.

North Carolina shooting victim's family hires lawyer

The family of a black North Carolina man shot to death in a neighborhood confrontation in Raleigh has hired the lawyer representing two other black men who were killed by white police officers.

State Rep. Justin Bamberg of South Carolina says he is representing relatives of Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas.

Thomas was killed Aug. 7 when a white man living two doors down from a neighborhood party called police to complain of "hoodlums" and then fired a shotgun from his garage. Chad Cameron Copley is charged with murder.

Bamberg also is representing the family of Alton Sterling. The Baton Rouge, Louisiana, man was killed last month after he scuffled with two police officers outside a convenience store.

Bamberg also represents the family of Walter Scott, an unarmed South Carolina motorist killed by a North Charleston officer last year. Michael Slager faces state and federal charges.
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Appeals court rejects request to postpone voter ID decision

Headline Legal News 2016/08/11 16:11   Bookmark and Share
An appeals court has quickly decided it won't delay enforcement of its ruling striking down North Carolina's photo identification requirement and other election restrictions, including reducing early in-person voting by seven days.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the stay Thursday, one day after state leaders' attorneys requested that last week's ruling be set aside as they prepare to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the case.

A 4th Circuit panel had determined a 2013 law Republicans approved amounted to intentional discrimination of black voters.

Thursday's order says the harm to disenfranchised voters outweighs granting a delay. Last week's injunction means no voter ID mandate and 17 days of early voting with same-day registration. The state has other options to seek a delay.

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China releases prominent human rights lawyer on bail

Headline Legal News 2016/08/03 16:12   Bookmark and Share
China released a prominent human rights lawyer on bail amid protests Monday outside a northern city court, where supporters of other jailed lawyers and activists condemned the secrecy surrounding the government's yearlong campaign against legal activism.

The release of Wang Yu, who was detained last July, coincided with videos of an alleged confession by Wang posted on the websites of two Hong Kong media outlets in which she renounced her legal work and said "foreign forces" were using her law firm to undermine and discredit the Chinese government.

Wang's Beijing-based firm, Fengrui, has been at the center of a vast case in which dozens of lawyers and activists have been detained, questioned or charged with subversion since July last year.

Wen Donghai, a lawyer for Wang, told The Associated Press on Monday that he had learned from media reports that Wang had been released but had not seen her. Li Yuhan, another lawyer representing Wang, said Wang's mother did not know of her release.

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Democrats push McConnell, GOP on Supreme Court nomination

Headline Legal News 2016/04/16 01:18   Bookmark and Share
Senate Democrats called on Republicans to vote on Merrick Garland's nomination to the Supreme Court by Memorial Day, as GOP lawmakers showed no sign of relenting despite the latest round of courtesy calls.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., maintains that the president chosen by voters in November should fill the vacancy on the high court, and there will be no confirmation hearings or a vote. But Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and his Democratic colleagues are hoping that election-year pressure will eventually wear them down.

"We feel the public is on our side, and this is to their detriment," Reid told reporters Thursday at a news conference in which Democrats pressed for consideration of Garland's nomination.

One Republican in a tough re-election race, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, met with Garland Thursday morning and told the judge that he agreed with McConnell on delaying the nomination until after the next president takes office.

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