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Nebraska man could face execution after conviction in 4 killings

By Katie Knapp Schubert OMAHA, Nebraska (Reuters) - A Nebraska man was convicted on Wednesday of killing four people during a 10-day murder spree last summer within days of his release from prison and could face the death penalty in a state that has not carried out an execution since 1997. Nikko Jenkins, 27, was found guilty of first-degree murder, use of a weapon to commit a felony and felon in possession of a weapon in each of the four killings by Douglas County District Court Judge Peter Bataillon, court officials said.

Saudi court detains rights lawyer

A Saudi court has ordered the arrest of a prominent rights lawyer who was standing trial for insulting the authorities in the ultraconservative kingdom and defying its ruler, the man's wife said Wednesday. Lawyer Waleed Abulkhair was already on bail for holding unauthorised meetings for reformists when he went to fifth hearing of his trial at a Riyadh court on Tuesday. His wife Samar Badawi had not heard from him since he told her he was switching his phone off to enter the closed-hearing courtroom, and was told on Wednesday that he was in jail, she said.

Croatia court backs ex-top spy's extradition to Germany

Croatia's Supreme Court has approved the extradition to Germany of a former Yugoslav spy chief wanted for the 1983 murder of a dissident on German soil, his lawyer said Wednesday. Zdravko Mustac's lawyer told AFP it was a "political extradition" and she would appeal to the European Court of Human Rights for a postponement on the grounds her client's rights were being violated. Germany had sought to extradite Mustac under the European Arrest Warrant (EAW), which regulates extradition between European Union member states.

Spain judge defies pressure to scrap Guantanamo case

A Spanish judge on Tuesday defied pressure to scrap a probe into alleged torture in the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay which targets former US president George W. Bush. Judge Pablo Ruz at the National Court, in a written decision, refused to scrap the case despite a recent reform to restrict such human rights probes in Spain. He also vowed to press on with two other investigations into alleged genocide in the former Spanish colony of Western Sahara from the 1970s.

Mladic has 'case to answer': UN war crimes court

A UN war crimes court upheld all charges against Bosnian Serb ex-army chief Ratko Mladic on Tuesday, saying he "has a case to answer", including for his role in Europe's worst massacre since World War II. Mladic, 72, appeared before judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) half-way through his trial to hear whether they deem that enough evidence exists to continue trying him for his role in Bosnia's bloody 1992-95 war.

Suspended senator Patrick Brazeau released on bail, going to rehab

GATINEAU, Que. - Facing assault, drug and other charges, a rumpled-looking Patrick Brazeau agreed Friday to go into rehab as a condition of being granted bail. The suspended senator was released from custody on $5,000 bail a day after being charged in connection with what police describe as a violent domestic disturbance. As a condition of his release, Brazeau was given 72 hours to check himself into a rehabilitation facility in the Quebec municipality of Saint-Andre-d'Argenteuil, which is located along the Ottawa River just south of the town of Lachute.

Montana bride who pushed husband off cliff appeals 30-year sentence

By Laura Zuckerman (Reuters) - A Montana bride who pleaded guilty to pushing her husband off a cliff to his death at Glacier National Park is appealing her prison sentence, arguing the judge improperly denied her request to withdraw her plea after a deal with prosecutors unraveled. Jordan Graham, 22, was sentenced last month to 30 years in prison by a federal judge after he rejected her move to rescind a guilty plea to second-degree murder that she took to avoid a mandatory life sentence if convicted of first-degree murder.

Ex-city officials in California accept plea deal in corruption case

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Five former elected officials from the scandal-plagued California city of Bell pleaded no contest on Wednesday to corruption charges, as cases wind to a close against a number of officials found to have stolen nearly $11 million from the working-class community, prosecutors said. The five former city council members were convicted last year of five counts of misappropriation of public funds and acquitted of five other counts of the same charge. But jurors had deadlocked on a few other charges.

Arizona mother who left baby on top of car gets probation

PHOENIX (Reuters) - A Phoenix mother who left her baby in a safety seat on the roof of her car as she drove home from a friend's house was sentenced on Wednesday to 16 years of supervised probation after pleading guilty to child abuse and driving under the influence of marijuana. Catalina Clouser, 21, faces three months in jail if she fails to successfully complete her probation in connection with the 2012 incident, said Vincent Funari, a spokesman for Maricopa County Superior Court said.

Swaziland's top judge orders re-arrest of freed editor

A Swaziland editor facing charges of contempt was re-arrested on Wednesday after the country's top judge appealed an earlier ruling to set him free. Bheki Makhubu, editor of The Nation, and his columnist colleague Thulani Maseko were initially released from custody on Sunday after a High Court judge overturned their arrest. Judge Mumcy Dlamini ruled that a warrant for their arrest on March 18 was not in line with the law, setting them free.
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