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Drivers nabbed without seatbelts allowed to raise due diligence defence

TORONTO - Drivers charged with failing to buckle up should be allowed to argue they did everything they could to comply with the law mandating seatbelt use, Ontario's top court ruled Friday. In its decision, the Court of Appeal rejected the idea that the seatbelt law bars a motorist from raising due diligence as a defence. "In the admittedly rare case where the driver has done his or her best to comply (with the law), the injustice of conviction without fault is avoided," the court stated.

Ukraine oligarch sought by US released in Austria on $172.5 million bail

VIENNA - An influential Ukrainian oligarch arrested in Vienna on an American warrant charging him with bribery and other offences has been released on 125 million-euro ($172.5 million) bail by an Austrian court. The Vienna state court said Friday that Dmytro Firtash promised not to leave Austria while extradition proceedings are underway and to be reachable to judicial authorities. Firtash was arrested in Vienna on March 12. The U.S. attorney's office says he has been charged in an "international corruption conspiracy" in Illinois.

Army general gets fine, no jail in sex case

By Kelly Twedell FORT BRAGG, North Carolina (Reuters) - An Army general who admitted to an adulterous sexual affair and other improper relationships with junior female officers was spared jail and dismissal from the service on Thursday, a sentence critics decried as a failure of military justice.

Japan court awards damages in Ghanian's deportation death

A Japanese court on Wednesday awarded compensation to the family of a Ghanian who died in immigration custody, blaming officials for accidentally killing the man who was restrained with handcuffs and a mouth gag. The Tokyo District Court ruled that the family of Abubakar Awudu Suraj -- who was awaiting deportation at the time of his death in March 2010 -- should receive five million yen ($50,000) in damages, well below the family's demand for 136 million yen.

Japan court awards damages in Ghanaian's deportation death

A Japanese court on Wednesday awarded compensation to the family of a Ghanaian who died in immigration custody, blaming officials for accidentally killing the man who was restrained with handcuffs and a mouth gag. The Tokyo District Court ruled that the family of Abubakar Awudu Suraj -- who was awaiting deportation at the time of his death in March 2010 -- should receive five million yen ($50,000) in damages, well below the family's demand for 136 million yen.

U.S. general guilty of improper liaisons called 'inspirational leader'

By Kelly Twedell FORT BRAGG, North Carolina (Reuters) - A U.S. Army general who admitted he mistreated a female captain during one of several improper relationships with junior officers earned loyalty from soldiers by empowering and inspiring them, supporters testified on Tuesday.

ISIL jihadists conduct 'mass executions' in Syria: UN probe

The jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) carried out "mass executions" in Syria in January, the United Nations said Tuesday, adding that it was investigating allegations of mass graves. The group "conducted mass executions of detainees, thereby perpetrating war crimes," the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said in an update on the human rights situation in the country.

Ex Rwanda captain appeals landmark genocide sentence in France

Pascal Simbikangwa, the first Rwandan to be tried in France over his role in the devastating 1994 genocide, has appealed his 25-year prison sentence, his lawyers said on Tuesday. The 54-year-old former army captain was sentenced on Friday after a landmark six-week trial that was closely watched in France, which was accused of failing to rein in the Rwandan regime at the time of the genocide that left 800,000 dead.

Singer Chris Brown to remain in jail until probation hearing

By Eric Kelsey LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - R&B singer Chris Brown on Monday was ordered by a Los Angeles judge to remain in jail at least until his April 23 probation violation hearing, related to his 2009 assault of his then-girlfriend, the singer Rihanna. Brown, 24, was arrested last Friday when he was dismissed from a rehabilitation facility, triggering a violation of the singer's court-ordered treatment. He had spent the weekend at Los Angeles County's aging Men's Central Jail.

French court genocide sentence is milestone: Rwandan minister

Rwanda's justice minister on Saturday hailed the sentencing by a French court of a former Rwandan army captain to 25 years in prison over the 1994 genocide as a "milestone". In the first trial of its kind in France Pascal Simbikangwa, a 54-year-old former member of the Rwandan presidential guard, was found guilty of perpetrating genocide and of complicity in crimes against humanity.
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