[JURIST] A special three member military panel will hear motions Monday to dismiss terrorism charges [PDF] against Australian Taliban member David Hicks. Hicks, who is scheduled to stand trial in January on war crimes charges, is among 550 terror suspects being held as enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay. Hick's attorneys contend that he has been denied a speedy trial, unfettered access to lawyers, and the right to fair proceedings. If the motions are granted it could possibly disrupt or postpone further trials at Guantanamo. AP has more. JURIST's Paper Chase has more coverage of Guantanamo here.
[JURIST] Canada's version of the US terrorism watch list that bans suspicious passengers from boarding airplanes has been delayed amid legal and financial concerns. Opponents of the government-generated list contend it will violate the guarantee of free mobility under the Canadian Charter of Rights of Freedoms and federal privacy laws. Transport Canada officials have promised to work out the details while respecting the Canadian Constitution. The US encouraged Canada to form the watch list in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Canadian Press has more.
[JURIST] Jordanian businessman Bilal al-Hiyari was convicted Sunday of raising funds for Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi and sentenced to six months in jail by a Jordanian military court. He was, however, acquitted of conspiring in actual attacks on US forces in Iraq. Al-Hiyari allegedly struck up a personal relationship with al-Zarqawi when they met before the war in Iraq after finding both had similar ideas on holy war. The specific details of the conspiracy accusation could not be substantiated. AP has more.
[JURIST] The Ukrainian presidential election was carried out with minimal procedural violations, Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Viktor Chernomyrdin said Sunday. Exit polls showed that Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and liberal challenger Viktor Yushchenko were the top vote getters. Yushchenko reportedly earned more votes, but neither top candidate won the requisite 50%, and the two will face a run-off election in November. The US had earlier expressed concern about possible widespread interference and irregularities, but outside of voters entering information incorrectly, the election appeared to be largely problem-free, with a high turn-out. Reuters has more on the reported results, and Interfax has more on violations.
[JURIST] Iran's Parliament Sunday approved a bill to allow the government to continue uranium enrichment. The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treatydoes not ban Iran from enriching uranium, but the country is facing increased pressure from European nations to halt its nuclear activity. The UN nuclear watchdog has offered Iran a supply of fuel for its nuclear power plants so it would not need to enrich its own uranium. The issue of nuclear proliferation unites conservatives and reformers in the Iranian parliament and is seen as an issue of national pride in Iran. AP has more.
[JURIST] The militant Islamic group the Army of Muslims (Jaish-e-Muslimeen) that has kidnapped three UN relief employees in Afghanistan - British-Irish woman Annetta Flanigan, Kosovar woman Shqipe Hebibi and Filipino diplomat Angelito Nayan - is calling for the release of Afghan prisoners in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, and the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan. In a video released Sunday to Aljazeera television, the three hostages appear to be unharmed. The group is said to have strong ties to the Taliban. The UN has called for their employees' immediate release. Aljazeera has more.
[JURIST] Federal judges in Ohio and New Jersey are expected to rule Monday on whether voter challenges can be raised at the polls. Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell is seeking to prevent voter challenges in his state because they are primarily targeted at polling locations that serve poor and African American citizens. Blackwell, a Republican, broke from his party's view, fearing that such challenges may violate the Voting Rights Act. The challenges were announced by the state GOP after court rulings Wednesday and Friday pre-empted pre-election hearings to challenge thousands of voters that the party alleged were on the rolls improperly. The Cleveland Plain Dealer has more. In New Jersey, meanwhile, US District Judge Dickinson Debevoise is set to rule on whether voter challenges nationwide might contravene a 1982 New Jeresy consent decree in which the Republican National Committee agreed not to engage in "ballot security activities ... where racial or ethnic composition" was a factor.... The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has decided to postpone investigations into allegations made by Republicans that nearly 1,000 convicted felons who have not had voting rights restored illegally requested absentee ballots or voted early. Florida is one of several states that permanently bars felons from voting unless they participate in a lengthy reinstatement process. The FDLE provides information about voter registration and reinstatement here. The New York Times has more.
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