Legal news from Monday, December 20, 2004
15:12 EDT

[JURIST] Updating a story reported earlier today in JURIST's Paper Chase, a US State Department spokesman said Monday that the weekend auction sale of Russian oil giant Yukos' main production arm to satisfy back taxes in the face of a US bankruptcy court order eroded confidence in Russia's business, tax [read more]

14:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Department of Defense announced Monday that according to a DOD panel a detainee held at Guantanamo Bay was wrongly classified as an enemy combatant and would be released soon. Navy Secretary Gordon England refused to identify the man or where he was from. The determination by a combatant [read more]

14:12 EDT

[JURIST] Hungary became the second nation to ratify the European Constitution with a parliamentary vote Monday, only seven months after joining the EU. After Hungary's approval, 23 EU member states have yet to ratify the constitution, with a negative vote from any of them derailing the document. Approval is in [read more]

14:12 EDT

[JURIST] Defense lawyers for Saddam Hussein are preparing legal challenges to his upcoming war crimes trial to be filed in US courts, according to leaked memos. The Sunday Times reported that a brief titled "The Iraqi Special Tribunal as Victors’ Justice — the Inherent Illegality and Bias of the Whole [read more]

13:12 EDT

[JURIST] KGW-TV in Portland is reporting that WA State Democrats have said the WA Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal over 700 disputed King County in a hand recount for the gubernatorial race. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that WA Republicans have accused King County election officials of misleading [read more]

13:12 EDT

[JURIST] The US government has agreed to settle a class action brought by Hungarian Holocaust survivors over an estimated $200 million in jewelry, gold and other property that was seized by the US at the end of World War II but never returned to the rightful owners. Lawyers in the [read more]

12:12 EDT

[JURIST] Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko opened a 2-hour live TV debate Monday with rival and prime minister Viktor Yanukovych by accusing him of trying to steal the November 21 Ukrainian presidential election, which led to allegations of massive fraud and weeks of protests in Kyiv, resulting in the Ukrainian [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] US-based rights monitoring group Freedom House said Monday in its annual report on human rights conditions in countries around the world that Russia had dropped into the category of "not free" in the wake of various authoritarian moves this past year by the government of President Vladimir Putin. FH [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that Jewish settler leaders have endorsed a call for civil disobedience against Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's planned evacuation of Gaza Strip and West Bank settlements. Pinchas Wallerstein, a former leader of the Yesha Settlers' Council, had previously circulated a letter calling for evacuation to be [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that a Chilean court has upheld the indictment and house arrest of former president General Augusto Pinochet on human rights charges, according to a judge's announcement. BBC News has background on the appeal. [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] Two Albanians who hijacked an Athens bus and took 23 passangers hostage last Wednesday in a standoff that went on for 18 hours before they surrendered apologized in court Monday for what they themselves called a "stupid act." The men had demanded a $1 million ransom and threatened to [read more]

10:12 EDT

[JURIST] In a statement circulated Monday, jailed former Yukos Oil CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky said that the auction sale of Yukos' main Yuganskneftegaz production arm to little-known Baikal Finance Group Sunday had "destroyed" the company and had given the Russian authorities a "wonderful Christmas present." Khordorkovsky is currently on trial in [read more]

09:12 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers representing former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, now held by the US in Iraq and expected to be tried for war crimes, have relayed a message from him calling on Iraqis to unite. Ziad Khasawneh, a Jordanian lawyer who is spokesman for his defence team, told reporters Sunday that [read more]

09:12 EDT

[JURIST] An Islamic militant on trial for treason Monday before a Turkish court denied involvement in a 1998 plan to crash an airplane into the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, expected to be crowded with visitors on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of his founding of the Turkish secular [read more]

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