[JURIST] Palestinian leaders called on Israeli authorities Saturday to ease travel restrictions as promised on the eve of Sunday's upcoming Palestinian elections to pick a successor to late president Yasser Arafat. Israel said it would keep its troops out of West Bank towns and would lift some roadblocks, but that it would not eliminate main checkpoints. Palestinian politicians are concerned that the checkpoints will hamper voting; Israelis however, are worried about ongoing actions against Israeli soldiers and civilians, citing a Friday attack by militants who killed an off-duty soldier and wounded three others in the northern West Bank. Read the Isreali Defense Forces press release on the Friday attack here. International observers toured checkpoints Saturday to see if procedures have been changed to facilitate voter access. From Israel, Haaretz has more on the observers. The official Palestinian Authority Central Election Commission provides updates on the vote here (website may be slow or unreachable due to high trafiic). Reuters has more.
[JURIST] Ten former directors of Enron have agreed to pay $168 million to settle a lawsuit by shareholders, according to lead plaintiff University of California. The settlement, announced Friday, involves an out-of-pocket payment by the former directors of $13 million, with the rest being provided by insurance. The lawsuit had claimed that the Enron executives deceive investors by reporting increased cash flow from operations and by moving billions of dollars of debt off their balance sheets, thereby artificially inflating securities prices. The University of California says it will see court approval of the settlement next week. The UC press release detailing the settlement terms is here; UC provides background on the case, including the original April 2002 complaint, here. Reuters has more.
[JURIST] US-led forces have detained a top figure in the Muslim militant network in Iraq and an ally of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the US military said in a statement Saturday. The man arrested, Abdul Aziz Sa'dun Ahmed Hamduni, also known as Abu Ahmed, admitted coordinating and conducting "terrorist operations" in the city of Mosul according to the statement. A Coalition spokesman called the arrest major progress in the "inevitable destruction" of the terrorist network in Mosul. BBC News as more.
[JURIST] A judge in Chile accused former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet on Friday of having false passports just days after he was placed under house arrest for human rights charges. Special judge Sergio Munoz made the accusation in a court filing but did not say how Pinochet obtained the passports were obtained or whether they were Chilean or issued by other countries. Munzor and Chilean police raided Pinochet's Santiago offices on Thursday. Pinochet's defense team has filed a complaint against Munoz in a higher court claiming the raid was unconstitutional. Reuters has more. Review previous coverage of Pinochet in JURIST's Paper Chasehere.
[JURIST] Afghan authorities have arrested an Afghan supreme court judge in connection with an August car bomb attack that killed ten people, including three Americans, outside a US security firm in Kabul. Judge Naqibullah, who like many Afghans goes by one name, was arrested after two men accused of organizing the bombing told investigator they had stayed at the judge's house in Kabul. Naqibullah belonged to a faction of the Mujahideen, or holy warriors, who fought against Soviet control in the 1980s and Taliban control in the late 1990s. A spokesman for the supreme court said that authorities discovered explosives during a raid of Naqibullah's home. Reuters has more.
[JURIST] Army sergeant Tracy Perkins was convicted of assault and battery and obstruction of justice Friday for his role in forcing two men into the Tigris river for violating curfew in January 2004. Acquitted of involuntary manslaughter, he still faces up to 11 1/2 years in prison. Both sides agree that the two men were forced into the water by US soldiers but the prosecution contended that only one man climbed out of the river; the defense produced three US soldiers who claimed to have seen two men on the river bank after the incident. AP has more. Previously in JURIST's Paper Chase:
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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.