Legal news from Tuesday, May 3, 2005
15:05 EDT

[JURIST] A US military court Tuesday selected a panel of six soldiers, all American Iraqi war veterans, to sentence Pfc. Lynndie England, the face of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. England pleaded guilty [JURIST report] Monday to seven charges and her sentence is expected to be delivered by the panel [read more]

14:05 EDT

Former Bosnia Serb General Vinko Pandurevic pleaded not guilty Tuesday to war crimes charges [UN case information sheet] linked to the 1995 Srebrenica massacre [BBC timeline] of over 7,000 Muslim males. Pandurevic was indicted [amended indictment] five years ago on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] Togo's constitutional court Tuesday confirmed ruling party candidate Faure Gnassingbe [campaign website in French] as the official winner of the disputed April 24 presidential election. According to the court, Gnassingbe won by 60.15 percent of the vote. The constitutional court said that the opposition's candidate Bob Akitani [opposition UFC [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] Exiled former President of Liberia Charles Taylor [PBS profile] will remain a threat to the entire West African region until he is tried and has said he will continue his efforts to assassinate Guinean President Lansana Conte [profile] according to David Crane [court profile], chief prosecutor for the Special [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] New Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari [BBC profile] and 27 Cabinet members were sworn in Tuesday [AP report] as Iraq's first post-Saddam elected government. That government remains incomplete, however, with five ministries under temporary leadership and two deputy prime ministers' slots empty. Most of the vacancies are eventually expected [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] Thousands of Omanis on Tuesday gathered at a mosque in Oman's capital city of Muscat to protest Monday's state security court conviction of 31 people [Oman News Agency report] for plotting to overthrow Sultan Qaboos [Oman Ministry of Information profile] and attempting to install an Islamic government. A human [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi [BBC profile] emerged victorious Tuesday after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) [official website] ruled [ECJ press release, PDF] that EU law could not overrule an Italian law partially decriminalizing false accounting crimes. The court further held that penalties under Italian law could not [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] The UK-based group Military Families Against the War [advocacy website] delivered a letter of claim [DOC text] to Prime Minister Tony Blair [official website] Tuesday demanding a full independent public inquiry into the deaths of their relatives and the legality of UK participation in the war in Iraq. In [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) [official website] has called on American political and religious leaders to repudiate remarks by evangelist Pat Robertson [official website] who said Sunday on This Week with George Stephanopoulos that Muslims should not be appointed to positions in the US government, including judgeships. [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] Dennis Rader [profile], the man accused [JURIST report] of being Kansas's BTK (bind, torture, kill) serial killer, pleaded not guilty Monday to 10 counts of murder. The BTK killer was suspected of eight murders from 1974 to 1991, but authorities linked two additional victims. AP has more. [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court [official website] Monday heard a bid to restrain same-sex couples from marrying until state residents can vote on a proposed state constitutional amendment [amendment text] banning such marriages. The action was brought by C.J. Doyle, executive director of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts. [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] In an attempt to break a ten-year deadlock over reforming the United Nations Security Council [official website], Italy suggested Monday that a new system be instituted by which the council would award 10 new seats to regional groups rather than individual countries. The novel idea arose as Jean Ping [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] Ziad al-Khasawneh [Atlantic profile], the Jordanian head of Saddam Hussein's legal defense team, claimed Monday that Iranian-backed Iraqi politicians are plotting to assassinate Hussein in prison. Al-Khasawneh based his claim on information received from a former Iraqi government official he identified as Hazem al-Obeidi, although the authenticity of the [read more]

08:05 EDT

[JURIST] A Danish intelligence officer, Reserve Capt. Annemette Hommel, and four military police sergeants pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of abuse of Iraqi prisoners [JURIST report]. The military prosecutor, Benny Holm Frandsen, told a Copenhagen court that the soldiers were guilty of inhumane treatment of prisoners [JURIST report]. Hommel, [read more]

08:05 EDT

[JURIST] In an escalation of the controversy over judicial nominations, the conservative group Progress for America [advocacy website] began running television advertisements in six states Monday at the outset of a $3.3 million dollar TV ad campaign that will go nationwide next week. The first two ads [recorded video] highlight [read more]

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