Legal news from Thursday, May 26, 2005
20:05 EDT

[JURIST] Army staff sergeant Shane Werst was acquitted of murder Thursday for shooting unarmed Iraqi Naser Ismail after a trial that began Monday [JURIST report]. Werst said he fired his weapon at the suspected insurgent during house raids in Iraq to save a fellow soldier when Ismail lunged for the [read more]

20:05 EDT

[JURIST] Four state lawmakers were indicted in Tennessee on Thursday for allegedly taking bribes from FBI agents posing as representatives of a fake electronics-recycling company. The agents gave payments to the lawmakers inducing them to sponsor a bill which would enable the company to buy and sell used electronic equipment [read more]

19:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate was forced to delay the vote on UN ambassador nominee John Bolton [official biography] Thursday after Democrats demanded more information from the White House before agreeing to end their debate which began Wednesday [JURIST report] and vote on the nomination. Democrats say that the Senate has [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] In what Interior Minister Habib al-Adli claimed was the largest turnout ever in a registered referendum, 83% of Egyptian voters have backed a change in election law [JURIST report] that allows multi-candidate presidential elections. The high turnout was marred however by attacks from Egyptian police and demonstrators [JURIST report] [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] Thursday approved a $140 billion asbestos compensation fund [JURIST report] in a 13-5 vote. The controversial fund [anti-bill advocacy website] is to be paid for by companies facing asbestos litigation and their insurers in an effort to end asbestos injury lawsuits and [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] The verdict reading [JURIST report] for oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky [defense website] continued into its ninth day Thursday. Khodorkovsky, former CEO of Russian oil firm Yukos [official website], and his partner Platon Lebedev have been indicted for fraud and embezzlement [JURIST report]. Issues addressed by the court on Thursday [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] Thailand's Constitutional Court [official website] Thursday found the members of Thailand's anti-corruption commission, the National Counter Corruption Commission (NCCC) [official website], guilty of illegally increasing their pay. The court, however, did not enforce possible two year jail sentences in light of all the good work the watchdog commission had [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] The judge presiding over the trial of former HealthSouth Corp [corporate website] CEO Richard Scrushy [defense website], attempted Wednesday to prevent the trial from ending in a mistrial or a hung jury. Scrushy is on trial for conspiracy, fraud, false reporting, and money laundering, though earlier counts of perjury [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Federal Election Commission [official website] announced [press release] Thursday that the Democratic National Committee [official website], the Rev. Jesse Jackson [Wikipedia profile] and two groups Jackson works closely will pay a total of $200,000 in civil fines for violations of campaign finance laws. The FEC investigated a total [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives has passed a $491 billion defense measure, HR 1815 [PDF text], which among other things leaves any decisions on the placement of women in war zones up to the Pentagon pending Congressional approval. House Republicans had previously attempted to add an amendment [PDF Washington [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's international brief, government lawyers for the Royal Commission for Corruption Control have begun arguments before the commission in the case against former Nepalese Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba [Wikipedia profile], former Foreign Minister Prakash Man Singh and other charged by the government [JURIST report] of embezzling public [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] As the search for bodies entered its 8th day Thursday, a Chilean military prosecutor said the officers commanding 46 teenage soldiers killed in a blizzard during a training march in the Andes face possible charges and prison sentences. According to Colonel Sergio Cea of the International Association for Military [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] The National Conference of State Legislatures [official website], a body which tracks state law developments, has found 26 states are considering new proposals for voting laws. The most important issue under review in many states is proof of identity for valid voters, with two general competing viewpoints: one that [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] With the tenth anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre [BBC timeline] approaching, NATO Wednesday and Thursday intensified its search for Bosnian war crimes fugitive Radovan Karadzic [BBC profile] with raids by US troops on the homes of his family members in Pale. Bosnia. Karadzic has been charged with genocide [text [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Marine Corps said Thurday that all charges against 2nd Lt. Ilario G. Pantano [advocacy website profile], accused of murdering two Iraqis during a vehicle stop, would be dropped. The statement out of Camp Lejeune in North Carolina said that after an investigation by Maj. Gen. Richard Huck [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Commissioner of the UN International Independent Investigation into the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [UN press release] arrived in Beirut on Thurday to begin his inquiries. Commissioner Detlev Mehlis, a veteran German prosecutor, was authorized by the UN Security Council [official website] to make the investigation [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] Alleged Real IRA [BBC backgrounder] member Sean Gerard Hoey was formally charged Thursday with murdering 29 people in the 1998 Omagh bombing [BBC backgrounder], the worst terrorist attack in Northern Ireland history. Hoey had been being held for earlier charges of possessing explosives and his alleged membership with the [read more]

08:05 EDT

[JURIST] As the monthlong UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament [UN website] comes to a close this Friday, the US is being criticized for its stance on nuclear development and deployment. One US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the US would never limit its options during a time of war. [read more]

08:05 EDT

[JURIST] In a 2002 FBI document made public Wednesday, an FBI agent wrote that a detainee held at Guantanamo Bay naval base claimed that military jailers flushed the Koran down the toilet, a claim paralleling one made in a recent Newsweek report which was later retracted after deadly riots in [read more]

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