Legal news from Tuesday, June 7, 2005
20:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate Finance Committee released a report Tuesday saying stricter laws may be necessary to prevent insider deals, regulate moneymaking ventures, and open more activities to public scrutiny in large nonprofit organizations. The recommendation follows a two-year investigation of the Nature Conservancy [non-profit website], a nonprofit land conservation [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] A criminal investigation has been launched against Florida A and M University for alleged misuse of taxpayer monies, and interim University president Castell Bryant announced Tuesday that A and M law school [official website] dean Percy Luney, Jr. had been placed on paid leave based on the findings of [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate Intelligence Committee [official website] late Tuesday approved revisions to the Patriot Act [text] which would expand the FBI's power to subpoena records [JURIST report] in terrorism investigations without receiving the approval of a judge or grand jury. US Senator Dianne Feinstein [official website] voted against the [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] Former US President Jimmy Carter [official biography] closed a two-day human rights conference at the Carter Center [official website] in Atlanta Tuesday by saying that the US should close the Guantanamo Bay military prison camp [press release] and two dozen other secret detention centers in order to show the [read more]

17:06 EDT

[JURIST] Republican Congressman Henry Hyde [official website], chair of the House International Relations Committee, introduced legislation in the US House of Representatives Tuesday calling for broad reforms to the UN. The UN Reform Act of 2005 [PDF text] alleges that the organization is rife with fraud and waste, citing the [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US military announced Tuesday [MNF-Iraq press release] that a riot broke out at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison over the weekend after an inmate made a failed attempt to escape from the prison. The "disturbance" took place late Sunday evening after a prisoner was caught trying to break out [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's international brief, Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail has told reporters that the Sudan government is not planning to challenge the recently announced probe [JURIST report] into Darfur by the International Criminal Court [official website]. Ismail reiterated, however, Sudan's continued opposition to sending anyone charged with war [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] Prosecutors for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia [official website] said Tuesday that they will not appeal the provisional release [JURIST report] of former Kosovo prime minister Ramush Haradinaj [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. A trial chamber of the court granted Haradinaj provisional release [decision text] Monday [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] UN war crimes prosecutors at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia [official website] introduced evidence Tuesday that former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic [BBC profile] used his police forces to directly control a brutal Serbian paramilitary group called "Scorpions" said to be responsible for the killings of Bosnian [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate voted 65-32 [Senate roll call] Tuesday to limit debate on the nomination of California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown [court profile] to the federal appeals bench, against some opposition from Democrats, some of whom have been blocking her appointment for two years. After a recent [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] A Spanish court official said Tuesday that a Spanish judge wants to question three US soldiers in connection with the 2003 killing of Spanish cameraman Jose Couso in Iraq when a US tank fired on a Baghdad hotel housing foreign journalists. High Court Judge Santiago Pedraz began requesting information [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] British Prime Minister Tony Blair [official website] said in an interview [FT report] Tuesday with the Financial Times that Britain will attempt to salvage some key components from the nearly-defunct EU Constitution. UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jack Straw [official profile] stated meanwhile that provisions [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] A Libyan court announced Tuesday that nine police officers and one doctor have been acquitted of torturing five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor, who were allegedly forced to confess to deliberately infecting Libyan children with HIV. The six medical workers were convicted of infecting 426 children [JURIST report] [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Santiago Appeals Court, the intermediate appellate jurisdiction in Chile, stripped former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet [JURIST news archive] of immunity Tuesday so he can face charges of tax fraud in connection with as much as $17 million he held in secret bank accounts, some in the US [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] A Jordanian appeals court has overturned the conviction of a Jordanian man for financing al Qaeda-linked terrorist Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi [BBC profile] in an opinion obtained by the Associated Press Tuesday. According to the Court of Cassation [Jordian Judicial Branch backgrounder], the original decision of the military State Security Court [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] A three-judge panel of the US Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has unanimously upheld [opinion, PDF] two Florida laws that require sex offenders to register with the state and submit a DNA sample after release from prison. A group of offenders challenged the laws anonymously as violations of constitutional [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] Closing arguments began Tuesday in a US government lawsuit filed against tobacco companies over five years ago. The suit went to trial eight months ago and is expected to wrap up this week. Federal prosecutors filed suit [AP report] under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) [text], [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] Washington state GOP gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi [campaign website] announced late Monday that he would not appeal the ruling of a Washington state judge [JURIST report] upholding the heavily disputed 2004 gubernatorial election of Democratic Governor Christine Gregoire [official website]. Without expanding upon his comment, Rossi stated that the [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] Speaking at a UN press conference [RealPlayer audio] Monday Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said that the US Senate would confirm John Bolton [JURIST news archive] as the new US ambassador to the UN by the "tiniest" of margins. Bolton, a vocal critic of the United Nations, has had a [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] Bolivian President Carlos Mesa [Wikipedia profile, official website in Spanish] tendered his resignation late Monday for the second time in four months following weeks of protests [BBC report] throughout the country. The Bolivian Congress rejected his first attempt to resign under similar circumstances in March. In an attempt to [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate is expected next week to approve a resolution [text] apologizing for its historical failure to pass anti-lynching legislation. Senate filibusters blocked over 200 such bills in the first half of the 20th century. The resolution expresses the "most solemn regrets of the Senate to the descendants [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] The FBI Monday issued [press release] a preliminary report [PDF] showing that the nation's murder rate dropped 3.6 percent in 2004, while violent crimes were down 1.7 percent. Property crimes also fell 1.8 percent. The murder rate had previously risen for the past three years. Large cities and small [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] A treaty designed to encourage regional cooperation among Balkan states in war crimes trials appeared unlikely to materialize after Croatia on Tuesday ruled out allowing extraditions of suspects. The treaty, drafted by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe [official website], will be reviewed at a conference on [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Following the UK's lead [JURIST report], Poland announced Tuesday that it may delay a scheduled October vote on the embattled European Constitution [JURIST news archives]. Although France and the Netherlands had already voted agains ratifying the document, French President Jacques Chirac and German Chanceller Gerhard Schroeder have lobbied to [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Majority Shiite members of the special parlimentary committee mandated to draft the charter for Iraq's constitution [JURIST report] have balked at Sunni calls for greater representation in the constitutional process, with some urging that the body simply get on with its job without even waiting for the Sunnis to [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] A former top executive in Berkshire Hathaway's [corporate website] Gen Re [corporate website] insurance group, will plead guilty later this week to one count of conspiracy, according to his lawyer. John Houldsworth is charged with conspiring to misstate the financial statements of AIG [company site], the biggest insurance company [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Iraqi Special Tribunal (IST) [official website, English version; JURIST news archive] has denied recent reports [press statement] that the trial of Saddam Hussein is imminent, perhaps getting underway in the next two months [JURIST report] with the first of 12 specific cases against him [JURIST report]. The Tribunal [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] A New York state housing group claimed in a report [advocacy report, PDF] released Monday that nearly half of the real estate agencies in New York City's northern suburbs treated blacks and Hispanics unfairly, according to recent tests. The federal Fair Housing Act [official site] passed in 1968 prohibits [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] New York-based monitoring group Human Rights Watch Tuesday accused the Uzbekistan government of attempting to cover up May a "massacre" in the city of Andijan by blocking an inquiry into the killing of protestors last month by government troops [JURIST report]. The group released a report that said many [read more]

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