Legal news from Wednesday, June 15, 2005
20:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled [PDF text] Wednesday that Duke Energy's challenged construction practices did not violate the Clean Air Act's New Source Rules [EPA overview]. The government and several organizations, including the Sierra Club [official website] and Environmental Defense [official website], had sued [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] After a meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit in Cairo, International Criminal Court [official website] prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo told reporters Wednesday that the court will support Sudan in any genuine effort to prosecute suspects in the Darfur uprising. The Sudanese government announced the creation of a [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's corporations and securities law news, Bristol-Myers Squib [corporate website] has reached a $300 million settlement with the federal government over securities fraud. US Attorney for the district of New Jersey Christopher Christie [official profile] announced the settlement today, and also announced that two former employees, former Chief [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] Despite the looming threat of a Presidential veto [Reuters report], the US House of Representatives voted 238-187 [roll call] late Wednesday to approve the so-called Sanders Freedom to Read Amendment limiting a section of the USA Patriot Act [text] giving the FBI and Justice Department power to search public [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's states brief, the Connecticut Supreme Court [official website] ruled today that the town of Greenwich must release its computer database of aerial photographs and maps to the public. The Supreme Court rejected the town's argument that the records were exempt from public disclosure under the Freedom of [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Mexican Supreme Court [official website in Spanish] ruled Wednesday that former president Luis Echeverria [Wikipedia profile] can be prosecuted for the deaths of student demonstrators killed in 1971. A panel of judges voted 3-2 to allow Echeverria and his former interior minister to face prosecution after noting that [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] Senior US military and Justice Department officials defended Guantanamo prison and US policy towards terror detainees Wednesday at a Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] hearing. Citing continued uncertainty about their status, Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) urged Congress to define the legal rights [AP report] of the detainees, complaining [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] An autopsy report [PDF text] released Wednesday showed that Terri Schiavo [JURIST news archive] had a severely "atrophied" brain that weighed less than half of what a normal brain should weigh and was irreversibly damaged. Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner Jon Thogmartin said that the findings were "consistent" with a person [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Iraqi Special Tribunal (IST) [official website, English version] Wednesday questioned Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan [AFP report], a half-brother of Saddam Hussein, in connection with crimes committed against the Kurds in the early 1980s. The tribunal questioned Hussein himself earlier in the week [JURIST report]. Although under pressure to move [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] New York-based monitoring group Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] reported Wednesday that thousands of people have been arrested [press release] and some 36 killed across Ethiopia in skirmishes with police during election-related protests. HRW said that the deaths occured when "security forces responded to incidents of rock-throwing and looting [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Sarajevo cantonal court in Bosnia-Herzegovina sentenced Serb Goran Vasic [IWPR report] to six years in prison on Wednesday for his role in the cruel and inhumane treatment of prisoners at a detention camp near Sarajevo in 1992. Vasic was acquitted of an assassination charge due to lack of [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] A Senate committee approved the nomination of Lester Crawford [official profile] as the new head of the US Food and Drug Administration [official site] on Wednesday, sending the issue to the full Senate for a final vote. A number of Democrats on the committee had criticized Crawford, currently acting [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Wednesday that a dozen former Guantanamo [JURIST news archive] detainees have gone back to fighting against the US since their release, as evidenced by their recapture or confirmed death. Gonzales' statement echos similar reports from Pentagon and highly-placed Congressional sources last year [UPI [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] Canadian Inuit leader Sheila Watt-Cloutier [Wikipedia profile] announced Wednesday that Inuit hunters in the North plan to file a petition accusing the US government of human rights violations by continually fuelling global warming. Troubled by the melting of Arctic ice caps, the Inuit hope the petition will put pressure [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] Valéry Giscard d'Estaing [Wikipedia profile], a former French president and architect of the embattled European Constitution [JURIST news archive], has blamed current French President Jacques Chirac for the rejection of the document by French voters [JURIST report]. In a New York Times interview published Wednesday d'Estaing complained that French [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] German authorities announced Tuesday that they have detained three men who allegedly spent thousands of dollars to fund the Ansar Al-Islam terror network [Wikipedia entry] in its terrorist attacks in Iraq. On Tuesday more that 150 German police officers raided two dozen properties in Germany and one in Switzerland [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] A new memo may contradict previous denials by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan that he played no role in the awarding of an oil contract in Iraq to a company his son worked for. Annan was cleared of any wrongdoing in March [UN press release] and rejected any possibility of [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Pakistani government said Wednesday that gang-rape victim Mukhtar Mai [advocacy website, BBC profile] has been removed from a no-travel list and is free to go abroad. In a case that has received international attention, Mai was gang-raped on orders from a traditional village council. Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] US House Judiciary Committee [official site] Chairman James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-WI) [official profile] said Tuesday that while he thinks that many of the temporary provisions of the Patriot Act [text] should be made permanent, federal investigators should not be given the power to issue their own subpoenas for records, [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Despite earlier reports to the contrary, Sudan refused on Wednesday to drop charges against two members of Medecins Sans Frontieres [Medicine Without Borders, advocacy site]. The two had been arrested and investigated [BBC report] for allegedly "spying, publishing false information, and destabilizing Sudanese society" in connection with an MSF [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] In an effort to highlight human rights abuses in certain countries, President Bush has begun meeting with dissidents in an approach similar to the one taken by former President Ronald Reagan in his meetings with Soviet dissidents during the Cold War. Earlier this week Bush met with North Korean [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] Spain announced on Wednesday the arrest of 16 suspected Islamic militants, including 11 fighters loyal to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi [BBC profile] and men training to carry out suicide attacks in Iraq. A statement [press release in Spanish] from the Spanish Interior Ministry [official website in Spanish] characterized the men [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] US Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter [official website] opens hearings Wednesday on the legal rights of detainees [SJC agenda] held by the US at Guantanamo Bay. Part of the agenda for the hearings is to examine the due process rights of the prisoners and the authority held by [read more]

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