Legal news from Thursday, June 16, 2005
19:06 EDT

[JURIST] Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker [official profile], whose country currently holds the EU Presidency [official website], said Thursday that EU leaders have decided to extend the ratification deadline [JURIST report] for the proposed European constitution until at least 2007. The announcement came after the first day of an EU [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's securities and corporations law news, "Big Four" accounting firm KPMG [corporate website] has apologized for creating illegal tax shelters. The firm vowed to clean up its practices and culture. The apology is part of an effort by KPMG to avoid the type of criminal prosecution that seriously [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] A father and son were indicted [US DOJ press release, PDF] by a federal grand jury in California Thursday for allegedly lying to the FBI about the son attending a terrorist training camp in Pakistan with connections to al-Qaida. Umer Hayat and his son Hamid Hayat were arrested and [read more]

17:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's states brief, the Supreme Court of Georgia has warned criminal trial judges to be careful in the way they instruct juries about weighing the value of eyewitness identification. In a decision [PDF text] today, the Court said "We can no longer endorse an instruction authorizing jurors to [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] Chechen rebel leader Khozh-Akhmed Nukhayev ordered the murder of American journalist Paul Klebnikov [Wikipedia profile] according to a report released Thursday by the Russian Prosecutor General's Office. Klebnikov, editor of the Russian edition of Forbes, was shot to death in Moscow last July [JURIST report]. He had written a [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Canada [official website] ruled [opinion] Thursday that police at roadside DUI checkpoints do not have to inform suspects of their right to legal counsel before asking them whether or not they had been drinking or requesting them to perform sobriety tests. In accordance with Canadian [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's international brief, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights [Zim Human Rights Forum backgrounder] have filed an official appeal with the African Commission for Human and Peoples' Rights [official website], the regional human rights body in Africa, to intervene in the continuing mass evictions authorized by Zimbabwe President Robert [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] The commander of Dutch UN troops in Srebrenica in 1995 told a preliminary hearing at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia [official website] Thursday that he did not know Serbian forces had begun killing Muslim men and boys until it was too late. Ton Karremans said that [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] Chief lawyer to Saddam Hussein Ziad Khasawneh [Atlantic Monthly profile] Thursday accused the Iraqi Special Tribunal [official website] and the US government of purposely ignoring repeated requests for legal documents and effectively keeping defense counsel unaware of the trial timetable. Khasawneh, a Jordanian and head of the Committee for [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] British millionaire Friedhelm Eronat has been awarded oil rights for the Darfur region of Sudan [backgrounder], an area where the Sudanese government has been accused of war crimes and mass murders. Human rights groups like Global Witness [advocacy website] are outraged that anyone is doing business with Sudan's government [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] Venezuela has officially requested the extradition of alleged terrorist and Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles [Wikipedia profile]. Carriles, a naturalized Venezuelan and former CIA collaborator, is wanted for allegedly blowing up a Cuban airline in 1976 and later escaping from a Venezuelan prison in 1985. The US had previously [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz [official website] visited a Rwandan genocide memorial Thursday and apologized on behalf of the international community [World Bank press review] for its failure to prevent the 1994 mass genocide [BBC backgrounder]. Wolfowitz is on his first visit to Africa since his March approval as [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] Notes from a series of Pentagon meetings in 2003 show that General Counsel of the Department of the Navy Alberto Mora [Navy profile] warned high-level officials that Guantanamo interrogation techniques could expose them to criminal prosecution, according to ABC News. Mora's reluctance to completely support the interrogations at Guantanamo [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] Thursday approved North Carolina judge Terrence Boyle [US DOJ profile] for the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, effectively sending him to the full Senate for confirmation. Boyle survived a close party line vote in the GOP-controlled Committee, an approval [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US government Thursday publicly expressed support for expanding the UN Security Council [offcial website] by "two or so" permanent members, saying that a larger expansion could hinder the effectiveness of the group. Review the State Department briefing [transcript] by US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica [Wikipedia profile] denied earlier reports Thursday that his government was negotiating a surrender with war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic [BBC profile]. Two Serbian newspapers and a rights activist claimed [JURIST report] that the government was contacting Mladic, who is wanted [JURIST report] by the [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] Veteran civil servant Donald Tsang [Wikipedia profile] was declared the new leader of Hong Kong [HK government press release] Thursday after his nomination was supported by roughly 85 percent of the election committee, a 796-member group largely loyal to Beijing. A vote was originally planned for July 10, but [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] A new poll released by the Pew Research Center [public interest website] shows a reduction in favorable views of the the US Supreme Court on both sides of the political spectrum. According to the poll [full report] released Wednesday, 57 percent of Americans now have a favorable opinion of [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney Thursday announced his support of a drive to put before state voters a proposed constitutional amendment to ban both same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] and civil unions. Massachusetts is the only US state where same-sex marriages are legal; Vermont, Hawaii, and California have granted same-sex [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] The New York State Court of Appeals upheld on Thursday a lower court ruling [text] that the state's ban on cameras in trial courtrooms is constitutional. The appeals court ruled [PDF text] that the legislature has the final say on allowing cameras or not, and that banning them does [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] Burundi on Wednesday approved a United Nations plan to establish a truth and reconciliation commission with a special war crimes chamber to investigate decades of bloody conflict between local Hutus and Tutsis going back to the country's independence in 1962. Under the plan, Burundi and the UN would work [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] A senior Chinese government official said Thursday that China is drafting a new anti-terrorism law [CRI report]. Zhao Yongchen, deputy director of the counterterrorism bureau of the Ministry of Public Security [official website in Chinese], said the top terrorist threat facing China was from the East Turkistan Islamic Movement [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] AFP is reporting that Sunni leaders have announced a compromise with their Shiite and Krd colleagues on Sunni representation on the parliamentary committee charged with drafting Iraq's new permanent constitution. Under the compromise, the Sunnis will get 15 new seats on the committee with full voting rights, and 10 [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] The NAACP [advocacy site], the largest civil rights organization in the United States, has picked Bruce Gordon, formerly an executive with Verizon [retirement press release], to succeed Kweisi Mfume [Wikipedia profile] as its leader. An official announcement is expected after he is confirmed on June 25. Gordon will become [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Judge Salem Mahmud Haj Ali was shot to death on Thursday in Mosul along with his driver. He was in charge of a court division in the northern Iraqi city, and is the third judge to be killed [Reuters report] in Mosul since the US invasion of Iraq in [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Task Force on the United Nations [official site], a bipartisan group created by the US Congress in December 2004, released a report [text] Wednesday calling for significant changes in the UN, a number of which echo proposals advanced by the world body itself [JURIST report]. The recommendations include [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Executive Michael R. Wilson joined UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Wednesday in denying that the two had met and discussed an oil contract as suggested in company memo [JURIST report] made public earlier this week. The memo said "We had brief discussions with the SG and his entourage. Their [read more]

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