Legal news from Wednesday, June 29, 2005
19:06 EDT

[JURIST] A federal jury Wednesday convicted five East St. Louis (Illinois) Democratic Party officials on charges [Belleville News-Democrat report] of felony conspiracy to commit vote fraud, and election fraud in the November 2004 election. Charles Powell Jr., the local Democratic Party chairman, and four party employees were found guilty of [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Justice Department Wednesday called a city invocation of the Patriot Act [text] as a defense in a suit by a homeless man an "overreaching application of the law." Summit, New Jersey [official website] cited the act in response to a lawsuit by Richard Kreimer [AP profile], alleging [read more]

17:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's states brief, the California Supreme Court has let stand a new law granting registered domestic partners [PDF text] many of the same rights and protections of heterosexual marriages. Without comment, the Supreme Court upheld the decision of a California court of appeals which ruled that the law [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's corporations and securities law news, on the day before SEC Chairman William Donaldson [Wikipedia profile] steps down, the Commission has voted 3-2 to keep a rule forcing mutual funds to be overseen by an independent chairman. The vote was a result of a federal appeals court ruling [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] As anticipated [JURIST report], President Bush Wednesday announced the creation of a new intelligence service within the FBI, endorsing 70 of 74 recommendations presented by the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the US Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction [official website]. Bush also adopted changes that will consolidate US [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Russian parliament on Wednesday gave second reading approval to amendments to the country's election law that could further strengthen President Vladimir Putin's government. The proposals would ban the formation of blocs by political parties and block the use of "against all" protest votes on ballots. The changes come [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] A group of Iraqi women attending an international meeting of women's rights activists in Amman, Jordan, called Wednesday for a 40 percent representation quota in the Iraqi National Assembly. The two-day event, hosted by Women for Women International [advocacy website] was attended by 12 current members of the National [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] According to a report in Malaysia's News Straits Times [newspaper website], government and opposition politicians in Malaysia are pushing for the release of dozens of terror suspects, many suspected of ties to al-Qaeda, held without trial for the past two years. The report says that over 100 detainees are [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] Canadian Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh [official website] announced plans on Wednesday for Canada to ban the bulk export of prescription medicines [Health Canada press release] under certain circumstances and conditions. Legislation to change the Canadian Food and Drugs Act [text] to allow the government to ban the export of [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia [official website] announced [press release] Wednesday that it has ordered the release of former Bosnian Serb police chief Stevan Todorovic [PDF indictment] after only two-thirds of his ten year sentence had been served. Todorovic had been serving his sentence in Spain [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] Chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo [BBC profile] of the International Criminal Court [official website] told the UN Security Council in a statement [PDF] Wednesday that the ICC's preliminary investigation into the situation in Darfur [JURIST report] begun June 1, had already revealed "a significant amount of credible information disclosing [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] Egypt's Higher Constitutional Court on Wednesday ruled that a new law that would have allowed more than one person to run for president is unconstitutional. The proposed change, seen as an important political reform, was ordered by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak [JURIST report] in February 2005, passed by the [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] An Algerian court Wednesday sentenced Mohamed Meguerba [BBC profile] to 10 years in prison for masterminding an al-Qaeda plot to execute a bio-terror attack on London using ricin [BBC backgrounder] and other agents. Meguerba, an Algerian native, skipped bail in Britain in 2002 and was rearrested in Algeria later [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] Iranian daily newspaper Etemaad is reporting that the Iranian Supreme Court [official website] has rejected the appeal of a man, known only as Vahid, sentenced to have his eyes surgically gouged out for throwing battery acid in the face of another man during a fight 12 years ago. The [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] A proposed amendment to the Russian Constitution [text in English] that would have allowed President Vladimir Putin [official website] to serve a third term [JURIST report] fell far short of approval by the State Duma on Wednesday. Only 32 members of Russia's lower house voted for it, with 99 [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] Two US citizens pleaded not guilty to terror-related charges against them in federal court on Tuesday. Tarik Shah, 42, of New York, and Rafik Abdus Sabir, 50, of Boca Raton, Florida, each face a single count of conspiracy to provide material support to al-Qaida [PDF complaint]. Prosecutors say [JURIST [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] Former Deputy President of South Africa Jacob Zuma [ANC profile] was released on $150 bail Wednesday after prosecution lawyers asked for more time to prepare a corruption case against him and trial was postponed until October 2005. Bail was granted on condition that witnesses "not...be interfered with directly or [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] A Serbian court Wednesday sentenced 10 former members of the Slobodan Milosevic [JURIST news archive] regime to jail for their roles in 1999 assassination attempt on then-Yugoslav opposition leader Vuk Draskovic [Wikipedia profile]. Draskovic is now the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Serbia-Montenegro. Six individuals were sentenced to 15 [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Irish Public Prosecution Service [official website] has dropped charges against Anthony Joseph Donegan, suspected of providing the car used in the Omagh car bombing in 1998. A spokesman for the PPS said Wednesday that the "test for prosecution was not met." Twenty-nine people were killed and 220 were [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] A Kuwait court Wednesday cleared Nasser al-Mutairi of committing an act of aggression against a foreign nation. Mutairi, the first Kuwait to be freed from Guantanamo Bay [JURIST report] in January, had been charged with endangering Kuwait's foreign relations by taking up arms against a foreign nation. He had [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Al-Quds al-Arabi [newspaper website], a London-based Arabic-language newspaper, reported Wednesday that Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] turned down an offer from US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to take the death penalty off the table in his upcoming trial if Hussein would call for insurgents to lay down their [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US-led Combined Review and Release Board [military press release] created in August 2004 to expedite the screening process for detainees taken into custody in Iraq by US and Iraqi forces has so far approved the outright release of more than 2,700 detainees, released another 5,300 to guarantors, and [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] The intergovernmental Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe [official website] has urged US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to drop subpoenas against two journalists demanding that they name their sources to a grand jury investigating the leak of a CIA operative's name. The US Supreme Court on Monday refused [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] The son of late Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau [Wikipedia profile], the architect of Canada's civil rights charter, denounced the Canadian government's controversial use of security certificates [official backgrounder] to indefinitely detain uncharged terror suspects in a court hearing Tuesday. Alexandre "Sasha" Trudeau [Wikipedia profile] took the witness stand [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Saddam Hussein's family has approached a leading London media lawyer about suing the Sun [newspaper website] for publishing secretly-taken pictures [JURIST report; BBC photo] of the former Iraqi leader in his underwear. Hussein's Iraqi lawyers also threatened to sue the paper for $1M after the photos were released. Some [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern [Wikipedia profile] said Tuesday he would begin discussions with Attorney General Rory Brady [official profile] about bringing London before the European Court of Human Rights [official website] for failing to release files about car bombings occurring in 1974 [BBC report]. The bombings by Protestant [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] The government of British Prime Minister Tony Blair [official website] won a key vote in Parliament late Tuesday on the proposed national ID card plan [official background; PDF text of the bill], but its 66-seat majority was cut in half with Conservatives and some Labor Party members voting against [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] US-born Israeli soldier Avi Bieber was sentenced to 56 days in jail Tuesday for refusing to participate in the evacuation of settlers from Gaza [JURIST news archive]. Military officials said the stiff sentence is meant to send a message to other soldiers who claim they will refuse similar assignments [read more]

07:06 EDT

[JURIST] A new report by a UN Commission of Experts [JURIST report] says Indonesia's efforts to examine atrocities committed in East Timor [BBC backgrounder] in 1999 was "manifestly inadequate" and show "scant respect for or conformity to relevant international standards," after Jakarta failed to jail any senior officials [BBC report], [read more]

07:06 EDT

[JURIST] Mexican lawmakers Tuesday approved a law permitting Mexicans living abroad to vote by mail in next July's presidential election. The lower house of Congress passed the measure 455 to 6, with 6 abstentions. The measure has already been passed by the Mexican Senate [official website] and will be presented [read more]

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