Legal news from Tuesday, August 9, 2005
20:08 EDT

[JURIST] Former WorldCom [JURIST news archive] accounting director Buford Yates was sentenced to a year and a day in prison on Tuesday for his role in the company's billion-dollar business fraud. In 2002 Yates pleaded guilty [USA Today report] in Manhattan Federal Court to conspiracy and securities fraud charges for [read more]

19:08 EDT

[JURIST] A three-judge panel of the US Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals [official website] in Atlanta overturned the convictions and sentences of five accused Cuban spies [advocacy website] Tuesday, ruling [PDF opinion] that their trial in Miami was biased due to community prejudice and extensive media coverage. Ringleader Gerardo Hernandez's [read more]

19:08 EDT

[JURIST] New Saudi King Abdullah [Wikipedia profile; JURIST report] has pardoned four activists jailed after criticizing the strict religious environment and the slow pace of democratic reform in Saudi Arabia. In June, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had called for the release [JURIST report] of Ali al-Demaini, Abdullah al-Hamed [read more]

16:08 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's states brief, the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today refused to block the implementation [PDF text] of Arizona's Proposition 200 [Yes campaign website; JURIST report], which denies some state public benefits to illegal immigrants and makes it a crime for public employees to fail to report [read more]

16:08 EDT

[JURIST] Britain's Home Office [official website] said Tuesday that the UK government is considering a move to special judge-only courts hearing in-camera evidence argued by security-cleared "special advocates" after reports surfaced that secret pre-trial terror hearings could be in the works. The Home Office said that no specific model was [read more]

15:08 EDT

[JURIST] In addition to the deals currently being finalized [JURIST report] between the United States and the governments of Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, the US is negotiating with 10 more Muslim countries to return their citizens held at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], the Washington Post reported Tuesday. The [read more]

14:08 EDT

[JURIST] In a clash of opposing viewpoints, a group of strongly conservative Iraqi women Tuesday confronted a sit-in by their liberal counterparts in Baghdad's Firdous Square as the August 15 deadline for the country's constitution nears. The liberal secularists were passing out leaflets and calling on UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan [read more]

14:08 EDT

[JURIST] The Environmental Protection Agency [official website] Tuesday proposed new radiation exposure limits [EPA backgrounder] for the Yucca Mountain waste dump project [official website] with the goal of ensuring a safe public site for hundreds of thousands of years. The proposal [EPA press release] is intended to satisfy a July [read more]

13:08 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] addressed lawyers attending the annual meeting of the American Bar Association [group website] Monday, arguing for support of several controversial legal issues on the Bush administration's agenda. Gonzales urged the group to endorse Supreme Court nominee John Roberts as strongly as it [read more]

13:08 EDT

[JURIST] A key suspect believed to be connected to the abduction and murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl [Wikipedia profile] was brought before a civil court Tuesday in the city of Karachi, Pakistan. Mohammad Hashim Qadir was held in connection with a separate case, involving the killing of a man [read more]

12:08 EDT

[JURIST] The US State Department said Monday that it may deny a visa application [press briefing transcript] by new Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [BBC profile; official website, in Farsi] due to allegations that he was part of the 1979 hostage crisis [JURIST report]. Both a former agent [JURIST report] and [read more]

12:08 EDT

[JURIST] Attorneys for Wal-Mart have asked a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] to dismiss a class action lawsuit that claims as many as 1.6 million female employees were discriminated against. A district judge originally certified the class [JURIST report] last year, [read more]

11:08 EDT

[JURIST] After Iran announced an end to negotiations and a resumption of its nuclear program [Washington Post report] on Monday, the International Atomic Energy Agency [official website] held an emergency meeting [IAEA news release] Tuesday in Vienna to discuss the situation and before the meeting, IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei [read more]

11:08 EDT

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on Torture [official website] Manfred Nowak said Tuesday that British Prime Minister Tony Blair's plan to deport Islamic extremists [JURIST report] is likely to result in violations of international human rights law. While such laws prohibit Britain from deporting people to a country where they may [read more]

11:08 EDT

[JURIST] Jailed Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji [Wikipedia profile; advocacy website] has ended his eight-week hunger strike in response to concerns of family and friends for his deteriorating health, a spokesman for Iran's judiciary said Tuesday. Ganji has been imprisoned since April 2000 and was sentenced to six years in prison [read more]

10:08 EDT

[JURIST] A former UN official pleaded guilty [US DOJ press release, PDF] Monday to US charges that he accepted close to $1 million in bribes from UN contractors in the Oil-for-Food scandal [JURIST news archive]. Alexander Yakovlev, a procurement officer and the first UN official to face criminal charges, pleaded [read more]

10:08 EDT

[JURIST] Palestinian Chief Justice Zuhair Sourani has said he is retracting his Saturday resignation [JURIST report] in reaction to promises made by President Mahmoud Abbas to increase protection of Palestinian courts and judges. Lawyers and judges shut down the Palestinian legal system Saturday, protesting against recent attacks on senior legal [read more]

10:08 EDT

[JURIST] Omar Bakri Mohammed, one of the Muslim clerics being investigated by British authorities for remarks supporting the London bombers [JURIST report], left the country on Saturday and is now in Lebanon. Mohammed reportedly praised insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan while vowing not to inform authorities if he learned any [read more]

09:08 EDT

[JURIST] Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) [official website], chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told US Supreme Court nominee John Roberts in a letter Monday that he intends to question him at upcoming confirmation hearings on the extent of Congress's power, specifically citing two recent cases where the Supreme Court ruled [read more]

09:08 EDT

[JURIST] Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri [Human Rights First profile], an Illinois student from Qatar, filed suit in the US District Court for the District of South Carolina Monday accusing his military jailers of violating his human rights [Human Rights Watch press release] during his two years of detention at the [read more]

09:08 EDT

[JURIST] After a sandstorm got in the way [JURIST report] of talks yesterday, Iraqi leaders met again on Tuesday to try and iron out their last remaining differences in order to submit a constitution by the August 15 deadline. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani [Wikipedia profile] is hosting the group, which [read more]

09:08 EDT

[JURIST] Microsoft announced a $7 million settlement [press release] Tuesday of its lawsuit against Scott Richter and his company, once one of the biggest spammers in the world. Last summer Richter's company also paid $50,000 in penalties and costs [NY AG press release; JURIST report] relating to a suit filed [read more]

09:08 EDT

[JURIST] Lebanon's cabinet Monday night approved the creation of a 12-member, half-Muslim, half-Christian committee that is charged with drafting a new election law. The country conducted elections in May and June [JURIST report] under the 2000 election law [official text in French], which was drawn up while Lebanon was under [read more]

08:08 EDT

[JURIST] British Prime Minister Tony Blair's latest plans to fight terror have drawn cross-party criticism and have led one senior MP from Blair's own Labour Party to level accusations that the government response to terror threats is panicked. Blair's recent initiatives include plans to deport advocates of terrorism and ban [read more]

08:08 EDT

[JURIST] A long-awaited FDA ruling on access to an emergency contraceptive called Plan B [FDA Q/A] is expected to be announced by the end of the month, as part of a deal that got Lester Crawford [official profile] approved by the Senate [JURIST report] as the new Food and Drug [read more]

08:08 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for Guantanamo detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan filed a petition of certiorari [PDF text; PDF appendix] on Monday, asking the US Supreme Court to block military tribunals for terror suspects. The high court had once before denied cert on a request for an expedited hearing, instead sending the case [read more]

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