Legal news from Tuesday, October 4, 2005
17:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Iraqi National Assembly Tuesday approved new anti-terror legislation with stiff penalties for those convicted under it, including the death penalty [JURIST report] for those found guilty of financing or provoking terrorism. The new law comes as a violent insurgency has grown increasingly worse [JURIST report] while Iraq struggles [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] A defense lawyer for fugitive Gen. Ante Gotovina [ICTY factsheet] said in an interview Tuesday that his client would surrender to authorities if he is allowed to face trial in his home country of Croatia. Currently, Gotovina would face trial for alleged crimes during the Serbo-Croatian war at the [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] The US has expressed concern about changes to electoral laws [JURIST report] made by the Iraqi National Assembly that appear to make it more likely that the Iraqi constitution [JURIST news archive] will not be defeated in an Oct. 15 referendum. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Tuesday that [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's states brief, a North Carolina appeals court ruled [text] today that a September 2001 state law that raised income taxes on top-wage earners to 8.25% for the entire year is constitutional. Plaintiffs argued that the law [text] amounted to a retroactive tax in violation of the state [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] A Pakistan [JURIST news archive] military court sentenced four men to death and two others to life imprisonment on Tuesday for their roles in an attempted assassination of President Pervez Musharraf [official website; BBC profile] in 2003. A statement by the Pakistan Air Force said the six low-ranking military [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] The US Trustee Program [official website], a division of the US Department of Justice, announced Tuesday that for people living in Louisiana and southern Mississippi it would waive a new requirement that those filing for bankruptcy undergo credit counseling. Many had expressed concern [JURIST report] that the new Bankruptcy [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Belgian Foreign Ministry [official website] said Tuesday that Rwanda has agreed to hand over Guy Theunis, a Belgian Catholic priest accused [JURIST report] of helping incite the 1994 Rwandan genocide [JURIST news archive], to the Belgian government. Last month, Karel de Gucht [official profile], Belgium's foreign minister, formally [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] The South Korean Unification Ministry [official website] on Tuesday announced plans to repatriate up to 28 North Korean prisoners that have remained detained in the south following the Korean War [BBC backgrounder]. The "long-term prisoners" are mostly former spies and soldiers captured while in the southern part of peninsula. [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] UK Home Secretary Charles Clarke [official profile] urged the UN on Tuesday to support Britain's efforts to deport suspected militants [JURIST report] to countries believed to engage in torture. Clarke's made the call in response to statements UN Special Rapporteur on Torture [official website] Manfred Nowak, who last month [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] President Bush defended his latest pick for the US Supreme Court [JURIST report] on Tuesday after some leading conservatives questioned the judicial philosophy of White House counsel Harriet Miers [official profile]. Bush told reporters [White House transcript] that Miers "shares my philosophy that judges should strictly interpret the laws [read more]

14:10 EDT

[JURIST] Former head of Russia oil giant Yukos Mikhail Khodorkovsky [defense website; JURIST news archive] announced Tuesday that he would file a second appeal of his conviction [JURIST report] on fraud and tax evasion charges. Last month, a Moscow appeals court rejected [JURIST report] Khodorkovsky's initial appeal [PDF backgrounder], but [read more]

13:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM) [official website] urged Indonesia on Tuesday to study the cases of about 100 prisoners who may have been overlooked in a sweeping grant of amnesty to more than 2,000 members of the Free Aceh Movement [BBC profile]. The grant of amnesty was a pivotal [read more]

12:10 EDT

[JURIST] The UN-affiliated Special Court for Sierra Leone [official website; JURIST news archive] wrapped up a pledging conference [UN press release] by receiving $10 million from UN member states, but fell more than halfway short of the tribunal's $25 million goal. The $25 million is the amount needed to continue [read more]

11:10 EDT

[JURIST] Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti [official profile] announced Monday that six hospitals, including the state's major public hospital, Charity Hospital, and thirteen nursing homes are under investigation [JURIST report] to determine whether they mishandled evacuations, abandoned, or euthanized patients when help did not arrive quickly following Hurricane Katrina [JURIST [read more]

10:10 EDT

[JURIST] The European Union imposed sanctions on Uzbekistan [government website, in English; JURIST news archive] Monday for refusing to investigate the deadly suppression of a May uprising [JURIST report]. The sanctions, which include suspending a cooperation accord, imposing an arms embargo, cutting aid to the country, and banning responsible Uzbek [read more]

10:10 EDT

[JURIST] The US has circulated a draft UN resolution calling for the UN's peacekeeping force in Liberia [JURIST news archive] to arrest former Liberian president Charles Taylor [PBS profile] if he tries to return from his exile in Nigeria. The resolution would extend the mandate of the 15,000 member peacekeeping [read more]

09:10 EDT

[JURIST] The first federal fraud charges stemming from the online collection of Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive] donations have been filed against Gary S. Kraser, a federal prosecutor in Miami announced Monday. Kraser is accused of collecting nearly $40,000 in donations over the Internet by falsely claiming he was a [read more]

09:10 EDT

[JURIST] The United Nations [official website] Tuesday called on Iraq's National Assembly to review recently revised rules [JURIST report] for the upcoming October 15 referendum [JURIST report] on the proposed Iraqi constitution [JURIST news archive]. The National Assembly convened Sunday and adopted an interpretation of the Transitional Administrative Law [text] [read more]

08:10 EDT

[JURIST] Egypt reassured the US Monday that Sami Al Laithi, an Egyptian man who was released [JURIST report] from Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] last week and tranferred to Egypt, would be "treated humanely, in accordance with Egyptian and international legal obligations." A Pentagon spokesman issued a statement that the [read more]

08:10 EDT

[JURIST] MCI [corporate website] agreed Monday to pay $331 million to 16 states and the District of Columbia to settle allegations that the company illegally classified transfers between subsidiaries to avoid paying state taxes as part of the WorldCom accounting fraud [JURIST news archive]. Two separate settlements were negotiated, one [read more]

02:10 EDT

[JURIST] The European Union [official website] officially opened accession negotiations [EU press release, PDF] Tuesday with Turkey [JURIST archive] after member states were able to overcome a deadlock on whether to offer Turkey full membership [JURIST report]. Late Monday, Austria withdrew its opposition to full membership [BBC backgrounder] and Ankara [read more]

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