Legal news from Wednesday, October 19, 2005
20:10 EDT

[JURIST] Colombia's Constitutional Court [official backgrounder in Spanish] Wednesday upheld legislation that would change the country's constitution to allow presidents to serve more than one term, a ruling that could allow Colombian President Alvaro Uribe [official website in Spanish; BBC profile] to seek re-election next May. The amendment was approved [read more]

20:10 EDT

[JURIST] Morocco has prevented UN officials from visiting African migrants detained in the country despite repeated requests for access, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees [official website] reported Wednesday. The agency has said it fears that Morocco has forced many of the migrants to return to their home countries [JURIST [read more]

19:10 EDT

[JURIST] Iraqi police on Wednesday arrested a nephew of Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] in Tikrit on charges that he has served as a leading financier of the country's insurgency, Iraqi security officials reported. Yasir Sabhawi Ibrahim is the son of Saddam's half brother Sabhawi Ibrahim Hasan, who was captured [read more]

19:10 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate [official website] moved Wednesday to cut federal funding for projects that seize peoples' homes for private development, continuing a backlash to a recent controversial ruling [JURIST report] by the US Supreme Court [official website]. The amendment to HR 3058 [bill summary], the Transportation-Treasury Appropriations Bill, offered [read more]

19:10 EDT

[JURIST] Spanish High Court Judge Santiago Pedraz on Wednesday issued an international arrest warrant for three US soldiers from the 3rd Infantry, Sgt. Thomas Gibson, Capt. Philip Wolford and Lt. Col. Philip de Camp, over the death of a Spanish cameraman during the war in Iraq. Pedraz ordered the arrest [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] A Texas court on Wednesday issued an arrest warrant for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) [official website; campaign website] for his indictment on charges of money laundering [JURIST report] and criminal conspiracy [JURIST report]. The warrant, described by DeLay’s attorney Dick Guerin as a "matter of routine," [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] New York Times reporter Judith Miller [JURIST news archive] and US Attorney Chuck Rosenberg [official profile] on Wednesday offered differing takes on the need for federal legislation to protect confidentiality of journalists' sources during a Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] hearing [notice and witness list]. Miller, who was jailed [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's environmental law news, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] has ruled [PDF text] that the US Bureau of Reclamation [official website] must come up with a new plan to use water from the Klamath River. The river, which runs from northern California [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights [advocacy website] said Wednesday that declassified notes, taken by a lawyer during interviews with inmate clients participating in the ongoing hunger strike [JURIST report], describe "brutal treatment" of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] military camp in Cuba. The notes, [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] Ahmed Omar Abu Ali [indictment, PDF], a Virginia man charged with joining al Qaeda [JURIST report] and plotting to assassinate President Bush, testified Wednesday that he had been beaten and tortured after being arrested in Saudi Arabia. The testimony was offered during a pre-trial hearing to determine whether a [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Chile on Wednesday stripped former president Augusto Pinochet [JURIST news archive; BBC profile] of immunity from prosecution for charges of tax fraud connected to $27 million he holds in offshore accounts. The ruling comes a day after Judge Sergio Munoz petitioned the Santiago Court of [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Royal Canadian Mounted Police [official website] on Wednesday arrested and charged a Rwandan man living in Toronto with war crimes and crimes against humanity in connection with the 1994 genocide in Rwanda [JURIST news archive]. Desire Munyaneza, 39, faces seven charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] Many Iraqis watched intently Wednesday as the trial of Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] opened, but the proceeding drew mixed reviews in Iraq and abroad. Shiite and Kurdish Iraqis welcomed the start of the trial, with many watching on television as the deposed dictator pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Association of American Publishers (AAP) [trade website] announced Wednesday that it has filed a lawsuit [press release] against Google for allegedly infringing copyrights as part of Google's Print Library Project [Google backgrounder]. The complaint [PDF] seeks a declaration that the project violates copyright protections and an injunction against [read more]

14:10 EDT

[JURIST] The administration of Missouri Governor Matt Blunt [official website] will continue its legal defense of a state law [text] prohibiting inmates from obtaining abortions unless a woman's life or health is endangered, despite the US Supreme Court's recent decision [JURIST report] allowing the transport of a current inmate to [read more]

14:10 EDT

[JURIST] Attorneys representing undocumented immigrants who have been victims of violent crimes filed a federal suit against the US Department of Homeland Security [official website] Tuesday for the agency's failure to issue U-visas. The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 [PDF text], allows the US Citizen and [read more]

12:10 EDT

[JURIST] According to congressional aides, confirmation hearings for US Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers [JURIST news archives] in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] are set to begin on November 7. The aides have said that committee chairman Sen. Arlen Specter [official website] plans an announcement later Wednesday. [read more]

12:10 EDT

[JURIST] The United Nations [official website] is not taking proper measures to end sexual abuse during peacekeeping missions, according to an independent review report [PDF text; executive summary] released Tuesday. The report, filed by Refugees International, concludes [RI press release] that a "culture that tolerates sexual exploitation and abuse has [read more]

11:10 EDT

[JURIST] An attorney for Jim Ellis, head of Americans for a Republican Majority and an associate of former House majority leader Tom DeLay [official website], said in court documents Tuesday that all charges against Ellis are a result of government misconduct. Ellis, along with John Colyandro, has been charged [JURIST [read more]

10:10 EDT

[JURIST] Former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori [Wikipedia profile; personal website] on Tuesday was cleared of corruption in a 1994 arms purchase case, a week after he was barred from running [JURIST report] in Peru's 2006 presidential election by the country's Constitutional Court [official website]. Fujimori has been banned from office [read more]

10:10 EDT

[JURIST] Two Iraqi Kurds now living in the US, Hassen Ali Abdullah and Khalida Ali, have sued Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] in US federal court, seeking compensation for Kurdish victims of genocidal attacks in 1980s Iraq. The class action suit was filed on behalf of all Kurds who lived [read more]

09:10 EDT

[JURIST] Lord Steyn, a recently retired UK senior judge, has said that the UK government had to scrape the bottom of the legal barrel in order to justify its invasion of Iraq. Lord Steyn also agreed with the conclusion of the outgoing chairman of rights group Justice [advocacy website] that [read more]

09:10 EDT

[JURIST] The United Kingdom and Libya signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) Tuesday which specifies that foreign nationals deported from the UK to Libya will not be mistreated upon their return. The agreement was signed by Britain's Ambassador to Libya Anthony Layden [official profile] and the Libyan Acting Secretary for [read more]

08:10 EDT

[JURIST] CNN is reporting that Judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin, who is presiding [Reuters report] over the trial of Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] before the Iraqi High Criminal Court, formerly known as the Iraqi Special Tribunal [JURIST news archive], has ordered an adjournment of the proceeding until November 28. The [read more]

08:10 EDT

[JURIST] Google [corporate website] will no longer use the "Gmail" name for its UK e-mail service in part of a long-running trademark dispute with small UK financial research company Independent II Research (IIIR). IIIR claims that it launched its "G-MailTM" web based email back in May 2002, nearly two years [read more]

07:10 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile; JURIST news archive] said Tuesday that the use of foreign law in US Supreme Court opinions is "anti-democratic" and "unworkable." In a speech [text] given at George Mason University Law School, Gonzales argued that "Foreign judges and legislators are not accountable to [read more]

07:10 EDT

[JURIST] An argumentative Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] pleaded not guilty Wednesday as he and seven co-defendants from the defunct Baath Party [Wikipedia backgrounder] went on trial before the Iraqi Special Tribunal [official website], also known as the Iraqi High Criminal Court. The eight face charges of murder, torture, forced [read more]

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