Legal news from Friday, October 21, 2005
21:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Moscow Bar Association reported Friday that it had found no evidence to disbar three lawyers on the defense team of jailed Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky [JURIST archive]. On September 23 the Russian Prosecutor General's office requested that eight of Khodorkovsky's lawyers [defense website, in English] be stripped [read more]

21:10 EDT

[JURIST] Representative Tom DeLay (R-TX) [official profile] made his first court appearance in state criminal court in Austin Friday since his indictment earlier this month on criminal conspiracy and money laundering charges, but his arraignment has been postponed pending his lawyer's request for a new judge in the case [JURIST [read more]

19:10 EDT

[JURIST] President Bush Friday called [official statement] for the UN to convene an urgent meeting to consider what he characterized as the "deeply disturbing" findings of the Mehlis report [UN report; JURIST report] suggesting that the February assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri could not have taken place [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] Members of the defense team for Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] demanded Friday that his trial be delayed or moved outside of Iraq after the body of a kidnapped defense lawyer for one of Hussein's co-defendants was found [JURIST report] Friday. The lawyers called for the trial to be [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] In Friday's environmental law news, Wisconsin state legislators held a public hearing before a joint meeting of the Assembly and Senate Judiciary Committees Thursday to discuss a bill that would require plaintiffs in manufacturer liability cases to prove a specific product caused their injuries and was made or marketed [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] Retiring US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor [OYEZ profile] called for clearer rules regarding prisoner detention and interrogation during a speech at West Point [official website] Thursday. O'Connor said the situations at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archives] reflected the confusion of soldiers and a need [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Kansas Supreme Court ruled [opinion text] Friday that illegal underage sex cannot be punished more harshly if it is homosexual. The case before the court involved convicted sex offender Matthew Limon [ACLU case materials], who was sentenced to 17 years in prison [JURIST report] for performing a sex [read more]

14:10 EDT

[JURIST] The European Commission [official website] agreed Friday to negotiate with Bosnia [JURIST news archive] to form a cooperation agreement that may result in the country's full membership to the European Union. The commission said that in order for talks to move forward, Bosnia should improve relations with the International [read more]

13:10 EDT

[JURIST] The parents of a brain-damaged girl in the United Kingdom won a partial victory Friday when a High Court judge lifted a non-resuscitation order [JURIST report] if she were to fall seriously ill. The judge's decision came on the second birthday of Charlotte Wyatt [BBC profile], who has never [read more]

13:10 EDT

[JURIST] Iraqi and US officials are working to repair technical difficulties that occurred during the opening day [JURIST report] of the Saddam Hussein trial [JURIST news archive] earlier this week, which was broadcast around the world. Troubles including a courtroom audio signal that faded in and out, inability to see [read more]

11:10 EDT

[JURIST] Tajikistan's Education Ministry on Friday banned female Muslim students from wearing headscarves in secular schools. Education Minister Abdudjabor Rakhmonov said wearing the hajib, a traditional Muslim head covering, violates the country's constitution and education laws. Tajikistan is a secular nation but 90 percent of its citizens are Muslims. France [read more]

11:10 EDT

[JURIST] Official campaigning began Friday for Kenya's controversial draft constitution, on which a referendum will be held November 21 [JURIST report]. The proposed draft [PDF text] has divided the country [JURIST report] over issues including presidential power controls, separation of church and state, and distribution of government powers. Kenya's political [read more]

11:10 EDT

[JURIST] Results of the October 15 referendum on the Iraqi Constitution [JURIST news archive] faced further delay on Friday, with results now not expected for at least another day or two. The release of results was already delayed once [JURIST report] in order to audit potential irregularities [JURIST report]. A [read more]

10:10 EDT

[JURIST] Australian Capital Territory Chief Minister Jon Stanhope [official website] has said the federal government is excluding him from consulting on the next draft of anti-terrorism proposals after Stanhope leaked a draft of the bill [JURIST report; PDF text] last week. Stanhope received an email from Prime Minister John Howard [read more]

10:10 EDT

[JURIST] Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco [official website] announced on Thursday that she will not extend an eviction ban, allowing landlords to start making repairs to houses and apartments damaged by Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive]. Starting Tuesday, landlords may once again initiate eviction procedures [executive order, PDF; press release]. State [read more]

10:10 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] ruled on Thursday that the government may block Americans [PDF opinion] from giving financial support to foreign organizations designated as terrorist groups. The group in question, Mujahedin-e Khalq (also called MKO or MEK), has been classified as a [read more]

09:10 EDT

[JURIST] President Bush has commended the passing of legislation [press release] shielding the firearms industry from civil lawsuits brought by cities, municipalities and victims of gun crimes and says he looks forward to signing the bill into law. The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act [S. 397 bill summary], [read more]

09:10 EDT

[JURIST] Charges of making false statements, obstruction of justice, disclosing classified information and conspiracy are being considered by federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald [official profile] against administration officials in the investigation into the leak of a CIA operative's identity, lawyers close to the case said Thursday. The two-year investigation began after [read more]

08:10 EDT

[JURIST] Dr. John Edmondson, chief medical officer at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], has denied accusations that feeding tubes are being used to punish detainees. In an affidavit filed in federal court, Edmondson stated that only trained doctors and nurses were inserting feeding tubes and that anesthetic and lubricants were [read more]

08:10 EDT

[JURIST] A report, submitted [JURIST report; UN News report] Thursday to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, on the results of an independent UN investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive] links high-ranking Syrian officials and top pro-Syrian Lebanese officials to the crime. According to [read more]

07:10 EDT

[JURIST] Rep. Tom DeLay [official profile; campaign website] will appear in an Austin courtroom Friday morning to answer charges that he helped funnel corporate donations to GOP candidates for the Texas Legislature in violation of Texas state law. The appearance will be the first after DeLay voluntarily turned himself in [read more]

06:10 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that Saadoun Sughaiyer al-Janabi, a defense lawyer for one of Saddam Hussein's co-defendants who was kidnapped by 10 masked gunmen [JURIST report] Thursday evening in Baghdad, has been found dead, according to a senior Iraqi lawyers' union official. Diaa al-Saadi warned "This will have grave repercussions. [read more]

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