Legal news from Wednesday, October 26, 2005
20:10 EDT

[JURIST] General Motors [corporate website] on Wednesday said that records relating to its pension program had been subpoenaed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission [official website] as part of an investigation into its accounting practices. GM said the subpoena related to reporting of pension and post-employment benefits, as well [read more]

20:10 EDT

[JURIST] Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman [official profile] and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy [defense website], along with two others, have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges if a "widespread racketeering conspiracy" that included bribery for official acts in the state. According to the indictment, Siegelman and [read more]

19:10 EDT

[JURIST] The US House Committee on Resources [official website] on Wednesday approved a budget package [PDF text] that includes provisions to relax a ban on oil and gas drilling along the nation's coast and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge [official website]. The Committee voted 24-15 to approve the bill, [read more]

19:10 EDT

[JURIST] A six-person jury on Wednesday found the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey [official website] negligent in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center [Wikipedia backgrounder] by Islamic radicals that killed six and injured 1,000. According to the jury, the Port Authority, which owned the World [read more]

19:10 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees on a hunger strike [JURIST report] must be notified by the Defense Department before their clients may be force fed against their will, US District Judge Gladys Kessler [official profile] ruled Wednesday. Kessler also ruled that the government must provide detainee [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] The federal grand jury investigating the leak of a CIA operative’s identity [JURIST news archive] adjourned on Wednesday after meeting for three hours with Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald [official profile; investigation website] and his deputies. The grand jury's term, which is set to expire in three days, can be [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Bush administration announced Wednesday that on November 8 it plans to reinstate rules that ensure workers on federal Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive] projects receive fair wages that are close to the amount of local wages on similar projects. In the days following Hurricane Katrina, the President signed [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] The British government's proposed Terrorism Bill [PDF text; Home Office overview] passed its first test in the House of Commons [official website] Wednesday, despite a 16 MP-strong rebellion [Reuters report] of Labour Party backbenchers against the government and continued disagreement from opposition parties over controversial detention provisions. The bill, [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] Uzbek prosecutors in the trial of 15 men accused of plotting a rebellion in Andijan on Wednesday sought prison sentences of between nine and 20 years for the suspects. Prosecutors urged the court to issue a 20-year sentence for five men, an 18-year sentence for three, and 17 years [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] US Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) [official website; JURIST news archive] previewed a range of confirmation questions for controversial US Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers [JURIST archive] Wednesday. In a letter [AP text], he told Miers she should expect inquiries about the war on terror and whether [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] Lebanese prosecutors have charged two men in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive], sources reported Wednesday. The two men, brothers Ahmad and Mahmoud Abdel-Al, were both named last week by a report [text; JURIST report] by a UN commission investigating the killing as being [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] A German court on Wednesday found four Middle Eastern men guilty of links to al Qaeda and of plotting to attack Jewish targets in Germany, and the four were sentenced to between five and eight years in prison. The four men, arrested in 2002 for alleged plots against two [read more]

14:10 EDT

[JURIST] The British Cabinet included a plan to ban smoking [JURIST report] in enclosed public places as part of its Health Improvement Bill Wednesday, exempting from the prohibition pubs and bars that don't serve food. The Department of Health [official website] initiated research [JURIST report] in June for the ban, [read more]

13:10 EDT

[JURIST] French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy [official profile; BBC profile] presented the country's anti-terrorism bill to the Cabinet Wednesday, rejecting claims that the provisions of the bill would infringe on civil rights and create a police state. The bill, proposed in response to the London bombings [JURIST news archive], is [read more]

13:10 EDT

[JURIST] Amnesty International [advocacy website] condemned Spain and Morocco for human rights violations against all migrants and asylum-seekers of sub-Saharan origin Wednesday. Immigrants attempting to use Morocco as a conduit to Europe have recently met increased security forces along the Spanish border, resulting in violent clashes and claims of excessive [read more]

12:10 EDT

[JURIST] Defense lawyers representing Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] have announced that they will boycott the Iraqi Special Tribunal [official website], following through on a threat to boycott [JURIST report] made after one of the defense lawyers for a Hussein co-defendant was kidnapped and murdered [JURIST report] last week. Lead [read more]

11:10 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge Tuesday upheld the conviction [JURIST report] of civil rights lawyer Lynne Stewart [defense website] for conspiracy and providing material support to terrorists (18 USC 2339A), denying a post-trial motion for acquittal. Stewart was convicted [JURIST video] in February for helping imprisoned Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman [Wikipedia profile] [read more]

10:10 EDT

[JURIST] Australian Prime Minister John Howard [official website] has said that he is willing to change controversial shoot-to-kill provisions [JURIST report] in proposed anti-terror legislation [PDF text]. Howard also said that the legislation need not be introduced next week, but said that new proposals should be passed by the end [read more]

10:10 EDT

[JURIST] Serbia [JURIST news archive] has arrested nine policemen in the 1999 murder of 48 Kosovo Albanians, a Serbian court official announced Wednesday. The arrests are the first to be linked to a mass grave discovered in 2001 outside of Belgrade, where the 48 bodies were buried along with the [read more]

09:10 EDT

[JURIST] US Senate and House negotiators are preparing to discuss conflicting versions of the USA PATRIOT and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2005 [bill summary], including a provision in the House version [PDF text] that would allow federal prosecutors multiple attempts at securing the death penalty. Under current law, if [read more]

08:10 EDT

[JURIST] The United States and France circulated a draft UN resolution Tuesday that demands that Syria fully cooperate with a UN investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive] and threatens economic sanctions should Damascus not cooperate. The UN International Independent Investigation Commission (UNIIIC), [read more]

08:10 EDT

[JURIST] Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald [official website] could bring charges in the CIA leak case [JURIST news archive] Wednesday, wrapping up a two-year investigation into the leak of undercover operative Valerie Plame's identity. Sources close to the case say that FBI agents recently interviewed Plame's neighbors who said they had [read more]

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