Legal news from Saturday, October 29, 2005
16:10 EDT

[JURIST] At least five people were shot by police Saturday as violence again erupted in Kenya's Western Province over the country's highly controversial draft constitution [PDF text]. Security forces fired upon a crowd in the city of Kisumu while dispersing a riot during a pro-constitution rally held by four cabinet [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] Syrian President Bashar Assad [Wikipedia profile] on Saturday formed a special judicial committee to conduct a state investigation into Syrian involvement in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive]. The committee will be led by Syria's prosecutor-general, and will also include the military prosecutor [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] Australian state and territorial leaders were given a new draft of a proposed federal anti-terrorism bill Friday and are meeting this weekend to discuss it. The previous draft [text] drew heavy criticism [JURIST report] from ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope [official website] last week for its provisions concerning control [read more]

14:10 EDT

[JURIST] The New Orleans Police Department fired 45 police officers and 6 other employees Friday after investigators concluded they had improperly abandoned their duties during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive] without giving 14 days notice as required by regulations. A total of of 240 officers out of [read more]

14:10 EDT

[JURIST] Former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy [defense website] pleaded not guilty Friday to corruption charges after a federal grand jury indicted him [JURIST report] Wednesday. Scrushy claims that though he has no evidence to provide the court, federal prosecutors are offering him immunity if he agrees to testify against his [read more]

11:10 EDT

[JURIST] Democrats on the US Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Investigations [official website] claimed in a minority staff report [PDF] on the UN Oil-for-Food scandal released Friday that the US Treasury Department failed to respond to UN requests for help in investigating business improprieties and missed an [read more]

11:10 EDT

[JURIST] A lawyer for former Cheney chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [JURIST news archive], who resigned Friday after a grand jury indictment [JURIST report], has outlined a possible defense for his client's alleged false statements before a grand jury. Joseph Tate [firm profile] suggested that Libby's inconsistent "recollections" [read more]

10:10 EDT

[JURIST] In a statement [text] released Friday, the US State Department announced that it has extended an invitation to Guantanamo Bay prison [JURIST news archive] to three UN human rights rapporteurs. State Department officials say "the invitation was extended in an effort to broaden understanding of US detention operations" and [read more]

10:10 EDT

[JURIST] Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein accepted a last minute offer of exile from Arab leaders in 2003 just before the US-led invasion of Iraq, according to an Al Arabiya television [media website] documentary. According to the report, the deal could have averted war, but was thwarted when members of [read more]

10:10 EDT

[JURIST] Portugal's constitutional court [official website] has blocked a national referendum designed to relax the country's abortion laws. Prime Minister Jose Socrates [official profile, in Portuguese] and the ruling Socialist party had intended to hold the referendum on November 27 to decide whether abortions during the first ten weeks of [read more]

10:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Alaska Supreme Court issued an opinion [PDF text] Friday ending the state practice of denying benefits to same-sex partners of public employees. While the high court determined that the policy violated the equal protection clause of the Alaska Constitution [text] because it treated unmarried heterosexual and homosexual couples [read more]

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