Legal news from Tuesday, November 15, 2005
19:11 EDT

[JURIST] Pentagon officials admitted Tuesday that US troops in Iraq used white phosphorus [CDC factsheet; GlobalSecurity.org backgrounder] as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants during a 2004 military assault on the insurgent-controlled city of Fallujah, but remained adamant that it was not used against civilians. Reports that US forces fired [read more]

19:11 EDT

[JURIST] Enron [corporate homepage] and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) [official website] agreed to a $1.5 billion settlement Tuesday over allegations [JURIST report] that Enron manipulated electricity supplies during the power crisis in California, Oregon, and Washington in 2000-01. Under the settlement [FERC press release; order, PDF], the three [read more]

19:11 EDT

[JURIST] A US district judge has denied bail for former KPMG [corporate website] executive David Greenberg, a defendant in the largest criminal tax case in US history. Judge Lewis A. Kaplan [official profile] said Greenberg posed a substantial flight risk because he could face up to 25 years in prison [read more]

17:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Jordanian government [official website] said Tuesday that it is drafting tough new antiterrorism legislation that would allow suspected terrorists to be held indefinitely and, in very broad terms, would impose penalties on any individual who "would expose the lives and properties of citizens to danger inside and outside [read more]

16:11 EDT

[JURIST] Iraq’s government announced plans on Tuesday to investigate allegations that Iraqi security forces abused more than 170 prisoners held in central Baghdad, who were found malnourished and showing evidence of torture. Prompted by the repeated pleadings of a missing teenager's parents, US troops discovered the detainees [AP report], most [read more]

16:11 EDT

[JURIST] France's National Assembly [official website], the lower house of parliament, on Tuesday voted to extend emergency powers [legislative materials] originally granted for 12 days on November 8 [JURIST report] to combat the civil unrest that started in late October. The extension of emergency powers, approved by the French cabinet [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] Chief Lebanese investigative judge Elias Eid on Tuesday refused to release two former high ranking Lebanese military officials implicated in the murder of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive]. The two former officials - former head of Lebanese intelligence Raymond Azar and presidential guard Mustafa Hamdan - [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] Former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori [official website, English version] lost his appeal in a Chilean court Tuesday in his legal effort to be released from custody [JURIST report] as he fights his extradition to Peru on charges of corruption and human rights violations. Chilean officials first arrested Fujimori last [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] Manfred Nowak, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture [official website], on Tuesday called for unrestricted inspections of the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. The UN plans to send inspectors to Guantanamo on December 6 for a report that Nowak's team is due to complete by the [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] In a meeting Tuesday with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) [official website], Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito [official profile; JURIST news archive] distanced himself from a 1985 statement [PDF text; JURIST report] in which he asserted his belief that the constitution does not guarantee a right to an abortion. The [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate on Tuesday passed a compromise amendment [JURIST report] to the 2006 Defense Appropriations Bill [bill summary] that would curtail, but not totally cut off, Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees' access to the federal court system to challenge their detentions. The new amendment, passed by a [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] The only United Nations [official website] official to lose his job over the oil-for-food scandal [JURIST news archive] has been reinstated, after an internal appellate body found that he had not violated staff rules [JURIST report]. Joseph Stephanides was also issued a letter of apology and awarded $200,000 for [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] The German trial of Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel [ADL profile; CBC backgrounder] was postponed Tuesday after Judge Ulrich Meinerzhagen fired one of Zundel's lawyers. Judge Meinerzhagen fired Sylvia Stolz because he believed Stolz would not defend Zundel properly, but did not set a date for the trial to reopen [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] A former Serbian soldier admitted in a special high-security court in Belgrade on Tuesday that he participated in the November 1991 execution of about 200 Croatian prisoners of war [BBC backgrounder] at a pig farm. The testimony by Ivan Atansijevic was the first admission by one of the 16 [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Leonie Brinkema has delayed the sentencing trial [PDF order] of September 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui [JURIST news archive] by one month and ordered a two-stage process [PDF text] to determine whether or not he will receive the death penalty, according to ruling released Tuesday. The trial, [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) [association website] on Tuesday announced that it has launched its largest international wave of legal action [IFPI press release] against illegal online file-sharing. This latest push targeted 2,100 alleged uploaders [IFPI factsheet] using peer-to-peer networks in 16 nations including the UK, [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] Hissene Habre [Wikipedia profile], the former president of Chad [BBC backgrounder] wanted by a Belgian court for crimes against humanity allegedly committed during his rule, has been arrested and is being held in Senegal, lawyers said Tuesday. Habre has been indicted in Belgium for his alleged crimes, which, human [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] The military commission trial of Australian David Hicks [advocacy website], who has been imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] for more than 3 1/2 years, was postponed on Monday by a US district judge until the US Supreme Court [official website] rules on the legality of such military [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] Omri Sharon [official profile], the son of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon [BBC profile] and member of the Israeli Knesset, pleaded guilty Tuesday to illegal fundraising activities related to his father's reelection campaign [JURIST report]. In exchange for his admission to falsifying corporate documents, perjury and violating the party [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] Spanish Interior Minister Jose Antonio Alonso [profile] announced Tuesday that the country would investigate allegations [JURIST report] that US CIA planes carrying terrorism suspects made secret landings on Spanish soil before continuing to Libya, Algeria, Romania, Macedonia and Sweden. Spain's Defense Minister Jose Bono [BBC profile] said that the [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] Two of eight former Iraqi detainees who are suing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld [complaint, PDF] told ABC News Monday they were tortured while in US custody. The torture included beatings, electrocution with tazers, food and water deprivation, being shot with rubber bullets, and threatened with sodomy. One detainee [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the US Department of State made statements Monday condemning the non-appealable conviction [UNHCHR press release] of fifteen Uzbek men who were sentenced to 14-20 years in prison [JURIST report] for their involvement in the bloody uprisings in Andijan in May [HRW [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] Former Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic [ICTY factsheet] requested a recess in his war crimes trial [JURIST news archive] Tuesday, to allow him time to recover from the strain of defending himself. Milosevic submitted a report from his doctors to the UN-backed International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia [official [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] The South Jakarta District Court Tuesday dropped a case brought by the Indonesian Ministry of Environment [official website] against the Newmont Mining Corporation [corporate website; JURIST news archive], the Indonesian subsidiary of a Denver-based company, saying the case should be settled through international arbitration or conciliation. The Indonesian government, [read more]

08:11 EDT

[JURIST] Eight advocacy groups Monday filed a complaint [PDF] in US district court on behalf of the 6.4 million people who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid to make sure that no elderly or disabled Americans lose access to prescription drugs when they enroll in the new Medicare drug plan. [read more]

08:11 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's international brief, three judges from the Kenyan Constitutional Court ruled that a legal challenge to the legitimacy of the upcoming Kenyan national referendum on the proposed draft constitution [JURIST report] was invalid and that neither the legislative nor judicial branches of government could stop the referendum. Activists [read more]

08:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Libyan Supreme Court Tuesday postponed its verdict until January 31 for five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor who had received death sentences following their convictions for deliberately infecting more than 400 children with the HIV virus [JURIST report] as part of an experiment to find a cure [read more]

07:11 EDT

[JURIST] Major US media organization Dow Jones & Co. [corporate website], publisher of the Wall Street Journal and other publications, on Monday challenged efforts by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald [official website] to keep documents secret in the CIA leak case [JURIST news archive], asking a federal court to deny Fitzgerald's [read more]

06:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate [official website] is set to vote Tuesday on a compromise offered by senators in response to last Thursday's 49-42 vote [JURIST report] to deny Guantanamo prisoners habeas corpus access to federal courts [JURIST report] in order to contest the legality of their detentions. The Graham amendment [read more]

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