[JURIST] Libya's Supreme Court Sunday disposed of the death-by-firing-squad sentences given to five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor jailed since 1999 and convicted of infecting more than 400 children with the HIV virus [JURIST report]. The case was sent back to the lower court for retrial. The six have continued to protest their innocence and said their confessions were extracted under torture. Bulgaria welcomed the decision [Reuters report] a week after an agreement was made between Libya and Bulgaria to set up a fund [Sofia Echo report] to help the families of the HIV-infected children. Reuters has more. The Bulgarian News Network provides local coverage.
[JURIST] Iraqi National Security Adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie [Newsweek profile] has said that he wants to see the re-arrest of Saddam Hussein's former top weapons aides after the US military confirmed the release from custody [JURIST report] of 14 more high-ranking detainees, including Dr. Rihab Taha al-Azawi [BBC profile], also known in the Western media as, "Dr. Germ" and Huda Ammash [CNN report], the so-called "Mrs. Anthrax." US troops are said to be still protecting the 14 [JURIST report] until they have somewhere safe to go either in Iraq or overseas. Al-Rubaie said that warrants for their arrest are still valid, despite the fact that the Iraqi Government have been informed that the US accepted that it had no legal basis on which to hold the detainees. Reuters has more.
[JURIST] Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said Saturday that members of the US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] intend to expand their probe into warrantless wiretaps [JURIST report] within the US after the weekend disclosure that the National Security Agency [official website] had obtained access to the nation's telephone and Internet lines to track terrorists, in greater volumes than disclosed by the administration [JURIST report]. President Bush has authorized warrantless eavesdropping [JURIST report] on calls within the US provided agency officials can show a link to al Qaeda and as long as one end of the phone call or e-mail is outside of the US. The administration has defended the scope of the President's authority to order the eavesdropping on the basis of both his inherent constitutional power and Congress pos-9/11 authorization permitting him to use "all necessary and appropriate force" in the war against terrorism. Former House Majority Leader Tom daschle, who led the Democrats in 2001, has insisted [JURIST report] that Congress did not intend to, or even consider, giving the President such a sweeping mandate. Advocacy groups such as the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) [advocacy website] argue that the collection of information from people who are not terrorists raises severe privacy concerns and could be subject to abuse by the government. The New York Times has more.
[JURIST] China [JURIST news archive] announced Saturday on the last working day that prosecutors were able to bring the case [IHT report] that it is putting journalist Zhao Yan on trial for stealing state secrets and fraud within the next six weeks. Yan had worked at the New York Times' Beijing Bureau as a researcher. When the Times ran a scoop about the retirement of former president Jiang Zemin [Wikipedia backgrounder] from his last post as head of the military in September 2004, Yan was accused of leaking the story to the paper and arrested [CCEC report]. The New York Times has repeatedly denied that Yan was the source for its scoop. The evidence against Yan is a photocopied research note he wrote which detailed a dispute between Jiang and successor Hu Jintao [official profile; Wikipedia profile] about the promotion of two generals.
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