Legal news from Monday, January 9, 2006
20:01 EDT

[JURIST] The New Jersey Legislature [official website] passed a bill [draft text] Monday to suspend executions and create a New Jersey Death Penalty Study Commission [statement, PDF] to examine all aspects of the death penalty [JURIST news archive], including its fairness and costs. The 13-member commission will report back to [read more]

18:01 EDT

[JURIST] US Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito [official profile, JURIST news archive] used his 11-minute opening statement [AP transcript; AP video] to the Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] late Monday afternoon to describe his family background, his education, and his professional career, and to highlight key points of his [read more]

18:01 EDT

[JURIST] NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer [official profile] Monday called on Serbia and Bosnia to step up their efforts to find wanted war criminals Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic [ICTY case backgrounders], both indicted for genocide and other war crimes committed during the 1992-95 Bosnian war. After more than [read more]

17:01 EDT

[JURIST] The Swiss Supreme Court Monday denied a Russian request for the transfer of bank documents to Russia [JURIST news archive] relevant to an ongoing investigation into crippled Russian oil giant Yukos [corporate website; JURIST news archive]. The Swiss court held that Russia provided insufficient evidence of wrongdoing to warrant [read more]

16:01 EDT

[JURIST] Two Muslim men accused of supporting terror will stand trial after a federal judge in New York state ruled Monday that there was enough evidence to pursue the case despite defendants' arguments that they had been entrapped by FBI agents. US District Judge Thomas McAvoy ruled that the entrapment [read more]

16:01 EDT

[JURIST] Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet [JURIST news archive; BBC profile] was granted bail on Monday after seven weeks of house arrest on the three remaining charges against him relating to the disappearance and presumed death of dissidents during his 17-year rule. Pinochet was granted bail [JURIST report] last week [read more]

15:01 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] heard arguments Monday in Hudson v. Michigan [Duke Law case backgrounder; merit briefs] where it will decide whether police officers were justified in entering a plaintiff's home without knocking when they arrived with a warrant to search for drugs. Justices could use this [read more]

15:01 EDT

[JURIST] Swiss intelligence agents have been aware of secret CIA prisons in eastern Europe [JURIST news archive] for nearly two months, according to documents leaked to the Swiss newspaper SonntagsBlick [media website]. According to SonntagsBlick, Swiss military intelligence [official website in German] agents used satellite listening systems to intercept a [read more]

15:01 EDT

[JURIST] Jury selection began Monday in the trial of Shaaban Hafiz Ahmad Ali Shaaban, an Indiana truck driver accused of offering to sell names of US covert operatives to Saddam Hussein's Iraqi government. Charges against Shaaban [JURIST report] laid last March include acting as a foreign agent, violating sanctions against [read more]

14:01 EDT

[JURIST] The trial of three former police officers for the murder of prominent Ukraine opposition journalist Heorhiy Gongadze [Wikipedia profile] has begun in Kiev. Valeriy Kostenko, Mykola Protasov and Oleksandr Popovych are accused of carrying out the killing in September 2000, but no one has yet been charged with giving [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] The trial of radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri [BBC profile], charged under the UK Terrorism Act 2000 [text] for inciting racial hatred, began in London on Monday. Hamza was arrested last May on a US extradition warrant, and was later charged in the UK on 16 counts, including [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] Confirmation hearings for US Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito [JURIST news archive] began Monday with Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) [official website] promising a "full, fair and dignified hearing," and Senate Democrats vowing to ask tough questions about Alito's stance on abortion, the right [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals [official website] on Monday denied requests [JURIST report] by US Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) [official website; JURIST news archive] that the money laundering charges against him either be dismissed or sent back to a lower court for an immediate trial. The state's highest [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] The lower house of Jordan's parliament on Sunday approved an agreement with the US which will prohibit the country from handing over Americans accused of violating international criminal law to the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website]. The decision was met with intense opposition by the Islamic Action Front [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] The lower house of Jordan's parliament on Sunday approved an agreement with the US which will prohibit the country from handing over Americans accused of violating international criminal law to the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website]. The decision was met with intense opposition by the Islamic Action Front [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] A top official at the US Department of Justice's Regime Crimes Liaison Office in Baghdad has suggested that the current trial of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] could end as early as June, with further trial proceedings to commence thereafter. Kevin P. Dooley [DOJ press release] [read more]

11:01 EDT

[JURIST] Israeli police said Monday that Palestinians who plan to run in the January 25 parliamentary elections [BBC backgrounder] will be permitted to campaign in Jerusalem, reversing a previous ban against Palestinian campaigning in the capital city. Senior Palestinian politician Hatem Abdel Khader said he viewed the lifted ban as [read more]

11:01 EDT

[JURIST] Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik [official profile] has promised new efforts to revive the stalled EU Constitution [JURIST document; JURIST news archive] during the Austrian Presidency of the EU [official website] in the first half of 2006. The draft constitution was rejected by both France [JURIST report] and the [read more]

11:01 EDT

[JURIST] Iran [JURIST news archive] confirmed Monday that it will restart its nuclear fuel research program, a decision which may lead European Union and US officials to refer Iran [JURIST report] to the UN Security Council for sanctions. Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said Iran would resume its [read more]

10:01 EDT

[JURIST] Speaker of the US House of Representatives Dennis Hastert (R-IL) [official website] outlined a plan Sunday to implement more stringent restrictions on the "perks" members of Congress may accept from private parties. Reconsideration of the restrictions was sparked by the recent Congressional ethics scandal involving former Washington lobbyist Jack [read more]

10:01 EDT

[JURIST] The man who shot Pope John Paul II [official website] in 1981 will be released on parole from prison Thursday after a Turkish court ruled that he has completed his sentences for shooting the pope and other crimes. The Vatican [official website] expressed surprise at the news, saying it [read more]

09:01 EDT

[JURIST] The US Army has dropped charges against Capt. Christopher Beiring, the Army officer implicated in the death of two terror detainees [Army press release; JURIST report] at the US-run Bagram detention facility in Afghanistan [Global Security profile], due to insufficient evidence. Beiring was charged [JURIST report] in September with [read more]

08:01 EDT

[JURIST] Christian conservatives on Sunday rallied in support of US Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito [official profile; JURIST news archive] and called for reforms to the federal judiciary, during Justice Sunday III [advocacy website; FRC press release]. The rally, sponsored by the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family [read more]

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