Legal news from Friday, January 20, 2006
17:01 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Defense [official website] announced Friday that it has brought charges [charge sheet; DOD press release] against a tenth Guantanamo Bay detainee. Abdul Zahir has been formally charged with conspiracy, aiding the enemy and attacking civilians, and is accused of working as a translator and money-man [read more]

16:01 EDT

[JURIST] A Chilean appeals court Friday stripped former dictator Augusto Pinochet [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] of immunity so he can face charges involving the torture of thousands of people at Villa Grimaldi [Wikipedia backgrounder], an infamous political detention center that was run by Pinochet’s secret police between 1974 and [read more]

15:01 EDT

[JURIST] British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw [official website] denied Friday that he withheld any information from Parliament concerning Britain's involvement in secret CIA rendition flights [JURIST news archive] and also said that there had not been any flights through Britain since the September 11 attacks. Straw's statement to legislators came [read more]

15:01 EDT

[JURIST] A California [JURIST news archive] proposal for a two-year death penalty [JURIST news archive] moratorium hit a permanent stumbling block in the California Assembly's Appropriations Committee Thursday. The moratorium proposal [PDF text] intended to suspend executions in California until a commission completed a review of California's death penalty, including [read more]

14:01 EDT

[JURIST] Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge M. Brooke Murdock [official profile] on Friday ruled [opinion, PDF] against a 1973 state law that prohibits same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive], declaring that the statute subjects the plaintiff couples to a discriminatory classification based solely on their sexual orientation. The American Civil Liberties [read more]

14:01 EDT

[JURIST] US District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III of the Eastern District of Virginia [official website] on Friday sentenced former Pentagon analyst Lawrence A. Franklin [Wikipedia profile] to 12 years and 7 months in federal prison for leaking classified information in 2003 about potential attacks on US forces in Iraq. [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] In a last-minute push to regain popular support in the final stages of the Canadian federal election campaign, Prime Minister Paul Martin has accused Conservative Party [party website] leader Stephen Harper [official profile] of planning to pack the Supreme Court of Canada [official website] with judges who would advance [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] on Friday unsealed the indictment [press release; speech text] of eleven people alleged to have carried out a series of arsons causing millions of dollars in damage in five Western states between 1996 and 2001 for the extremist ecology groups Earth Liberation [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] A Turkish appeals court on Friday ordered Mehmet Ali Agca [Wikipedia profile], the man who shot Pope John Paul II [official website] in 1981, to return to prison and Agca was subsequently taken into custody in Istanbul. Agca was serving a 36-year sentence for murdering Turkish journalist Abdi Ipekci [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] Japanese Prime Minister and Liberal Democratic Party leader Junichiro Koizumi [official profile] pledged to introduce a bill to reform the 1947 Imperial Household Law [text], allowing women to ascend to the country's imperial throne [JURIST report] during his annual keynote speech to parliament Friday. Under current law, a male [read more]

11:01 EDT

[JURIST] Former Serb commander Dragan Vasiljkovic was arrested [press release] in Australia [JURIST news archive] Thursday at the request of the Croatian government, who want to prosecute Vasiljkovic for war crimes committed during Croatia's 1991-1995 independence war. Vasiljkovic, now a citizen of Australia, is accused of torturing and killing Croat [read more]

10:01 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers across the country filed motions Thursday asking immigration judges to reconsider sending illegal immigrants back to Haiti. The motions are in response to the decision of the Department of Homeland Security [official website] to continue deporting Haitian immigrants, despite the presence of widespread violence and human rights violations [read more]

10:01 EDT

[JURIST] A group of retired military leaders have sent a letter [PDF text; press release] to President Bush seeking clarification on the president's plans to enforce a recently passed ban on the use of torture against terror detainees. Last month, when signing the 2006 defense spending bill [text; JURIST report], [read more]

08:01 EDT

[JURIST] The father of John Walker Lindh [CNN profile; JURIST news archive], the American caught fighting for the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, called on President Bush Thursday to grant his son clemency and commute his 20 year sentence in a speech to San Francisco's Commonwealth Club. Lindh, who was [read more]

08:01 EDT

[JURIST] US Vice President Dick Cheney [official website] on Thursday defended the Bush administration's authorization of domestic surveillance [JURIST news archive] in the weeks following Sept. 11, saying the program is a crucial tool in monitoring terrorist organizations. In a speech [transcript] at the Manhattan Institute, Cheney objected to the [read more]

08:01 EDT

[JURIST] The Shiite United Iraqi Alliance [BBC profile] won 128 of 275 seats in the Iraqi parliament, the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (IECI) [official website] said Friday when it released final results [PDF text] from the December 15 parliamentary elections [JURIST news archive]. Results had been delayed pending the [read more]

08:01 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] has filed a motion [PDF text] in federal court seeking to compel Internet search giant Google [corporate website] to comply with a subpoena issued last summer. The subpoena requests that Google provide a "multi-stage random sample of one million URLs" and [read more]

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