Legal news from Monday, January 30, 2006
21:01 EDT

[JURIST Europe] The European Court of Human Rights [official website] based in Strasbourg, France, has awarded a landmark compensation payment of 250,000 euros ($300,000) to Alexei Mikheyev, a 29 year old Russian citizen virtually crippled from the waist down as a result of torture by Russian police. The court found [read more]

18:01 EDT

[JURIST] French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin [official website, BBC profile] announced [press release] Monday that the number of anti-Semitic and racist acts reported in France [JURIST news archive] dropped significantly in 2005. Anti-Semitic acts (defined as violence or threats of violence) dropped 47 percent, while racist and xenophobic acts [read more]

18:01 EDT

[JURIST] Lucia Pinochet Hiriart, the eldest daughter of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], was released on bail Monday after appearing in a Santiago appeals court two days after she returned [JURIST report] to Chile to answer charges of tax evasion [JURIST report]. Hiriart had fled [read more]

17:01 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate has invoked cloture [Senate backgrounder], voting 72-25 to end debate and cut off any filibuster on the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito [official profile] to the US Supreme Court. A vote on whether to approve the nomination is scheduled for Tuesday at 11 AM ET.5:55 PM [read more]

14:01 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Sim Lake Monday told potential jurors in the trial of Enron [JURIST news archive] founder Kenneth Lay [Houston Chronicle profile] and former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling [Houston Chronicle profile] that it was not up to them to provide justice for the suffering caused by the collapse [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for former WorldCom [MCI/WorldCom website] CEO Bernard Ebbers [JURIST news archive] urged federal appeals court judges Monday to reconsider his 25-year prison sentence [JURIST report], questioning the fairness of the prosecution during trial proceedings. Ebbers was convicted of fraud and conspiracy [JURIST report] in March 2005 in connection [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] US diplomats at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) [official website] have expressed concern over Russia's newly adopted NGO law [JURIST report], which grants the Russian government tight control over the registration, financing, and activities of non-governmental organizations in the country, including a variety of foreign [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] The American Bar Association [official website] has recommended a moratorium on the Georgia death penalty after an ABA panel study [ABA materials] identified numerous flaws in the state criminal justice system that it claimed greatly compromised the fair administration of capital punishment. The Georgia Death Penalty Assessment Report [DOC] [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] Democrats in the US Senate spent Monday morning lobbying against US Supreme Court [official website] nominee Judge Samuel Alito [official profile; JURIST news archive] in their last efforts to block his confirmation [JURIST report] to the high court. The Senate will hold a cloture vote [Senate backgrounder] Monday afternoon [read more]

11:01 EDT

[JURIST] The Moscow City Court has denied a petition for release [JURIST report] by former Russian nuclear minister Yevgeny Adamov [Kommersant profile; JURIST news archive], ruling that he will remain in custody until April 12. Adamov, who is charged with fraud and power abuse by both Russian and US prosecutors, [read more]

11:01 EDT

[JURIST] US Army Sgt. Kevin D. Myricks was sentenced [Central Command press release] on Monday to six months in a military prison and a demotion in rank for his involvement in the beating of two detainees [JURIST report] in his custody at Forward Operating Base Ripley in Afghanistan's Uruzgan province [read more]

11:01 EDT

[JURIST] Former Zambian President Frederick Chiluba [profile] has asked the African Union [official website; JURIST news archive] to intervene to halt criminal charges filed by Zambia [BBC report] in the United Kingdom. Chiluba contends that as a member of the AU, Zambia is bound by an agreement that all former [read more]

11:01 EDT

[JURIST] The British government has rejected calls to reduce the legal time limit for abortions, despite a new poll that shows women want changes to make it more difficult to obtain an abortion later in a pregnancy. The Observer reported Sunday that according to a survey, 47 percent of British [read more]

10:01 EDT

[JURIST] A senior Hamas leader said Sunday that the party plans to use Islamic sharia [Wikipedia backgrounder] as a guide for lawmaking as Hamas members take their seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council [official website], but that Hamas will convince people in a "polite" way to choose Islam and hold [read more]

10:01 EDT

[JURIST] A bail hearing for Lucia Pinochet Hiriart, daughter of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet [BBC profile, JURIST archive] is set for Monday in Santiago Monday following Hiriat's return to Chile [JURIST report] Saturday after she withdrew her request for asylum in the United States. She fled Chile last week [read more]

10:01 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that the chief lawyer for Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] has said that Hussein and his defense team will boycott trial proceedings when they resume Wednesday. The trial [JURIST news archive] resumed briefly Sunday under new Kurdish chief judge Ra'uf Rasheed Abdel-Rahman [Aljazeera profile] but was [read more]

09:01 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Monday's international brief, the Sudanese government [official website] has criticized a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights report [DOC text] released last Friday which sharply condemned the human rights condition in Darfur [JURIST news archive]. Jamal Mohamed Ibrahim, the spokesperson for the Sudanese Foreign Ministry, called the report [read more]

09:01 EDT

[JURIST] The trial of Uzbek opposition leader and businessman Sanjar Umarov [party profile] opened and promptly adjourned Monday in Tashkent after defense lawyers requested more time to prepare their case. Umarov, a leader of the opposition Sunshine Uzbekistan Coalition [party website], was arrested in October [JURIST report] on charges that [read more]

09:01 EDT

[JURIST] British politicians, writers and comedians are urging members of the UK House of Commons [official website] to accept freedom of speech revisions in the controversial Racial and Religious Hatred Bill [text; BBC Q/A], which returns to the Commons for a vote Tuesday. The bill was amended [official amendments; JURIST [read more]

09:01 EDT

[JURIST] The Egyptian government has said that it will not deport hundreds of Sudanese detainees who lack status as refugees or asylum seekers. The detainees were arrested after a three-month sit-in protest in front of UN offices in Cairo resulted in a violent clash with Egyptian police on December 30, [read more]

09:01 EDT

[JURIST] Cambodian President Hun Sen [BBC profile] has said that a court has refused to allow him to drop criminal defamation charges against a group of human rights activists, as he had promised [JURIST report] last week. In a speech on Monday, Hun Sen said that the court ruled out [read more]

08:01 EDT

[JURIST] Jury selection is set to begin Monday in the criminal trial of former Enron [JURIST news archive] founder Kenneth Lay [Chronicle profile] and former CEO Jeffrey Skilling [Chronicle profile] on conspiracy and fraud charges [PDF indictment]. Defense lawyers for Lay and Skilling had asked that the trial be moved [read more]

06:01 EDT

[JURIST Europe] Finnish leaders hinted over the weekend that they would like to put the European Constitution [JURIST news archive] back on the table for discussion at the October summit of European Union [official website] leaders scheduled during Finland's six-month presidency [official backgrounder] of the regional group. Although the document [read more]

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