Legal news from Thursday, February 9, 2006
22:02 EDT

[JURIST] French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin [BBC profile] Thursday presented a draft bill to the French cabinet [press release, in French] introducing the concept of selective immigration [PM remarks, in French]. Under the proposed bill, immigration by highly skilled workers and educated professionals would be favored, but the poor [read more]

19:02 EDT

[JURIST] A senior Italian judicial source who asked not to be named has said that the 22 CIA agents accused of kidnapping Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr [Wikipedia profile] in Milan and transporting him out of the country in 2003 in an instance of extraordinary rendition may be tried in absentia [read more]

16:02 EDT

[JURIST] US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) [official website] chief Kip Hawley told the Senate Commerce Committee Thursday that the controversial Secure Flight Program [official website] will be thoroughly audited before the system is considered for use. The program, which would compare the names of all domestic air passengers against national [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] Former Argentine police and army officer Ricardo Taddei, wanted by Argentina [JURIST news archive] for allegedly kidnapping and torturing 166 detainees during Argentina's 1976-1983 "dirty war" [GlobalSecurity.org backgrounder; JURIST news archive], was arrested in Spain Thursday. He is expected to appear before Spain's High Court, where he could be [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] An Uzbek court Thursday sentenced journalist Saidzhakhon Zainabitdinov [Amnesty profile] to seven years in prison on charges of conspiring with "terrorists," defaming the state, and religious extremism for providing information to foreign media regarding last year's violent uprising in Andijan [HRW backgrounder] where as many as 500 protesters were [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] Former Serbian army officer Sasa Badnjar, a suspected accomplice of fugitive war criminal Ratko Mladic [ICTY case backgrounder; BBC profile] has been arrested for aiding Mladic's evasion of arrest, Serbian authorities said Thursday. Mladic has successfully avoided arrest, allegedly due to assistance from army officers formerly in his command, [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that four holdout Senate Republicans have reached a tentative agreement with the White House on the renewal of the USA Patriot Act [PDF text; JURIST news archive], according to Congressional sources. Several provisions [DOJ report, PDF] of the anti-terror law were set to expire at the [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Australian Senate [official website] on Thursday voted to remove the need for the health minister's approval for importing and prescribing the abortion pill RU-486 (also known as Mifepristone) [Wikipedia backgrounder]. The approval requirement effectively prohibits use of the drug since conservative anti-abortionist Tony Abbott [official website] holds the [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] Russian Deputy Prosecutor General Nikolai Shepel on Thursday requested a death sentence for Nurpashi Kulayev [Wikipedia profile], the sole surviving attacker from the September 2004 Beslan school siege [BBC backgrounder; MosNews report]. Kulayev has pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] to terrorism and murder charges and denied [JURIST report] killing [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] American International Group (AIG) [corporate website], one of the world's largest insurance companies, has agreed to pay $1.64 billion to settle [agreement text, PDF] fraud, bid-rigging and improper accounting charges, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer [official website] announced [press release] on Thursday. The settlement, which does not include [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] US military forces are increasing efforts to establish a proper professional police force in Iraq [JURIST news archive], but it will take time to overcome issues in the current force including corruption, low morale, and incompetence, according to the US commander of the Multi-National Force in Iraq [official website]. [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] EU Justice and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini [official website] said in an interview published Thursday that the EU may draw up a new media code of conduct to forestall any repetition of the global controversy now raging over the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad [JURIST news archive] [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] A Zimbabwean court has set aside a decision by country's media commission not to license the Daily News newspaper. The newspaper was ordered to stop publishing in 2003 for criticizing the government. In March 2005, the country's supreme court overturned the original ban [JURIST report], but the media commission [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] The trial of Ernst Zundel [ADL profile; CBC backgrounder] on charges of incitement, libel and disparaging the dead [JURIST report] in connection with denying the Holocaust [US Holocaust Museum backgrounder] resumed on Thursday in Mannheim, Germany after being put on hold last November [JURIST report]. The judge had removed [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko [official website; JURIST news archive] recommended to the Ukrainian Parliament [official website] that a committee be formed to draft a new constitution during his state of the union address [transcript, in Ukrainian] on Thursday. Yushchenko has been in conflict with parliament after rejecting their vote [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] The White House on Wednesday said it has serious concerns over parts of the proposed Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act [PDF text; bill summary], which is currently being debated in the US Senate [JURIST report]. The bill, if passed, would establish a $140 billion fund [JURIST report] financed [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] Officials from the joint UN-Cambodia Khmer Rouge Genocide Tribunal [draft tribunal agreement, DOC; Yale CGP materials] being set up to try former Khmer Rouge [Wikipedia backgrounder] leaders said Thursday that the first trials should begin in 2007. Though no specific trial dates have been set and the tribunal still [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] Racially-motivated riots again erupted at a Los Angeles County jail on Wednesday, leaving 22 inmates injured. The fighting at Pitchess Detention Center [official website] began when inmates at a group dorm were separated along racial lines. The violence was quickly brought under control, but then fights spread to other [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] Racially-motivated riots again erupted at a Los Angeles County jail on Wednesday, leaving 22 inmates injured. The fighting at Pitchess Detention Center [official website] began when inmates at a group dorm were separated along racial lines. The violence was quickly brought under control, but then fights spread to other [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] Racially-motivated riots again erupted at a Los Angeles County jail on Wednesday, leaving 22 inmates injured. The fighting at Pitchess Detention Center [official website] began when inmates at a group dorm were separated along racial lines. The violence was quickly brought under control, but then fights spread to other [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's international brief, in one of the first directly anti-monarchial protests recorded in Nepal [government website], over one thousand Nepalese citizens gathered to protest the death of a Nepalese protestor [JURIST report] on Wednesday at the hands of the Royal Nepal Army [official website] as the government released [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] The number of detainees still on hunger strike [JURIST report] at the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] has dropped to four, military officials said Wednesday. The head military spokesman at Guantanamo also said that prison officials have been using tougher force-feeding measures, including strapping prisoners [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] US Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) [official website], chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Wednesday that he is working on legislation that would require court supervision of President Bush's domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive; White House position paper]. The bill would allow the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST Europe] The conservative Italian government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has pushed through new legislation putting marijuana (cannabis) on par with cocaine and heroine and ending the legal distinction between 'soft' and 'hard' drugs, effectively recriminalizing marijuana use in the country. The law, approved in the Italian Parliament [official [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST Europe] Statistics published this week show that almost 400 euthanasia cases were reported in Belgium in 2005, almost double the level when the Belgian parliament adopted controversial legislation [PDF document in English; COE backgrounder] authorizing the practice in 2002. Wim Distelmans, chairman of the Federal Evaluation and Control Commission [read more]

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