Legal news from Friday, March 3, 2006
18:03 EDT

[JURIST] Former California Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham [Wikipedia backgrounder] has been sentenced to eight years and four months in prison for corruption. Cunningham pleaded guilty [JURIST report; plea agreement, PDF] last November to charges [criminal information, PDF] of conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion and [read more]

17:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Defense late Friday released the names of Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act [text; summary] request filed by the Associated Press and later pressed in a lawsuit [AP report]. The names appear in transcripts of Combatant Status Review [read more]

17:03 EDT

[JURIST] CNN is reporting that Research in Motion [corporate website], maker of the BlackBerry [product website] wireless device, has reached a $612.5 million settlement in its patent dispute with NTP Inc. In 2003, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled [PDF text] that RIM violated a [read more]

16:03 EDT

[JURIST] After nearly five days of round-the-clock negotiations in New York City, bankrupt Northwest Airlines (NWA) [official website; press release] has reached a tentative agreement with its pilots union, NWA officials announced Friday. The pilots' union, the Northwest Airlines Air Line Pilots Association (NAALPA) [official website; press release], is the [read more]

16:03 EDT

[JURIST] A coalition of 12 states, three cities and several environmental groups appealed to the US Supreme Court [official website] Friday in a bid to force the federal government and Environmental Protection Agency [official website] to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) "greenhouse gas" emissions from personal automobiles, citing the link to [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] US-based Eller & Co. [corporate website] said Friday that Britain's Court of Appeal [official backgrounder] has agreed to hear on Monday its petition for appeal against a High Court ruling approving the takeover of British shipping company P&O [corporate website] by United Arab Emirates-owned Dubai Ports World (DPW) [corporate [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] An Ethiopian court has rejected an application by three of 129 Ethiopian election protesters to have a separate trial and adjourned the trial of all 129 people until March 22. The charges, which include conspiracy, treason and genocide for some defendants, relate to mass demonstrations [JURIST report] in the [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Ohio Supreme Court [official website] issued a 4-3 opinion [PDF text] Friday permitting the parents of an unhealthy child born as a result of negligent genetic counseling or negligent failure to diagnose a fetal defect or disease to sue for medical malpractice [JURIST news archive]. The court held [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] said Thursday that the administration is not conducting any additional warrantless domestic surveillance [JURIST news archive] beyond what President Bush acknowledged in December. Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) [official website] disclosed the information in an interview with the Washington Post, saying that Gonzales [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] A Croatian district court in Split has convicted eight former soldiers on charges of torturing and killing Serb prisoners and Yugoslav army officers at the Lora military prison [Amnesty International backgrounder] during the Serbo-Croat war in 1991. Of the eight, four were convicted in absentia, with sentences ranging from [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] Eric Schwartz [official profile], the UN's deputy special envoy for tsunami recovery on the protection of vulnerable communities in the tsunami region, concluded his 10-day assessment of the region [press release] by urging the countries affected by the 2004 disaster [JURIST news archive] to do more to protect human [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for Army Sgt. Michael Smith, currently facing court-martial for allegedly torturing prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison [JURIST news archive] with unmuzzled dogs [JURIST report], have withdrawn a request for testimony from prison commander Army Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller [Wikipedia profile]. Miller's testimony was expected to help Smith's [read more]

11:03 EDT

[JURIST] Chinese police have detained protesters [HRIC press release] in preparation for the annual ceremonial start of session of the National People's Congress [government backgrounder] in Beijing and forced them to return to their homes, human rights groups said Friday. Protesters traveled from across the country to air grievances ranging [read more]

11:03 EDT

[JURIST] Mohammed al-Qahtani, the so-called "20th hijacker" from the Sept. 11 attacks, has disclaimed information he provided about 30 Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees, alleging that the statements were coerced by torture, TIME magazine reported Friday. Qahtani was refused entry into the US in August 2001 and was later [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] Prosecutor Douglas Gansler [official profile] of the Montgomery County State's Attorneys Office [official website] in Maryland said Thursday that he will not seek the death penalty for DC sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad [Wikipedia profile], who is charged with six counts of first degree murder related to the three-week [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Iraqi government placed Baghdad under a daytime vehicular curfew on Friday in an attempt to quell the sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shiites that has wracked the country since the bombing of the Askariya shrine [Telegraph report] on February 22. Similar to the three-day curfew [JURIST report] that [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] Ivory Coast President Lauren Gbagbo [BBC profile] has signed an extradition order authorizing Youssef Fofana to be transferred to France where he is wanted in connection with the kidnapping, torture and killing of a Jewish man outside Paris. Ivory Coast Justice Minister Mamadou Kone said Friday that Gbagbo signed [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo [official website] on Friday lifted a state of emergency [proclamation 1017 text; JURIST report], which Arroyo initially put in place last week after discovering a coup threat. Arroyo kept the state of emergency in effect for a week despite urging that she lift the [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Friday's international brief, Kenyan police have conducted a night-time raid on the Standard Group, Kenya's second largest journalistic company, during which they confiscated television and radio broadcast equipment and destroyed several printing presses while allegedly searching for evidence of a specific journalistic investigation. Internal Security Minister John Michuki [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan [official website] has said that he is "chagrined" about the US opposition [JURIST report] to a draft resolution [PDF text; JURIST report] that would create a new UN Human Rights Council to replace the widely criticized Commission on Human Rights [official website]. Annan told reporters [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] At a hearing in Washington Thursday US District Judge Gladys Kessler [official profile] questioned the treatment of Mohammed Bawazir, a former hunger striker at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] eventually force-fed in treatment his lawyers say was torture contrary to the terms of the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA) [JURIST [read more]

04:03 EDT

[JURIST Europe] Russian civil aviation pilots have drafted an address to President Vladimir Putin expressing concern over a provision in a new anti-terrorism bill allowing for the shooting-down of hijacked planes. The bill was passed last month [JURIST report] by the Russian Duma and approved earlier this week by the [read more]

04:03 EDT

[JURIST Europe] Italian Justice Minister Roberto Castelli [official profile] has accused Milan prosecutors of unlawfully pressuring him to request the extradition from the US [JURIST report] of 22 CIA agents allegedly responsible for the 2003 kidnapping and extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive] of Egyptian cleric Moustafa Hassan Nasr [Wikipedia profile; [read more]

04:03 EDT

[JURIST Europe] A Moscow court on Thursday granted incarcerated Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky [MosNews profile; JURIST news archive] more access to his lawyers, allowing consultation with them during prison working hours. Khodorkovsky, the former owner of a Russian oil giant Yukos [corporate website; JURIST news archive], has been jailed for [read more]

03:03 EDT

[JURIST Europe] Russia's Prosecutor General [official website in Russian] has requested that the British government extradite business tycoon Boris Berezovsky [MosNews profile] on charges of plotting a coup against Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website, English version]. In an interview with a Russian radio station in January, Berezovsky labeled Putin's [read more]

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