Legal news from Wednesday, May 24, 2006
20:05 EDT

[JURIST] A federal jury Wednesday convicted [US DOJ press release] Shahawar Matin Siraj of conspiracy and other charges Wednesday for his role in a failed plot to bomb a New York City subway station in 2004. Siraj, a Pakistani immigrant who first drew authorities' attention for expressing anti-American sentiments after [read more]

20:05 EDT

[JURIST] US Marines involved in the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians in Hadithah last November will face charges and possible courts-martial, according to US Marine Corps Gen. Michael W. Hagee [official profile], who said on Wednesday that a criminal investigation was underway. He did not say who will be charged [read more]

20:05 EDT

[JURIST] US Marines involved in the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians in Hadithah last November will face charges and possible courts-martial, according to US Marine Corps Gen. Michael W. Hagee [official profile], who said on Wednesday that a criminal investigation was underway. He did not say who will be charged [read more]

19:05 EDT

[JURIST] Former US President Jimmy Carter [official profile] told a conference of human rights leaders [backgrounder] at the The Carter Center [advocacy website] in Atlanta Wednesday that immigration was a human rights issue and that he backed the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act [S 2611 summary] now advancing through the Senate [read more]

19:05 EDT

[JURIST] A magistrate in Sierra Leone Wednesday granted bail of $8,000 each to three men charged with inspecting a prohibited area and conspiracy to assist former Liberian president Charles Taylor [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] escape from prison at the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) [official website; JURIST news [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] Three Egyptian journalists and a lawyer have been charged with slandering a local election commission chief by alleging fraud in Egypt's November parliamentary election and publishing the names of two judges accused of rigging results in a runoff poll [JURIST report]. The journalists - two writing for the independent [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] Regulators at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) [official websites] have announced a $400 million settlement [press release] with the Federal National Mortgage Association, or Fannie Mae [official website]. A 348 page report [text] issued by the OFHEO on [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] A lawyer for the government of Sudan urged the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] Wednesday to dismiss a lawsuit brought by families of the 17 sailors killed in the 2000 terrorist attack on the USS Cole [Wikipedia backgrounder; US DOD inquiry report] alleging that [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge on Wednesday gave final approval to a $6.6 billion settlement [JURIST report] between former Enron shareholders and the three banks accused of helping Enron [JURIST news archive] hide financial shortcomings to deceive investors. Lead plaintiff's attorney William Lerach said the money will be paid as soon [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] on Tuesday remanded a case involving a permanent government ban on speech when an individual receives a National Security Letter (NSL) [PDF form letter; ACLU backgrounder], stating that the ban pursuant to the Patriot Act as now amended [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] filed nationally-coordinated complaints on Wednesday against telecommunications companies and the attorneys general of twenty states requesting investigations into the legality of information sharing between phone companies and the National Security Agency (NSA) [JURIST report; USA Today report]. Unlike the complaint filed [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] US Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL) [official website] and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA) [official website] on Wednesday demanded [statement] that the Federal Bureau of Investigation [official website] return all evidence seized in its search of the congressional office [JURIST report] of Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] Pro-unification advocates favoring the continuation of Montenegro's association with Serbia announced Wednesday that they will challenge results of Sunday's referendum vote [JURIST report; CDT materials] that resulted in 55.5% of the Montenegrin population voting for independence. Bloc for Joint State leader Predrag Bulatovic said he plans to file an [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) [official website] warned that ongoing sectarian violence is significantly hindering human rights progress in the country in a bi-monthly report [DOC text; press release] released Tuesday. Execution style killings reached 70 a day in Baghdad in the wake of the February [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Iraqi government announced Wednesday that it had apprehended Saddam Hussein nephew Bashar Sabawi Ibrahim Hassan al-Tikriti with the assistance of Lebanese police. The statement was ambiguous as to whether al-Tikriti was extradited from Lebanon, and did not specify what Hussein's nephew will be charged with, though it generally [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate on Wednesday voted 73-25 in favor of invoking cloture [Senate backgrounder] on the Immigration Reform Bill [S 2611 summary] and limiting debate on the bill. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) [official website] has indicated that he would like to hold final vote on the immigration [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] Government officials in the Congo [JURIST news archive] said Wednesday that 32 American, South African, and Nigerian nationals have been arrested in connection with an alleged coup attempt aimed at destabilizing the country before the July 30 national elections, though critics allege the arrests were politically motivated. Those arrested [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] US Secretary of State spokesperson Sean McCormack on Tuesday blasted Syria for arresting human rights leaders [JURIST report] and called for Syria to release all political prisoners [press briefing transcript]. Syrian security police last week arrested human rights lawyer Anwar al-Bunni [AI backgrounder], prominent writer Michel Kilo [BBC report] [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] Government officials have asked the Supreme Court of Chile [official website] to place a gag order on former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] to prevent him from discussing the upcoming presidential election in Peru. Fujimori was released on bail [JURIST report] last week while Chile [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct [official website], an independent state agency charged with investigating judicial improprieties, has admonished Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan L. Hecht [Wikipedia profile] for using the prestige of his office to promote the nomination of Harriet Miers [JURIST news archive] to the US Supreme [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] A court in Croatia [JURIST news archive] on Wednesday indicted former Yugoslav Defense Minister Veljko Kadijevic and former airforce commander Zvonimir Jurjevic on charges of indiscriminate shelling of civilians during Croatia's 1991-95 war of independence [Wikipedia backgrounder] from the former Yugoslavia. At least 30 people died in eastern Croatia [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] A US military spokesperson said Tuesday that the condition of two of the Guantanamo Bay detainees who attempted suicide [JURIST report] last week is improving and both are expected to make full recoveries. The two men, neither of whom were prescribed antidepressants, overdosed on anti-anxiety medication they had stockpiled [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] has said the government does not need court approval to obtain domestic telephone records because they are not protected by the US Constitution's Fourth Amendment [text] according to the Supreme Court's 1979 decision in Smith v. Maryland [opinion text]. Speaking to reporters [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Dutch parliament official website] has approved a new anti-terror bill that dramatically lowers the amount of evidence needed for Dutch police to arrest terror suspects and allows officials to hold suspects for up to two weeks without charge. The law will go into effect immediately and allows prosecutors [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) [official website] Commissioner Michael Copps [official profile] has said the FCC is authorized under Title 1 of the Communications Act of 1934 [text] to create agency rules to combat breaches of "net neutrality." Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Copps suggested that the FCC would [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] The trial of David Safavian [Wikipedia profile], former chief of staff at the General Services Administration (GSA) [official website] and former White House chief procurement officer, begins Wednesday. Safavian is charged with making false statements to Senate and GSA officials in an investigation [JURIST report] into to Safavian's relationship [read more]

08:05 EDT

[JURIST] Authorities in five countries have arrested 565 people as part of Operation Global Con [DOJ fact sheet], the US Justice Department [official website] and Federal Trade Commission [official website] announced Tuesday. Officials said the suspects received more than $1 billion from some 2.8 million Americans who thought they were [read more]

08:05 EDT

[JURIST] Tariq Aziz [BBC profile], the former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister under Saddam Hussein's regime, testified on behalf of Hussein Wednesday at the Iraqi High Criminal Court [official website], where Hussein and seven co-defendants are on trial [JURIST news archive] for the crackdown against Shiites in Dujail following an assassination [read more]

04:05 EDT

[JURIST] In a newly released five minute audio tape [transcript] found on an Islamist website Tuesday, a man claiming to be Osama bin Laden [JURIST news archive] said that convicted September 11 [JURIST news archive] conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui [JURIST news archive] was not intended to be one of September 11 [read more]

03:05 EDT

[JURIST Europe] Former French president and author of the beleaguered European Constitution [official website, text; JURIST news archive], Valery Giscard d'Estaing [Wikipedia profile] is calling for the EU constitution rejected by French and Dutch voters [JURIST reports] in 2005 to be put to new referendums. Citing domestic political issues as [read more]

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