Legal news from Wednesday, May 31, 2006
20:05 EDT

[JURIST] Justice George Gelaga King, newly-elected president of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) [JURIST news archive], has dismissed [decision, PDF] a defense challenge [JURIST report] to a prosecutor’s motion to move the trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] from Freetown, Sierra Leone, [read more]

19:05 EDT

[JURIST] President Bush Wednesday pledged to aid the Rwandan government in apprehending individuals involved in the 1994 genocide [BBC backgrounder] during a meeting [transcript] with Rwandan President Paul Kagame [official website; BBC profile] at the White House. Bush also offered to reimburse Rwanda for sending some of its troops to [read more]

19:05 EDT

[JURIST] A preliminary investigation [AFPS report] by the US Department of Defense (DOD) [official website] in February and March uncovered evidence that the killings of 24 Iraqi civilians [JURIST report] by US Marines in Haditha in November were without warning or provocation, US officials said Wednesday. The evidence from the [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] A former Enron [JURIST news archive] broadband executive was found guilty Wednesday on one count of falsifying records and conspiracy and three counts of wire fraud, and another was acquitted on the same five charges, one year after their first trial ended in a hung jury [JURIST report]. Former [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] A leader of the Islamic Action Front [party website], the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood [official website; FAS backgrounder] in Jordan, Wednesday criticized Jordan's draft anti-terrorism legislation as an oppressive, US-influenced bid to stifle Jordan's government reform movement and encourage the establishment of a police state in the [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] A group of survivors of the September 2004 Beslan school siege [BBC backgrounder; MosNews report] in the Russia's North Ossetia republic announced Wednesday that they will appeal the guilty verdict [JURIST report] against Nurpashi Kulayev [Wikipedia profile], the sole surviving attacker, to the Russian Supreme Court [official website]. The [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] US President George W. Bush on Wednesday publicly expressed concern about the alleged killings of 24 Iraqi civilians by US Marines [JURIST report] in the city of Haditha in November 2005, declaring that any soldiers found guilty would be punished. Asked about the incident at a White House photo [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] A Spanish judge asked the Spanish Constitutional Court [official website, in Spanish] on Wednesday to reopen an investigation into corruption charges against former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi [official profile] stemming from Berlusconi's holdings in Spanish television channel Telecinco [corporate website, in Spanish], which Spanish prosecutors believe exceeded the [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] The judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] held a plenary session Tuesday to consider revisions to the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure and Evidence [text] in which they "discussed methods to better organise trials, particularly at the pre-trial stage, in order to ensure [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] The parliament of Nepal [JURIST news archive] has unanimously adopted a resolution that would guarantee citizenship papers to children in their mother's name only, even if the father is away or divorced, and require more-proportionate representation of women in the state work force. The resolution, passed Tuesday, is not [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Thailand Supreme Court on Wednesday stepped up its efforts to pressure Thailand's Election Commission (EC) [official website] to resign over failed parliamentary elections [BBC report] in April, which the Constitutional Court annulled [JURIST report] in early May, by rejecting two nominees to serve on the panel. Thailand's three [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] Montenegro's referendum commission [official website] Wednesday officially confirmed [press release] the results of the country's May 21 referendum on independence from Serbia [JURIST report], verifying that 55.5% of the population of Montenegro voting had voted in favor. Because voters met the controversial threshold requirement of 55% approval set by [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Law Commission [official website], the independent legal reform body of the United Kingdom, has recommended creating limited legal rights for couples who live together but are unmarried, in a consultation paper [PDF text; overview, PDF] released Wednesday titled "Cohabitation: The Financial Consequences of Relationship Breakdown." The paper proposes [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] Lawmakers in Afghanistan [JURIST news archive] have called for the prosecution of US soldiers for a vehicle accident that killed as many as five Afghans and set off deadly riots [AP report] earlier this week in the capital of Kabul. The nonbinding motion, passed in the Afghan Parliament Tuesday, [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Conservative Party government of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper introduced new legislation in the federal House of Commons Tuesday that would set fixed dates for regular federal elections [Privy Council Office backgrounder; Bill C-16 text] and would potentially limit members of the country's weak Senate [official website; CBC [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge has denied a request for a temporary restraining order that would have forced the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) [official website] to continue a housing voucher program for evacuees from Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive]. Without the restraining order, about 2,000 evacuees will lose their benefits [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] Shortly after a meeting with President Bush, new Iraqi ambassador to the United States and former Iraq ambassador to the United Nations Samir al-Sumaida'ie [UN profile] said in a CNN interview Tuesday that US Marines intentionally killed [CNN transcript] his 21-year old cousin, Mohammed al-Sumaida'ie, in Haditha last June [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] Costa Rica's Supreme Court has upheld [press release] a law forbidding same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive], rejecting arguments that the law is unconstitutional. Hearing a lawsuit brought by lawyer Yashin Castrillo Fernandez, the court's Constitutional Chamber [official website] voted 5-2 to reject the argument that the same-sex marriage ban [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] A US magistrate judge ruled Tuesday that US Department of Justice [official website] employees must disclose whether they were aware of the government monitoring conversations between Sept. 11 detainees and their attorneys. The judge's ruling comes in a lawsuit [CCR materials] brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights [advocacy [read more]

08:05 EDT

[JURIST] Former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic [JURIST news archive] died of natural causes on March 11 when guards found him dead in his prison cell [JURIST report] at the detention center for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia [official website], and was not poisoned as some had speculated, [read more]

08:05 EDT

[JURIST] Defense lawyers in the Saddam Hussein trial [JURIST news archive] on Wednesday accused a prosecution witness of perjury and urged chief judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman [BBC profile] to stop proceedings at the Iraqi High Criminal Court to investigate the credibility of all the prosecution witnesses. Defense lawyers showed a DVD [read more]

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