Legal news from Friday, June 23, 2006
15:06 EDT

[JURIST] Turkey's Supreme Court on Friday announced that the corruption trial of former Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz [personal website; Wikipedia profile] has been indefinitely suspended, meaning that the charges against Yilmaz will be dropped if he does not face similar accusations within the next five years. Yilmaz and former Economics [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] Canada authorities confirmed Friday that they had asked Germany to detain Iranian prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi [Wikipedia backgrounder] if he passed through German territory after attending the inaugural meeting of the UN Human Rights Council [official website] in Geneva, Switzerland, as an observer. Mortazavi is widely suspected of being present [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Friday struck down a US Securities and Exchange Commission [official website] rule [PDF text; JURIST report] regulating hedge funds. The rule required hedge fund advisors responsible for at least $30 million in assets to register with [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] UK Prime Minister Tony Blair [official website] on Friday called for new laws to narrow the gap between the public's desire for justice and outcomes that are perceived to unfairly favor defendants, in a a major criminal justice policy speech [transcript] delivered in Bristol. Citing public concern over recent [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] A UK Court of Appeal on Friday dismissed [opinion text] a case arguing that Britain's ban on fox hunting with dogs infringed on human rights. The Countryside Alliance [advocacy website] challenged a Hunting Act 2004 [text], saying it was unnecessary for a democratic society and that it violates human [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] Liberia's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) [UN Mission in Liberia news release, PDF] formally began its work Thursday to investigate and document human rights abuses occurring in Liberia from 1979 to 2003. The TRC was inaugurated [JURIST report] in February by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf [BBC profile], who [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice announced the arrest of seven men [press release] Friday for conspiring to bomb the Sears Tower in Chicago and the FBI headquarters in Miami. A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment [PDF text] Friday charging the seven defendants with conspiring to provide material [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official profile] denounced human rights abuses committed during the war on terror Friday, urging governments to give terror suspects a fair trial and reminding them of the "absolute ban on torture" in remarks to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) [official [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Nicolas Michel [official profile] stressed the importance of not sacrificing justice by "granting amnesty in ending conflicts" at a UN Security Council meeting Thursday on strengthening international law [UN summary; recorded video]. Michel said that ending impunity for war criminals is one of the [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] Iraq released 500 detainees from Abu Ghraib prison [JURIST news archive] Friday as part of an ongoing national reconciliation plan [JURIST report] first announced by new Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki [BBC profile] earlier this month. Maliki promised that 2,500 prisoners held in US detention facilities and under Iraqi [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Japanese Supreme Court [official website, in Japanese] Friday dismissed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visits to the Yasukuni shrine [shrine website], according to a court spokesperson who did not provide details on the ruling. The suit was brought by 338 plaintiff survivors of [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] Two Russian officials switched roles Thursday, as President Vladimir Putin appointed former Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov [MosNews profile] to the justice minister post several hours after former Justice Minister Yury Chaika was approved as the new prosecutor general in a 91-1 vote by the Federation Council [official website], the [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court has delayed the verdict in the trial of Zhao Yan [HRIC profile, PDF], a former New York Times researcher, a defense lawyer said Friday. Zhao has been indicted for "providing state secrets to foreigners" following a 2004 New York Times report [text] [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] Republican House leaders Thursday clarified the timing and purpose of proposed nationwide immigration hearings [JURIST report], deflecting criticism that the hearings were intended to delay a House vote on comprehensive immigration reform [JURIST news archive] until after November elections. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert [official website] told a [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Canadian Justice Minister Vic Toews [official website] introduced a bill [text; legislative materials] in the Canadian House of Commons Thursday that would raise the age of sexual consent to 16 in a bid to crack down on Internet predators [CBC report]. If the legislation is passed, it would mark [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] European Union [official website] diplomats on Thursday agreed to revive an agreement with the United States that compels European airlines to disclose information about passengers flying from Europe to the US. The EU and US first reached such an agreement in 2004, but the European Court of Justice [official [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] and his seven co-defendants ended a brief hunger strike late Thursday after Hussein missed only one meal. Hussein began the hunger strike [JURIST report] in protest of the murder [JURIST report] of one of his defense lawyers early Wednesday morning and to highlight the [read more]

07:06 EDT

[JURIST] US Central Intelligence Agency [official website] counterterrorism agents secretly reviewed financial records of Americans listed in an international database after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks [JURIST news archive], focusing on people with links to al Qaeda, according to reports by the New York Times late Thursday and the Los [read more]

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