Legal news from Tuesday, June 27, 2006
22:06 EDT

[JURIST] A proposed constitutional amendment [SJ Res 12 text, PDF] to prohibit physical desecration of the American flag failed by one vote late Tuesday to get the two-thirds Senate approval necessary to send it on to the states for ratification. Senators voted 66 in favor, and 34 against [roll call]. [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge in Manhattan ruled [opinion, PDF] Tuesday that the US government violated the constitutional rights of 16 former employees of KPMG [corporate website] by pressuring the professional services firm to stop paying the employees' defense costs in an ongoing criminal tax shelters case [JURIST report]. US District [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] A Bosnian immigrant to the United States accused of concealing his role in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre [PBS backgrounder; JURIST news archive] to gain entry went on trial Tuesday in Boston, where survivors described their ordeals in court. Marko Boskic was charged in August 2004 [JURIST report] with five [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] The parliament of Egypt [JURIST news archive] has passed a bill that restricts the government's influence over the judiciary but falls short of the reforms demanded by some judges. Although the Judicial Authority Law approved Monday by the People's Assembly [official website] ends the justice minister's authority over the [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly [official website] on Tuesday passed a resolution [draft text] adopting the report [PDF text] of Swiss legislator Dick Marty accusing European countries of colluding with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in transporting terror suspects in a "global spider's web" [COE graphic] of [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] East Timor [JURIST news archive] prosecutors have summoned former prime minister Mari Alkatiri [BBC profile] for questioning about allegations that he formed a hit squad to target opponents. Alkatiri resigned [BBC report] from office Monday amid public protests. The government lawyers said Alkatiri could be charged. A close associate [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] The European Court of Human Rights [official website] has rejected a request by three British bankers wanted in the US in connection with the Enron scandal [JURIST news archive] to stay their extradition. David Bermingham, Gary Mulgrew, and Giles Darby, formerly of NatWest [corporate website], will likely be extradited [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] President Bush on Tuesday again pressed the US Senate to pass a line-item veto bill [text, PDF; summary, PDF] that was approved by the House last week [JURIST report]. Speaking in Washington to members of the Manhattan Institute [think tank website], Bush emphasized [White House transcript] that the bill [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] The FBI [official website] on Monday dropped its investigation into the library records of a Connecticut library, concluding that the identity of patrons using a particular computer last February no longer posed a threat to national security. Four librarians mounted a challenge against the National Security Letter (NSL) [text, [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] An investigative committee for Thailand's Attorney General's office on Tuesday unanimously recommended that five of Thailand's political parties be dissolved because of fraud surrounding an April general election [JURIST report]. The recommendation includes the ruling Thai Rak Thai [party website] led by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [official website; BBC [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for David Hicks [JURIST news archive; advocacy website], an Australian held by the US at the Guantanamo Bay detention center [JURIST news archive], may seek judicial review of the UK Foreign Office's decision not to petition the US for his release [JURIST report]. Hicks' Australian lawyer, David McLeod, [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] A lawyer for the US Department of Justice [official website] on Tuesday defended President Bush's frequent use of signing statements [Wikipedia backgrounder; 1993 DOJ backgrounder] to interpret legislation passed by Congress, in testimony before the US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website]. Deputy Assistant Attorney General Michelle E. Boardman testified [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Chinese government said Tuesday that a law imposing fines on media organizations reporting national emergencies without gaining local government approval could go into effect by October. The law, which has been sent to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress [official website; government backgrounder], would fine media [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] A group of media organizations has asked a Canadian judge to consider vacating a media blackout in the cases of 17 men arrested in Ontario [JURIST report] earlier this month and charged with a terrorist plot. Under Canada's Criminal Code, a judge may order a publication ban [Department of [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Fernando Gaitan Jr. halted all executions in Missouri Monday until Missouri can ensure that inmates do not suffer when given a lethal injection. Gaitan gave the Missouri Department of Corrections [official website] until July 15 to find a new way to execute inmates, ruling in the [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for two of the seven men indicted [JURIST report] last week on terrorism charges for allegedly conspiring to bomb the Sears Tower in Chicago and the FBI headquarters in Miami said Monday that their clients were entrapped by an FBI informant posing as an al Qaeda operative. Albert [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] and at least six co-defendants will face a second trial beginning August 21 for allegedly killing 100,000 Kurds during the so-called "Anfal" operation [HRW backgrounder] in northern Iraq in the 1980s, the Iraqi High Tribunal said Tuesday. The tribunal filed genocide and crimes against [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] John Bellinger [official profile], the top legal adviser for the US State Department [official website], said Monday that the US would like to close its detention camp at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], but must first make sure that detainees will not pose a security risk or face torture [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] Iraq's council of ministers on Monday took the first steps to elaborate on Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's national reconciliation initiative [text and press release], which he unveiled to parliament [JURIST report] Sunday. In a statement, the council said that government employees who had been detained would be reinstated [read more]

07:06 EDT

[JURIST] Opening arguments began Tuesday in the fraud trial of Tongsun Park [personal website; Washington Post profile], who has been charged [JURIST report] with money laundering, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and acting as an unregistered agent of the government of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in connection with the [read more]

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