Legal news from Friday, July 28, 2006
18:07 EDT

[JURIST] The US DC Circuit Court of Appeals [official website] Friday blocked the US Department of Justice from reviewing the contents of files seized from the congressional office of Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) [official website] until Jefferson has an opportunity to review them himself [remand order] to determine which might [read more]

15:07 EDT

[JURIST] A federal appeals court Friday affirmed [ruling, PDF] the securities fraud conviction and 25-year prison sentence [JURIST report] handed down for former WorldCom [MCI/WorldCom website] CEO Bernard Ebbers [JURIST news archive]. Ebbers appealed the 2005 district court determinations, saying the prosecution unfairly blocked three former WorldCom employees from testifying [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] The Spanish government on Friday unveiled the anticipated [JURIST report] "Law for the Recovery of the Historical Memory," legislation aimed at healing the wounds of Gen. Francisco Franco's authoritarian regime [BBC backgrounder; LOC backgrounder] that ruled Spain from 1939 to 1975 following a bitter three-year civil war. The bill [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika announced Friday that a criminal investigation has been opened into the June abduction and murder of four Russian embassy employees [BBC report] in Iraq. In a statement, the Prosecutor General's office [official website] said the perpetrators will be charged with "murder involving hostage-taking by [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] A Turkish court on Friday dismissed a lawsuit seeking compensation from novelist Orhan Pamuk [TIME profile; JURIST news archive], who was sued by six nationalists after he made allegedly unfavorable remarks to a Swiss magazine about Turkey's stance on the mass killing of Armenians during World War II. The [read more]

12:07 EDT

[JURIST] A US Army soldier has said that the deaths of three Iraqi detainees in Samarra on May 9 were deliberate murders covered-up by his squad of the Third Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division [GlobalSecurity backgrounder], according to Friday's New York Times. The Times obtained a sworn [read more]

12:07 EDT

[JURIST] Some leftist Italian lawmakers belonging to the Union Coalition [Wikipedia backgrounder] of Italian prime minister Romano Prodi [official profile] have expressed dissatisfaction with a controversial sentence-reduction bill that has been extended to include prisoners convicted of fraud and other white-collar crimes. The measure that would effectively pardon 12,000 prisoners [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for the three men sentenced to death for the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings [BBC report] Friday threatened to sue the Indonesia attorney general's office if their clients' executions, currently scheduled for mid-August [JURIST report], are carried out before they file for judicial review. A lawyer for the men [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] A Belgian ethnic Lebanese couple is preparing a legal complaint against Israel for alleged war crimes during the ongoing Mideast conflict [JURIST news archive] after Ali Abdul-Sater and his wife had to flee Lebanon via Syria with their three children when Israel launched airstrikes against Hezbollah [US State Dept. [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] pressed Republican lawmakers last week for a bill that would "shield" US soldiers from potential prosecution in US federal courts over violations of the 1996 War Crimes Act [text], according to a report in Friday's Washington Post. The War Crimes Act authorizes [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] A judge in Ontario Thursday upheld a publication ban [State Dept. backgrounder] on the bail hearings for 17 men accused of a terror plot in Canada [JURIST report]. The Associated Press, the New York Times, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Toronto Star, and one defense lawyer appealed [JURIST report] [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] The UN Human Rights Committee [official website] slammed current US rights practices in a report [PDF text] released Friday, saying among other things that the US needs to close all alleged secret detention facilities and allow the International Committee of the Red Cross [advocacy website] access to all detainees [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] Legal experts inside and outside government are criticizing provisions of a draft bill [PDF text] circulated by the White House [JURIST report] Wednesday that, among other things, would allow US military commissions [JURIST news archive] to proceed against an accused "enemy combatant" without the defendant being present, if necessary [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] The UN Security Council adopted a Presidential Statement [text] Thursday saying it was "deeply shocked and distressed" at an Israeli attack on a UNIFIL [official website] military observer post in Lebanon Tuesday that killed four observers [UNIFIL press release, PDF] from Austria, Canada, China and Finland, and stressed that [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] Haitian authorities freed former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune from prison Thursday on a provisional release, though Neptune still faces charges that he calls "imaginary." Neptune has been detained for two years [JURIST report] since former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide [BBC profile] was ousted in 2004 [JURIST report] on accusations that [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] has released a list of secret government surveillance operations [PDF text] focusing on war protestors and other political activists in northern and central California from September 2001 through July 2006 [timeline, PDF]. The ACLU described [press release] the surveillance operations as [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] The Washington Supreme Court official website] ruled [opinion text] 7-2 Thursday that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) [official website] must release files documenting sexual abuse allegations compiled over decades for use in an upcoming lawsuit brought by three Washington men claiming abuse by their scoutmaster in the 1970s [read more]

08:07 EDT

[JURIST] A new US federal regulation announced by the Department of Homeland Security Thursday and published [text] in the Federal Register would for the first time require biometric fingerprinting and photographing of lawful permanent US residents - so called "green card" holders whose numbers are estimated at between 8 and [read more]

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