Legal news from Friday, August 18, 2006
15:08 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Chile [official website, in Spanish] on Friday stripped former dictator Augusto Pinochet [JURIST news archive] of immunity from additional tax fraud charges, allowing prosecutors to continue with a $27 million fraud case [JURIST report] stemming from an investigation of Pinochet's secret offshore back accounts that [read more]

15:08 EDT

[JURIST] After a federal judge ruled the NSA domestic surveillance program unconstitutional [JURIST report; opinion, PDF text] on Thursday, President Bush said Friday in an appearance at Camp David [press release] that he believes the ruling will be overturned on appeal. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] filed [read more]

13:08 EDT

[JURIST] New statistics from the Office of Immigration Statistics in the US Department of Homeland Security [official websites] estimate that there were 2.5 million more illegal immigrants living in the United States in January 2006 than there were in January 2000, with an increase of half a million since January [read more]

12:08 EDT

[JURIST] Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon [Knesset profile] announced Friday that he will formally resign from his position on Sunday over allegations that he kissed a woman at a party without her consent. On Thursday, Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz [official profile] decided to indict Ramon on the allegations, and [read more]

11:08 EDT

[JURIST] The trial of blind Chinese human rights legal activist Chen Guangcheng [HRW case timeline] for illegal assembly and intent to destroy public property was thrown into confusion Friday when Chinese police arrested three of his lawyers, who were accused of stealing a wallet. Two were later released, but Chen [read more]

11:08 EDT

[JURIST] The governing party in Rwanda [JURIST news archive] is proposing legislation to eliminate the death penalty for genocide in an effort to encourage other countries to extradite suspects in the 1994 genocide [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] that left at least 937,000 Tutsis and Hutus dead, according to Rwanda [read more]

11:08 EDT

[JURIST] The Tokyo High Court on Friday upheld Masami Tsuchiya's death sentence, handed down in 2004 after Tsuchiya was convicted for leading a Japanese cult's development of Sarin nerve gas used in the 1995 Tokyo subway attack [MIPT backgrounder]. The Aum Shinrikyo [FAS backgrounder] attack killed 12 people and left [read more]

10:08 EDT

[JURIST] US Department of Homeland Security [official website] Secretary Michael Chertoff [official profile] urged state legislatures [press release] to support the federal Real ID Act [PDF text] at the annual meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) [official website] on Thursday. The legislation, drafted after the September 11 [read more]

10:08 EDT

[JURIST] Leaders of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) [party website, in Spanish], the Mexican political party led by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador [campaign website, in Spanish], the leftist candidate challenging the results of Mexico's disputed July 2 presidential election [JURIST news archive], said Thursday that while they do [read more]

10:08 EDT

[JURIST] An Israeli military court has authorized the continued detention of Palestinian parliament speaker Aziz Dweik [official profile in Arabic; JMCC profile] until August 22. Dweik was arrested [JURIST report] at his home in Ramallah on August 5 for being a senior leader of Hamas [CFR backgrounder], which Israel contends [read more]

10:08 EDT

[JURIST] US federal prosecutors on Thursday charged former Hollinger CEO Conrad Black [CBC profile; JURIST news archive] with additional counts of tax evasion in connection with the $2.1 billion sale of several hundred Canadian newspapers and alleged abuse of corporate perquisites at Hollinger. After going before a grand jury, prosecutors [read more]

09:08 EDT

[JURIST] The Court of Appeal division of the Supreme Court of Victoria [official website] in Australia on Friday quashed the conviction of Joseph Terrence "Jihad Jack" Thomas [advocacy website], the first Australian jailed under the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism Act 2002 [text]. The court ruled that authorities interviewed [read more]

09:08 EDT

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] on Friday said that "the Iraqi High Tribunal is presently incapable of fairly and effectively trying a genocide case in accordance with international standards and current international criminal law" and called on the tribunal to "improve its practices" [statement] during Saddam Hussein's second trial, [read more]

08:08 EDT

[JURIST] US Marines involved in the death of 24 civilians in Haditha [JURIST report] last November concealed and destroyed evidence relating to the incident, the New York Times reported Friday. According to top military officials speaking to the Times who have been briefed on an investigation completed last month by [read more]

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