Legal news from Wednesday, September 20, 2006
20:09 EDT

[JURIST] The 14 "high-value" terror suspects [DNI profiles, PDF] recently transferred from secret CIA prisons to Guantanamo Bay [JURIST report] are expected to face Combatant Status Review Tribunal [DOD materials] hearings in the next two to three months, according to Navy Capt. Phil Waddingham, director of the US Defense Department's [read more]

19:09 EDT

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives passed a bill [HR 4844 text, PDF] Wednesday 228-196 [roll call] that would require voters to present valid photo ID cards [JURIST news archive] when they head to the polls to vote in federal elections starting in 2008, thereby amending the National Voter Registration [read more]

19:09 EDT

[JURIST] The much-anticipated trial of former South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma [party profile] ended abruptly Wednesday, when the high court judge presiding over the case threw out the corruption charges [JURIST report] against Zuma, saying prosecutors had failed to follow proper procedures. Prosecutors still retain the right to refile [read more]

16:09 EDT

[JURIST] The state of California filed a first-of-its-kind lawsuit [complaint, PDF] against six leading US and Japanese car manufacturers on Wednesday, alleging that vehicle emissions of greenhouse gases [EPA backgrounder] from cars made by the companies have contributed to global warming constituting a 'public nuisance' that has cost it millions [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] Judge Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa was appointed Wednesday to preside over the second Saddam Hussein trial [JURIST news archive], replacing Chief Judge Abdullah al-Amiri who was removed at the Iraqi government's insistence [JURIST report] on Tuesday. Defense lawyers walked out of the court in protest of the replacement, and Hussein [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda [official website] on Wednesday unanimously acquitted [press release] former education minister Andre Rwamakuba [ICTR case materials] on genocide charges, ruling [judgment, PDF; summary, PDF] that the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Rwamakuba, also a physician, was charged [indictment, [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] Miguel Osvaldo Etchecolatz [Project Disappeared profile], former chief investigator of the Buenos Aires province police, was sentenced to life imprisonment on Tuesday for his role during the Dirty War [GlobalSecurity.org backgrounder] in Argentina [JURIST news archive]. With the conviction, Etchecolatz becomes the second person to be sentenced for crimes [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] A senior Spanish judicial officer said Tuesday that 29 suspects accused of the 2004 Madrid train bombings [JURIST news archive] are scheduled to go on trial in February 2007, with the proceeding ending by July and a final decision expected by October. A Spanish judge originally charged the 29 [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf [official website; BBC profile] called for a ban on the "defamation of Islam" during his speech [PDF text] at the 61st Session [materials] of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. Citing feelings in the Muslim world of "desperation and injustice" in the face of oppression [read more]

09:09 EDT

[JURIST] The government of Rwanda and the UN-sponsored International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website; JURIST news archive] on Tuesday resolved a dispute [JURIST report] over the court's alleged hiring of genocide suspects by agreeing to improve information-sharing mechanisms and to conduct background checks on job applicants to avoid [read more]

09:09 EDT

[JURIST] Mexican officials are willing to begin extraditing suspected drug lords held in Mexican custody to the US to face drug charges, Mexican President Vicente Fox [official website; BBC profile] said Tuesday at a press conference in New York. On Monday, alleged cartel mastermind Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix [Wikipedia profile], [read more]

08:09 EDT

[JURIST] Canada's House of Commons [official website] on Tuesday voted 172-116 to approve a controversial softwood lumber trade agreement [PDF text] between Canada and the US that would end a two-decades old trade dispute between the two countries by removing punitive tariffs now levied against Canadian timber and refunding 80 [read more]

08:09 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Tuesday defended US conduct in handling the Maher Arar [advocacy website; CBC timeline] case, saying that while the US did in fact deport the Canadian citizen, the US was "not responsible for his removal to Syria," and that if US officials had rendered Arar [read more]

07:09 EDT

[JURIST] Thai Army chief Gen. Sondhi Boonyaratkalin [BBC profile; Sobaka profile], who led Tuesday's coup ousting the Thai civilian government [JURIST report], told reporters Wednesday that he will serve as acting prime minister and hopes to find a replacement prime minister and enact a temporary constitution within two weeks. Sondhi [read more]

06:09 EDT

[JURIST] The Judicial Conference of the United States has approved policies requiring judges to disclose their sponsors when traveling to attend seminars, and to investigate financial conflicts of interest more closely. Under the first measure [PDF text], nongovernmental sources who pay for judges to attend seminars must disclose their patronage [read more]

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