Legal news from Thursday, February 1, 2007
19:02 EDT

[JURIST] US Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald [official profile] played portions of White House briefing room videos Thursday as the trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [defense website; JURIST news archive] continued. Fitzgerald said the tapes show Libby's eagerness to publicly conceal conversations he had with reporters about CIA official Valerie [read more]

19:02 EDT

[JURIST] Muhammad Salah and Abdelhaleem Ashqar, two of three men indicted in 2004 [press release] by a US federal grand jury on charges of engaging in a 15-year conspiracy of providing funds to Hamas [JURIST news archive], were found not guilty of racketeering Thursday. While the men were exonerated of [read more]

19:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Eminent Jurist’s Panel (EJP) [advocacy website], an arm of the Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) [advocacy website], announced the results [press release] of an inquiry into Russian anti-terrorism efforts Thursday, concluding after two days of public hearings that many recently adopted anti-terrorism laws [JURIST report] are curtailing [read more]

18:02 EDT

[JURIST] Morocco will become the first Arab country to eliminate the death penalty [JURIST news archive], a state representative confirmed on Thursday. President of the Consultative Committee on Human Rights, Ben Dhikri, made the comments in the run-up to this week's 3rd World Congress Against the Death Penalty [official website] [read more]

18:02 EDT

[JURIST] China is prepared to work with other countries to create an agreement that would prevent an arms race in space [BBC report], Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said on Thursday. The statement comes amid international outcry [BBC report] after confirmations that China had successfully launched a missile that [read more]

17:02 EDT

[JURIST] The UN Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) [official website] has raised only half of the $33 million needed [UN press conference transcript] for the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], according to prosecutor Steven Rapp. Rapp, who spoke in New York Tuesday [read more]

16:02 EDT

[JURIST] The French Parliament [official website] has put off debate on whether to allow class action lawsuits [JURIST news archive] in the country's legal system after the French National Assembly [official website] struck proposed legislation from its February schedule in a push to get out other bills before the close [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] A UK jury Thursday convicted Abdul Saleem of inciting racial hatred for his role in leading protests outside the Danish embassy in London in February 2006 against the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad [JURIST news archive] that first appeared in a Danish newspaper in September 2005. Saleem [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] US soldiers taunted detainees at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] with pictures of Saddam Hussein's hanging [JURIST report] in "an attempt to intimidate and compel submission under a threat of death and mentally torture," according to comments made Thursday by a defense lawyer for Australian Guantanamo detainee David Hicks [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge Wednesday reduced a $2.5 million punitive damage award to $1 million [order, PDF] in a Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive] insurance case, finding the award excessive at twelve times the amount of economic damages awarded. US District Judge L.T. Senter issued a direct verdict against State [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] A Spanish judge on Wednesday ordered the National Intelligence Center [official website], Spain's state intelligence agency to declassify any documents it has about secret CIA extraordinary rendition flights [JURIST news archive]. The order comes in Judge Ismael Moreno's investigation of whether CIA rendition flights stopped at Spanish airports [JURIST [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] Sudanese Justice Minister Mohammed Ali al-Mardi said Wednesday that the Sudanese government can do a better job prosecuting war crimes in Darfur than the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website]. In an interview with AP, al-Mardi reiterated Sudan's position that they country is "willing and able to try all [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] A federal district judge on Wednesday vacated the conviction of former Enron [JURIST news archive] CFO Kevin Howard [Houston Chronicle profile] in light of an August 2006 opinion [JURIST report] by the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that overturned separate Enron convictions "on the legal ground [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] Class action representatives Jennifer Gratz and Patrick Hamacher have settled their suit challenging the former affirmative action policies of the University of Michigan after a district judge on Wednesday issued an order [PDF text] approved the settlement terms, decertified the class, and dismissed the case. The university will pay [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Reggie Walton on Wednesday denied several motions challenging the ongoing detentions of 16 Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees, ruling that until the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit decides whether civilian judges may hear cases under the 2006 Military Commissions Act (MCA) [PDF [read more]

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