Legal news from Wednesday, February 7, 2007
20:02 EDT

[JURIST] White House spokesman Tony Snow Wednesday called for the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki [BBC profile] to act on the case of Jamal Jafaar Mohammed, a Shiite lawmaker who US military intelligence [New York Times report; CNN report] says was convicted and sentenced to death in absentia [read more]

20:02 EDT

[JURIST] Fifty-seven countries have signed [press release] an international treaty in Paris banning governments from holding suspects in secret detention. The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance [draft text] was approved [JURIST report] by the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) [official website] in June and [read more]

19:02 EDT

[JURIST] The military judge overseeing the court-martial [JURIST report] of US Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada [advocacy website; JURIST news archive] declared a mistrial Wednesday after throwing out a pretrial agreement in which Watada admitted that he failed to deploy to Iraq [JURIST report] with the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry [read more]

19:02 EDT

[JURIST] UK Prime Minister Tony Blair [official profile] pushed [PMQs transcript] Wednesday for a half-elected, half-appointed House of Lords [official website] that would remove 92 House members who still inherit their parliamentary seats and set the number of seats at 540. Currently, the House of Lords does not have a [read more]

19:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [official website] of Nigeria [JURIST news archive] on Wednesday released an advisory list [press release] of 135 Nigerian politicians considered to be too corrupt to hold office, including Vice President Atiku Abubakar [official website], who has left the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) [read more]

16:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Philippine Senate [official website] passed an anti-terrorism bill [press release] on Tuesday which will allow authorities to detain suspected terrorists for up to three days without filing charges. The legislation also includes a provision that grants wrongfully detained persons a right to compensation of up to P500,000, roughly [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] Three former US Army officers and two civilians were indicted by a federal grand jury on Wednesday for charges relating to a scheme to defraud the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) [official website] in Iraq. Army Colonel Curtis G. Whiteford, Army Lt. Colonels Debra M. Harrison and Michael B. Wheeler [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] Military officials announced Wednesday that the US Navy admiral overseeing US Southern Command [official website] has endorsed six of the seven recommendations made by US Army Col. Richard Bassett in a probe of alleged detainee abuse at Guantanamo Bay but has rejected any further action [JURIST report] against the [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] An Italian judge Wednesday ordered New York Army National Guard [official website] soldier Mario Lozano [Wikipedia profile] to stand trial on charges of voluntary homicide in connection with the death of Italian intelligence agent Nicola Calipari [BBC profile] at a US checkpoint in Iraq in March 2005. Calipari was [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] The government of Canada [JURIST news archive] ordered an official inquiry [press release] Tuesday into whether detainees in Afghanistan [JURIST news archives] were abused while in Canadian custody. The probe began following a civilian complaint filed by Amir Attaran [profile], a University of Ottawa law professor, whose research [Globe [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] Turkish foreign minister Abdullah Gul [official profile] said Wednesday that a proposed resolution [text, PDF] by the US Congress condemning the mass killings [BBC backgrounder] of 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1917 as "genocide" would damage US-Turkish relations. Turkey has maintained that the deaths do not amount to [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] A Croatian freelance journalist was found guilty [judgment summary; press release] Wednesday of contempt of court by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website; JURIST news archive] for publishing the names of two witnesses on his website that were under a protective court order. Domagoj [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] announced Tuesday that the three oil drilling companies charged with violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act [materials; DOJ backgrounder] have agreed to a plea agreement settling the case for $26 million. The DOJ alleged that Vetco Gray UK Limited, Vetco [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] Thirty-eight US states and Samsung Electronics [corporate website] agreed Tuesday to a $90 million settlement, pending court approval, to resolve allegations that Samsung fixed prices and engaged in other anticompetitive activities in the market for DRAM memory chips for computers. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who coordinated the suit, [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] Jailed Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky [JURIST news archive] on Wednesday condemned new charges [MBK statement; JURIST report] brought against him by the Russian government earlier this week, calling the indictment "absurd and ungrounded." Prosecutors charged Khodorkovsky and business associate Platon Lebedev with money laundering and embezzlement based on [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] The UN signed an agreement Tuesday to create an international tribunal [JURIST news archive] to try suspects accused of assassinating former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [official website] in February 2005. The agreement must now be ratified by the Lebanese parliament [Wikipedia backgrounder]. Nabih Berri [official profile], the pro-Syrian [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] Opening arguments were heard on Wednesday in a defamation action brought by the Paris Mosque [Mosque website, in French] and the Union of Islamic Organizations of France [advocacy website, in French] against Charlie-Hebdo magazine and director Philippe Val for last year's republication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad [JURIST [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] Apple Inc. [corporate website] CEO Steve Jobs called on four of the largest record companies who distribute their music through iTunes to allow Apple to sell music without anti-piracy protection in an letter placed on Apple's website Tuesday. Jobs presented a series of "alternatives" for the future of digital [read more]

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