Legal news from Thursday, February 15, 2007
21:02 EDT

[JURIST] Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons [official website] is under investigation by the FBI for allegedly failing to report gifts and payments given by a defense technology company that received secret military contracts while Gibbons was still a US congressman, an anonymous FBI source confirmed to the AP Thursday. The investigation [read more]

19:02 EDT

[JURIST] Chief of the Russian Military General Staff Yuri Baluyevsky [official profile] told Russian media Thursday that Russia might unilaterally opt out of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty (INF) [text; US State Dept. backgrounder] if the US continues efforts to establish missile defense systems in Central Europe. Baluyevsky has [read more]

19:02 EDT

[JURIST] Canada's conservative government [party website] retreated Thursday from earlier statements that the government would ignore a bill (C-288) [legislative history] passed by the House of Commons [official website] Wednesday requiring the government to establish a plan within 60 days for greenhouse gas emission cuts mandated by the Kyoto Protocol [read more]

19:02 EDT

[JURIST] The judiciary committee of the Montana Senate [official website] endorsed a bill [PDF text] Thursday that would abolish the death penalty [JURIST news archive]. By an 8-4 margin, the committee voted [hearing minutes, recorded audio] to send the SB 306 to the full state senate for consideration. Similar legislation [read more]

16:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] contacted Italian intelligence about the possibility of performing extraordinary renditions [JURIST news archive] in the days following the September 11 attacks, according to testimony during Italian judicial proceedings against US and Italian agents on Thursday. The proceedings center around the alleged [read more]

16:02 EDT

[JURIST] Egyptian police arrested 72 members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood [party website; FAS backgrounder] on Thursday morning, according to security officials. The government accuses the organization of trying to create an Islamic theocracy, but the Brotherhood claims the crackdown is meant to quell opposition to constitutional amendments [JURIST report] [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] US Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) [official websites] Thursday introduced [press release] a bill that would ban federal funds for the use, sale, or transfer of cluster munitions [FAS backgrounder; Cluster Munition Coalition advocacy website]. The Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act of 2007 [PDF text, via [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] Prosecutors in East Timor [JURIST news archive] said Thursday they are seeking a seven-year jail term for Rogerio Lobato, former head of East Timor's Ministry of the Interior [official website] on charges of misappropriating public property, misuse of public funds, and the unauthorised importation or use of firearms to [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] A German court on Thursday sentenced anti-Semitic writer Ernst Zundel [ADL profile; CBC profile] to five years in prison after finding him guilty on 14 counts of incitement, libel and disparaging the dead [JURIST report]. Holocaust denial constitutes a crime under Section 130 (3) [text] of the German Federal [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] Romanian President Traian Basescu [official website, English version; BBC profile] has called for a national referendum to allow citizens to vote on amendments to the constitution aimed at reducing corruption. In a speech [PDF text, in Romanian] to parliament Wednesday, Basescu said he would like to amend the Romanian [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] A law is currently being drafted in the Rwandan Parliament [official website] that would limit families to having three children in order to curb increasing poverty levels [UN backgrounder], an official said Wednesday. Although the law as drafted does not include punitive measures for families who violate it, it [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Serbian Parliament [official website, English version] voted Thursday to reject a United Nations plan released by the United Nations that calls for Kosovo's autonomy and for the right of Kosovo [JURIST news archive] to govern itself as a multi-ethnic society. The plan by Special Envoy for the Future [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] A federal court in California sentenced two former Enron [JURIST news archive] executives Wednesday to probation for their roles in Enron's manipulation of electricity supplies during the 2000-01 West Coast energy crisis. Timothy Belden [Wikipedia profile], former head of Enron's West Coast power trading who pleaded guilty [plea agreement, [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) [official website] and drug manufacturer Merck Pharmaceuticals [corporate website] reached a $2.3 billion agreement on Wednesday that will settle all outstanding tax disputes from 1993 to 2006. According to an IRS statement, the settlement, one of the largest in recent history, resolves federal taxes, [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Nigerian House of Representatives [official website] held public hearings Wednesday on a proposed bill to criminalize homosexuality [JURIST news archive]. The bill would authorize a maximum five-year sentence for any person found to be openly gay or practicing homosexual acts. Religious groups say the bill is necessary to [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] The trial of 29 people suspected of involvement in the 2004 Madrid train bombings [JURIST news archive] that killed 191 people began Thursday in the National Court of Spain. The defendants [BBC backgrounder], mostly of Moroccan descent, are charged with 192 counts of murder and upwards of 1,800 counts [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] Two San Francisco Chronicle reporters will escape jail time after a defense lawyer for BALCO founder Victor Conte admitted [DOJ press release, PDF] Wednesday in court filings that he allowed reporters Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada [SF Chronicle profiles] to see transcripts of the grand jury testimony of several [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] On the same day the defense rested in the perjury trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [defense website; JURIST news archive], US District Judge Reggie B. Walton on Wednesday ruled against Libby on several issues after it became clear that Libby was not going to testify in his self-defense, [read more]

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