Legal news from Thursday, February 22, 2007
20:02 EDT

[JURIST] A US federal judge Thursday sentenced former South Korean lobbyist Tongsun Park [personal website; Washington Post profile] to five years in prison for his conviction on charges [JURIST reports] of money laundering, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and acting as an unregistered agent of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. [read more]

19:02 EDT

[JURIST] Authorities in Colombia [JURIST news archive] Thursday arrested a former intelligence chief on charges of murder and conspiracy for allegedly contracting with illegal paramilitary groups [JURIST news archive] to assassinate political opponents, including human rights activists [JURIST report] and union leaders. Jorge Noguera [CIP backgrounder] ran the Department of [read more]

19:02 EDT

[JURIST] Indonesia has convicted and jailed at least 18 people for advocating a sovereign government for the province of Papua [Wikipedia profile], according to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report [text; press release] released Wednesday. The report states:Although political space for dissent in Indonesia has increased enormously since the fall [read more]

18:02 EDT

[JURIST] Alleged terrorist Jose Padilla [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] is unfit to stand trial, forensic neuropsychiatrist Dr. Angela Hegarty testified at a court ordered competency hearing Thursday. Hegarty testified that she determined from 22 hours of interviews and tests with him that Padilla is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder [read more]

17:02 EDT

[JURIST] Egyptian blogger Abdel Kareem Nabil [advocacy website; HRinfo backgrounder] was sentenced to four years in prison Thursday on charges of insulting Islam and causing sectarian strife in his blog [website, in Arabic]. Nabil, a 22-year-old former law student, had posted on the internet statements critical of Islamic authorities and [read more]

16:02 EDT

[JURIST] Jailed Chinese newspaper ex-editor Yu Huafeng [Reporters Without Borders profile] has had his eight-year sentence reduced by one year, according to Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao Daily News [media website, in Chinese] on Thursday. Huafeng and his colleague Li Minying [Independent Chinese PEN Center (ICPC) profile] were both convicted [read more]

16:02 EDT

[JURIST] Speaking publicly for the first time, Muslim cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr [Wikipedia profile] said Thursday that he was tortured by Egyptian officials during his four-year detention in Egypt following an alleged 2003 kidnapping [JURIST news archive; WP timeline] and extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive] from Milan. Nasr, who [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Enron shareholder derivative lawsuit [class action website] will be tried in April as previously scheduled, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. US District Judge Melinda Harmon [Houston Chronicle profile] denied a motion filed by defendants Merrill Lynch and Co. Inc. and Credit Suisse Group [corporate websites] to delay the [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Philippines will investigate and eventually prosecute those responsible for extra-judicial killings, President Gloria Arroyo [official website; BBC profile] said Wednesday, one day after a visiting UN official released a report revealing a high number [JURIST report] of such killings. On Tuesday, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] Former Sierra Leone Defense Minister Sam Hinga Norman [SCSL materials] died of heart failure Thursday, several weeks before a verdict was due in his war crimes trial before the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) [official website], the Court announced [press release, PDF] Thursday. Norman, who passed away in [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] A spokesperson for the US Army Criminal Investigation Command [official website] said Wednesday that it had found "insufficient evidence" to support allegations by former Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan [Trial Watch profile; JURIST news archive] that he was tortured by US personnel following his arrest in 2003 after [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] Canada's highest-ranking judges have criticized the Conservative government's changes to the regional panels that screen candidates for federal judgeships [JURIST report] as a threat to judicial independence. The Canadian Judicial Council (CJC) [official website], made up of the chief justices and associate chief justices of Canada's superior courts, issued [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] The new governor of Maryland [JURIST news archive] testified before legislators Wednesday that the state's death penalty [JURIST news archive] should be abolished because it is "inherently unjust," ineffective as a deterrent and a drain on resources. Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) [official profile], who took office last month, appeared [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] Australian Prime Minister John Howard [official profile] on Wednesday asserted that his government will not issue a pardon to Australian Guantanamo detainee David Hicks [JURIST news archive] if he is convicted by a US military commission. Howard, appearing on ABC's Lateline program, addressed [press release] remarks by opposition Labour [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] Tech giants Cisco Systems and Apple, Inc. [corporate websites] have settled their trademark dispute [press release] over the use of the name "iPhone", the companies announced Wednesday. Cisco filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] against Apple in mid-January, and under the settlement agreement both companies will share the "iPhone" name [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) [party website, in Spanish], Mexico's primary left-wing political party, is planning to file a complaint with federal prosecutors against former Mexican President Vicente Fox [BBC profile] for interfering in the country's 2006 presidential election on behalf of current Mexican President Felipe Calderon [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] A 50-year-old Iraqi woman has accused Iraqi forces of rape, an Iraqi official said Thursday, the second such accusation in a week. The attack on the Sunni woman and her two daughters allegedly occurred less than two weeks ago in the city of Tal Afar by four Iraqi soldiers, [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge declared Wednesday that an anti-Castro militant who allegedly was behind the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner [Wikipedia backgrounder; additional materials] will stay in jail pending trial on charges of lying on a naturalization application. Luis Posada Carriles [Wikipedia profile; additional materials], 78, a former CIA [read more]

06:02 EDT

[JURIST] Lawmakers in Texas [JURIST news archive] advanced a bill Wednesday to rescind the governor's executive order requiring that school-age girls receive a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer. The House of Representatives' Public Health Committee [official websites] voted 6-3 in favor of the bill [legislative materials], which is sponsored by [read more]

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