Legal news from Wednesday, March 14, 2007
19:03 EDT

[JURIST] Hong Kong investigators on Wednesday dropped a case [press release] that alleged Yahoo!'s Hong Kong branch [corporate website] aided China in the prosecution [JURIST report] and ten-year imprisonment of journalist Shi Tao [Wikipedia profile] for divulging state secrets abroad. The Hong Kong Office of Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data [read more]

19:03 EDT

[JURIST] Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [BBC profile], long thought to be the strategist behind the Sept.11, 2001 attacks, confessed to masterminding the 9/11 attacks during a hearing [JURIST report] Saturday at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], according to a transcript [text, PDF] released by the US Defense Department [official website] Wednesday. [read more]

19:03 EDT

[JURIST] Hazleton, Pennsylvania [official website; legal defense website] mayor Lou Barletta [official website] testified Wednesday in a Pennsylvania federal court on the constitutionality of two city laws that make it more difficult for illegal immigrants [JURIST news archive] to live or work in the city. Testifying in Lozano v. City [read more]

19:03 EDT

[JURIST] President Bush on Wednesday said he was "troubled" by what he called a lack of straightforward communication [transcript] between the US Justice Department [official website] and Congress regarding the firings last year of eight US Attorneys that may have been politically motivated [JURIST report]. Speaking at a news conference [read more]

19:03 EDT

[JURIST] Thirty-one Egyptian women have been appointed as judges despite ongoing resistance from the nation's conservative Muslims, according to a decree published Wednesday by the head of Egypt's Supreme Judicial Council [POGAR backgrounder]. Council chief Mukbil Shakir selected the judges from a pool of state prosecutors who had passed a [read more]

18:03 EDT

[JURIST] Texas lawmakers on Wednesday approved a bill [legislative materials] to rescind a landmark executive order [text; JURIST report] by Governor Rick Perry (R) [official website] requiring that school-age girls receive a vaccine against cervical cancer. The Texas House of Representatives [official website] approved the bill by a margin of [read more]

16:03 EDT

[JURIST] Jury selection began in Chicago Wednesday in the US federal trial of Canadian-born media mogul Conrad Black [JURIST news archive; CBC profile], the former chairman of media company Hollinger International - now Sun-Times Media Group Inc. [corporate website] - who faces 17 counts of fraud, obstruction of justice, racketeering [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals [official website] on Wednesday ruled [PDF text] against granting medical marijuana plaintiff Angel Raich injunctive relief preventing federal law enforcement officials from enforcing the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) [text] against her. Raich suffers from scoliosis, a brain tumour, chronic nausea and [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] US President George W. Bush vowed Wednesday to increase efforts to reform US immigration laws [JURIST news archive] and crack down on illegal drug trafficking during a press conference [transcript] in Merida, Mexico, with new Mexican President Felipe Calderon [official website; BBC profile]. Bush pledged to work with lawmakers [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] A California state judge on Wednesday dropped the felony charges [felony complaint, PDF; JURIST report] against four defendants in the Hewlett-Packard (HP) pretexting scandal [JURIST news archive] after the defendants pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of fraudulent wire communications and agreed to complete 96 hours of community service [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge on Wednesday held Sudan liable in the 2000 al-Qaeda bombing of the USS Cole [Wikipedia backgrounder; US DOD inquiry report; JURIST news archive], and moved the civil trial of a suit brought by families of seventeen US sailors killed in the bombing to the damages phase. [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers boycotted courts across Pakistan Wednesday for a third day in a continued effort to protest Friday's suspension of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry [JURIST report] for unspecified misconduct. The nationwide strike by Pakistani lawyers was coupled with rallies held in Karachi and other urban centers. Pakistan Bar Council [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] Zimbabwe prosecutors failed to appear in court on Wednesday to prosecute opposition presidential hopeful Morgan Tsvangirai [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], arrested [JURIST report] at a protest in Harare Sunday, leaving him free to return home. On Monday, Tsvangirai's lawyer and party officials said he was beaten [JURIST report] [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] China uses the same strict organ donation procedures when accepting organs from executed criminals as any other organ donations, an anonymous senior Chinese Supreme Court [official website] official told the state Xinhua News Agency on Tuesday. The court official said that China only harvests organs from executed criminals when [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] Several Native American groups are voicing opposition to a proposed Oklahoma [JURIST news archive] law that would require all official state business be conducted in English on the grounds, arguing it would stifle efforts to revive tribal languages. As drafted, the Oklahoma English Language Act [HB 1423 text, DOC] [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] Passage of a draft law aimed at dividing oil proceeds among various religious and ethnic groups in Iraq is critical to continued US support of the current Iraqi government, associates of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki [BBC profile] told AP Tuesday. The draft oil law [JURIST report] approved by the [read more]

11:03 EDT

[JURIST] Several US soldiers testified against their former squad leader Tuesday in a case relating to the killing of several Iraqi detainees [JURIST report] after a May 9, 2006 raid in Thar Thar, a town near Samarra in Iraq's Salahuddin province. Staff Sgt. Raymond Girouard faces court-martial on charges of [read more]

11:03 EDT

[JURIST] In celebration of JURIST's 10th anniversary, JURIST and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law are hosting a one-day conference in Pittsburgh on Thursday, March 29. Law as a Seamless Web|site [conference website] will feature four panels [agenda] and 14 distinguished speakers [profiles] exploring a range of issues at [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] Defense lawyers for former Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan [Trial Watch profile; JURIST news archive] have filed an appeal [DOC text; addendum, DOC] with the Iraqi High Tribunal (IHT) [official website], asking the court to overturn Ramadan's death sentence [JURIST report]. Ramadan was convicted [JURIST report; BBC verdict [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] A Turkish prosecutor officially filed charges against political science professor Atilla Yayla Tuesday for "insulting the legacy" of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk [Turkish News profile], the founder of modern Turkey. The professor is being prosecuted for a November 18 speech, in which he stated that Ataturk's rule from 1925 to [read more]

07:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Tokyo High Court [official backgrounder] overturned a landmark decision on Tuesday that had held both the Japanese government and Rinko Corp. [corporate website] responsible for forcing Chinese citizens into slave labor during World War II. The 2004 lower court ruling [JURIST report] mandated that Rinko Corp. and the [read more]

07:03 EDT

[JURIST] The British government introduced a progressive new draft environmental bill [DEFRA materials; press release] on Tuesday that could control greenhouse gas emissions [JURIST news archive] until as far as the year 2050. Outlined in the Queen's Speech [text; PM materials; BBC backgrounder, the bill will focus on four items: [read more]

07:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Judicial Conference of the United States [US Courts backgrounder] decided Tuesday that it will ask Congress for 67 new judge positions [recommendations; press release], including 15 new circuit court positions and 52 new district court judgeships, throughout the country in order to help ease the crowded court system. [read more]

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