Legal news from Thursday, April 12, 2007
20:04 EDT

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] Thursday released data obtained under a June 2006 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, documenting civilian casualties [searchable database; press release] caused by US military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan [JURIST news archives]. The 479 files from Iraq, and 17 files [read more]

20:04 EDT

[JURIST] The Mississippi Supreme Court [official website] Thursday upheld [opinion, PDF] the manslaughter convictions of former Ku Klux Klan organizer Edgar Ray Killen [Wikipedia profile]. Killen, now 82, was sentenced to 60 years in prison [JURIST report] in 2005, receiving one 20-year sentence for each of the 3 young men [read more]

19:04 EDT

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] said Thursday that the government of Sri Lanka [official website] is using its anti-terror legislation [JURIST report] to silence journalists [press release] who expose governmental human rights abuses and corruption or question how Sri Lanka is handling fighting with the separatist Liberation Tigers [read more]

19:04 EDT

[JURIST] A special panel of the Japanese House of Representatives [official website] Thursday approved a bill authorizing a national referendum on revisions to the country's pacifist constitution [text]. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe [official website; BBC profile] initiated the bill [JURIST report], hoping it would become law before the current [read more]

16:04 EDT

[JURIST] The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) [advocacy website] said Wednesday that it may file for an injunction to prevent the Canadian military from transferring Afghan detainees to Afghan police custody after the Canadian government failed to meet a court-ordered deadline Tuesday to answer claims that its transfer policy [read more]

16:04 EDT

[JURIST] A federal grand jury in the US Southern District of Ohio [official website] on Wednesday charged [DOJ press release] Christopher Paul, from Columbus, Ohio, with conspiring to aid terrorists and use weapons of mass destruction to bomb European tourist sites and US military and government facilities overseas. The indictment [read more]

16:04 EDT

[JURIST] Haider Hossein, the Bangladeshi lawyer who prosecuted six Islamic militants executed [JURIST report] two weeks ago for the 2005 murders of two judges [JURIST report], was shot and killed Thursday in Jhalakathi, in southern Bangladesh. Jhalakathi police chief Habibur Rahman told AFP that Hossein had sought protection from authorities [read more]

16:04 EDT

[JURIST] US Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) [official website] on Wednesday blasted the White House for failing to turn over all documents, including emails, requested by the Committee in its investigation into the US Attorney firing scandal [JURIST report], and suggested that White House reports that certain [read more]

14:04 EDT

[JURIST] Ali Abd al-Aziz [BBC profile], one of 14 "high value" Guantanamo Bay detainees and the nephew of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [BBC profile], has denied allegations that he transferred funds to the 9/11 hijackers and has insisted he had no prior knowledge that his uncle was planning attacks [read more]

14:04 EDT

[JURIST] The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) [official website] have launched a criminal probe into allegations that IDF troops used Palestinians as human shields during an Israeli military operation in the West Bank in late February. An AP reporter caught one February 25 incident on video [BBC recorded video]; the footage [read more]

13:04 EDT

[JURIST] Ecuador's Supreme Court has upheld a 2006 ruling allowing charges against former Ecuadorian President Gustavo Noboa [official profile, in Spanish] for mishandling debt negotiations worth billions of dollars while in office from 2000 until 2003. The Court held Wednesday that Noboa should be charged as an accessory after the [read more]

12:04 EDT

[JURIST] A Philippine military tribunal sentenced 54 military officers to seven years and six months in jail Wednesday in connection with a failed mutiny [BBC report] in July 2003 in which 300 soldiers from elite special forces took over buildings in Manila in an effort to overthrow the government. More [read more]

11:04 EDT

[JURIST] The International Panel on Fissile Materials (IPFM) [official website] is developing a global treaty banning the further production of nuclear materials such as weapons-grade uranium and plutonium. The IPFM, which is comprised of independent arms control experts from 15 countries, is working on a treaty and an analysis of [read more]

08:04 EDT

[JURIST] At least two Iraqi lawmakers were killed Thursday after a bomb exploded in the cafeteria of the Iraq parliament building. Saleh al-Mutlaq, head of the Sunni National Dialogue Front [Wikipedia profile], said that party member Mohammed Awad died in the attack. Security officials have said that a second lawmaker [read more]

08:04 EDT

[JURIST] George Christian, one of the librarians who in 2005 challenged a National Security Letter (NSL) [sample text, PDF; ACLU backgrounder] ordering the release of computer records, told the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution in testimony [prepared remarks] Wednesday that government power to probe private library records should be [read more]

08:04 EDT

[JURIST] An Australian court on Thursday ordered that former Serb commander Dragan Vasiljkovic [Trial Watch backgrounder] be surrendered to Croatian authorities, and if Vasiljkovic's appeal of the decision is unsuccessful, Australia will extradite him to Croatia as requested [JURIST report] last January. Vasiljkovic, arrested [JURIST report] in Australia last year, [read more]

07:04 EDT

[JURIST] A US bankruptcy judge on Wednesday ordered an independent audit of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego [bankruptcy materials], which filed for Chapter 11 protection [JURIST report; diocese Q&A] in light of some some 140 sexual abuse lawsuits currently pending against the diocese. The judge accused the diocese's [read more]

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