Legal news from Wednesday, May 9, 2007
19:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Egyptian Parliament [official website] Wednesday deprived two Muslim Brotherhood [party website; FAS backgrounder] lawmakers of their official immunity. Under Egyptian law, legislators enjoy immunity from prosecution unless the parliament votes to remove it. Sabri Amer and Ragab Abu Zeid were the first Brotherhood members to lose immunity since [read more]

18:05 EDT

[JURIST] A US Marine sergeant testified Wednesday at the Article 32 [JAG backgrounder] hearing of Marine lawyer Capt. Randy W. Stone that Stone and other supervisors repeatedly ignored his requests to launch an investigation into the killings of 24 Iraqi civilians at Haditha [USMC timeline; JURIST news archive]. 1st Sergeant [read more]

16:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] Wednesday blocked all media coverage of the proceedings against suspended Chief Justice Iftikar Chaudhry [official website; JURIST news archive] and ordered an end to television and newspaper commentary that could "interfere" with the legal process. In a statement, the court said: Discussions, [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Japan [official website, in English] Wednesday dismissed two cases filed by Chinese nationals seeking compensation for Japan's use of biological weapons and the Nanjing Massacre [Wikipedia backgrounders] during the Second Sino-Japanese War [Wikipedia backgrounder] between 1937 and 1945. The high court upheld previous decisions by [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski [official website] signed two gay rights bills into law [press release] Wednesday, establishing civil unions for gay couples and enacting anti-discrimination measures. House Bill 2007 [text] allows same-sex couples to enter into contractual domestic partnerships with the same state benefits as married couples. The measure [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] An Alabama grand jury issued a sealed indictment Wednesday in the 1965 shooting and death of 26-year-old Jimmie Lee Jackson [Sojourners report] by state trooper James Bonard Fowler during an attempt by state troopers to disperse a protest against the jailing of a civil rights worker. The indictment, which [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Iraqi Council of Representatives [official website, in Arabic] Wednesday approved a measure to take legal action against Al Jazeera [media website] television for alleged insults against top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani [BBC profile; official website]. The measure followed days of protests [AP report] by thousands of [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry [official website] Tuesday reluctantly signed a strict immigration reform bill meant to discourage illegal immigration. The Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007 [HB 1804 text, DOC] denies illegal immigrants state identification, and requires all state and local agencies to verify citizenship status of [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] A Zimbabwe court ruled Wednesday that British national Simon Mann [BBC profile] could be extradited to Equatorial Guinea [JURIST news archive] to face charges of plotting a coup against Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo [BBC profile]. Mann's defense team had argued against Mann's extradition on the grounds [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] A UK court found two men guilty of violating Section 3 of Britain's Official Secrets Act [text] by leaking a secret memo in which President Bush was said to have told UK Prime Minister Tony Blair [official profile] in April 2004 of a plan to bomb Arab broadcaster Al [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] The new UK Ministry of Justice [official website] began operations Wednesday, as a controversial split of the traditional Home Office [official website] that is setting the British government against the judiciary went into effect. Lord Falconer of Thoroton [official profile], serving as the first Secretary of State for Justice, [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] The appeals chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] reduced the sentence of former Bratunac brigade commander Vidoje Blagojevic [ICTY case backgrounder, PDF] from 18 to 15 years for his role in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre [BBC timeline; JURIST news archive]. The court [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] Three US lawmakers introduced legislation [HR 2212 text; summary] Tuesday to close the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], calling the prison a symbol of US failure and hypocrisy. Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) [official website] announced the legislation with a statement [press release] Tuesday, asserting:Guantanamo has [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge dismissed the indictment [order, PDF] against anti-Castro militant Luis Posada Carriles [JURIST news archive; case materials] on Tuesday, holding that the government purposefully manipulated Carriles' statement in order to charge him with lying to immigration authorities. The government alleged that Carriles confessed to illegally crossing the [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit [official website] Tuesday denied a request by the city government of Washington, DC for an en banc rehearing of the court's March decision invalidating the city's handgun ban [JURIST report]. DC Mayor Adrian Fenty expressed disappointment [statement] with the decision, [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] With Serbia poised to assume the rotating presidency of the Council of Europe [official website] this week, several human rights groups have spoken out against the country's new role, asserting that a country in violation of the 1948 Genocide Convention [text] should not be allowed to lead the European [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Administrative Court in Egypt [JURIST news archive] ruled Tuesday that a presidential order that forty top members of the Muslim Brotherhood [party website; FAS backgrounder] be tried before a military court was invalid, holding that the members must be tried instead in civilian court. According to a statement [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] Jury selection concluded Tuesday in the terrorism trial of Jose Padilla [JURIST news archive] and two co-defendants. Prosecutors have accused the defense of trying to exclude all white and Hispanic men from the jury, while the defense accused prosecutors of excluding any person with ties to Islam. US District [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] Tennessee executed its first death row inmate Wednesday after a moratorium on executions [executive order, PDF; JURIST report] imposed by the governor in February expired earlier this month. Philip Workman's execution had been postponed five times, and last minute appeals by his lawyers arguing that lethal injection [JURIST news [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] Scotland Yard arrested four suspects [press release] in London on Wednesday in connection with the London transit bombings [JURIST report; JURIST news archive; BBC News timeline] on July 7, 2005 that left 52 people dead. Police arrested Mohammed Sidique Khan, Mohammed Shakil, Sadeer Saleem, and Waheed Ali on suspicion [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] Russian officials have harassed human rights defense lawyer Karinna Moskalenko and are attempting to disbar her after Moskalenko filed complaints with the European Court of Human Rights over alleged rights violations by the Russian government, the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights [advocacy website] said Tuesday. IHF is asking [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [official website] said Tuesday that it will continue to move forward with implementation of the REAL ID Act [PDF text; JURIST news archive], despite opposition among state legislatures and in the US Senate. The Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] met on Tuesday [read more]

08:05 EDT

[JURIST] Jury selection is expected to begin Wednesday in the court-martial [JURIST report] of US Navy Lt. Cmdr. Matthew M. Diaz, charged [press release, DOC] under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Espionage Act with leaking secret national defense information to a person outside the government in connection [read more]

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