Legal news from Tuesday, May 15, 2007
18:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US DC Circuit Court of Appeals [official website] heard arguments Tuesday in a case brought by Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees challenging their designation as 'enemy combatants.' Last year, Congress passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 [PDF text], which barred Guantanamo prisoners from challenging their indefinite [read more]

16:05 EDT

[JURIST] Germany's Federal Constitutional Court [official website, in German] Tuesday upheld [press release, in German] a 2004 statute limiting lawyers fees [German Federal Bar Association backgrounder, PDF] unless payment is negotiated beforehand. The court ruled that because the lawyers are able to negotiate higher rates with clients, a statutory cap [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] A military judge Tuesday postponed to August 20 the court-martial [JURIST report] of the only officer charged with abuse in the Abu Ghraib [JURIST news archive] prison scandal. Lt. Col. Steven Lee Jordan [CBS profile; JURIST news archive], who at the time of the abuses was the second highest [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] Vladimir Vukcevic [official profile], war crimes prosecutor of Serbia, told reporters Tuesday that the search for former Bosnian Serb military chief and UN-indicted war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic [ICTY case backgrounder; JURIST news archive] "has not stopped for even a moment" and hinted at progress that will "soon [will] [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] Prominent Iranian-American scholar Dr. Haleh Esfandiari [WWC profile] is being held and investigated by the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and National Security for "security" crimes, a spokesperson for Iran's judiciary [official website] said Tuesday. The spokesman did not provide details, but told reporters that "the latest information I have [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] Embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile; JURIST news archive] told reporters Tuesday that the recommendations of resigning Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty [official profile, JURIST news archive] were key in the firing of nine US Attorneys last year [JURIST news archive]. In comments made to the National Press [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] Former US Deputy Attorney General James Comey [official profile] testified [transcript] before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday that in March 2004, in response to Comey's reservations about reauthorizing the controversial warrantless domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive], then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales and White House Chief of Staff Andrew [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora [BBC profile] sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon Monday, formally requesting that the UN Security Council establish an ad hoc tribunal [JURIST news archive] to investigate and try suspects in the February 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri [JURIST news [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDF) and American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Texas [advocacy websites] on Tuesday requested a temporary restraining order [press release] from the US District Court of the Northern District of Texas, seeking to block an anti-illegal immigration city ordinance [DOC text] [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] Tyco International [corporate website; JURIST news archive] said Tuesday that it has reached an agreement [press release] to settle most of the class actions pending against it by investors who were harmed by the actions of the company's former top executives. The settlement, which is subject to the approval [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] reconvened Tuesday to continue hearing petitions filed by suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry [official website; JURIST news archive] after adjourning Monday when a Supreme Court justice objected to the presence of more junior judges on the high court panel [JURIST reports]. [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for US Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) [official profile; JURIST news archive] urged a federal appeals court Tuesday to overturn a lower court ruling [JURIST report] that the FBI's 18-hour raid on Jefferson's congressional offices was legal. Jefferson is also seeking a court order for the return of materials [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court ruled Monday that a military trial of forty top members of the Muslim Brotherhood [party website; FAS backgrounder] can go forward. The trial is scheduled to resume on June 3. The holding reverses last week's rejection [JURIST report] of the military trial ordered by Egyptian [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Defense (DOD) [official website] Monday released the names and details of six former Guantanamo Bay detainees [JURIST news archive] that it claims joined the fight against the US after their release from detention. Among those so identified was Mohamed Yusif Yaqub, whom Pentagon officials said [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] Security plans [AFPS report] implemented since February by the Multi-National Force - Iraq (MNF-I) [official website] have contributed to overcrowding in Iraqi prisons, the Washington Post reported Tuesday. A UN report released in April estimated 20,000 detainees were held in Iraq-run facilities [JURIST report] during the month of March, [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [JURIST news archive] said in a speech [prepared statement] to the National Press Club Tuesday that the nationwide increase in crime is due in part to the increase in gang and gun violence among teenagers. Gonzales said that the Department of Justice (DOJ) [official [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] Nigeria's Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal ruled Monday that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) [official website] must provide "certified true copies" of ballots from Nigeria's contested April 21 presidential elections to embattled candidate and current Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar [official website; JURIST news archive]. The ruling, which stems [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] The senior Zimbabwe lawyer for soon-to-be-extradited British mercenary Simon Mann [BBC profile] was arrested Monday night for alleged violations of Zimbabwe's Immigration Act [PDF text]. Jonathan Samkange was arrested by police in Harare, Zimbabwe's capital city, for allegedly violating immigration laws in relation to a witness that testified at [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] Former CIA Executive Director Kyle "Dusty" Foggo [Wikipedia profile] pleaded not guilty to new charges on Monday that accuse him of receiving luxury kickbacks in return for giving a $100 million contract to defense contractor and friend Brent Wilkes [Newsweek profile]. The new charges replace older corruption charges connected [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] Twenty-five judicial officials were removed from their offices in the Lagos State Judiciary [official website] in Nigeria [JURIST news archive] Monday following allegations of corruption and bribery. State Attorney General Oluyemi Osinbajo announced the firings of 22 magistrates and three judges as part of a state and nation-wide attempt [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] A unpublished report by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) [official website] obtained by the New York Times accuses Israel of disregarding "its obligations under international humanitarian law" and "reshaping the development of the Jerusalem metropolitan area" to further its interests to the detriment of the East [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] US Marine Capt. Randy Stone did not commit a criminal dereliction of duty in his failure to investigate the killings of 24 Iraqi civilians at Haditha [USMC timeline; JURIST news archive], Col. John Ewers said during testimony at Stone's Article 32 hearing [JAG backgrounder] Monday. While Ewers implied that [read more]

08:05 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for suspended Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry [official website; JURIST news archive] said Tuesday that Monday's killing of Pakistani Supreme Court deputy registrar Syed Hamad Raza at his home in Islamabad was "targeted" and that Raza had been scheduled to appear as a witness on Chaudhry's behalf. [read more]

08:05 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [JURIST news archive] submitted the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007 [DOJ backgrounder] to Congress on Monday, legislation meant to strengthen current copyright laws and provide harsher penalties for counterfeiters. The new measure would increase the maximum penalty for willful counterfeiting infringement to up [read more]

07:05 EDT

[JURIST] Elections held in the Philippines [JURIST news archive] to elect members of the Philippines Senate and House of Representatives proceeded Monday despite reports of violence and allegations of fraud. Government authorities attributed the death of 116 people, including 11 candidates since the election campaigning season began on January 14 [read more]

07:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Colombian high court ordered the arrest of five congressmen Monday for alleged ties to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) [CDI backgrounder] and authorities have listed an additional 15 current and former congress members and businesspersons as suspected of having ties to the paramilitary group. All of [read more]

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