Legal news from Wednesday, May 16, 2007
20:05 EDT

[JURIST] Suspended Romanian President Traian Basescu [official website, English version; BBC profile] Wednesday continued to speak out against political corruption while facing a Saturday impeachment referendum. Basescu was suspended [JURIST report] by the opposition-dominated parliament in April for allegedly abusing his powers; earlier this month, the nation's Constitutional Court [official [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] US mining executive Richard Ness [defense website], the regional chief executive of Denver-based Newmont Mining Corporation [corporate website; JURIST news archive], filed a civil lawsuit [statement] against the New York Times (NYT) [media website] in Indonesia Wednesday. Last month Ness and Newmont were acquitted [JURIST report] by an Indonesian [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) called for the resignation [press release] of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Wednesday, a day after hearing testimony [transcript, PDF; JURIST report] from former US Deputy Attorney General James Comey [official profile] regarding an attempt by Gonzales to persuade former Attorney General John Ashcroft [official profile; [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] Fifteen activists involved in a prayer vigil calling for the release of Myanmar Nobel laureate and political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi [advocacy website; BBC profile] were arrested Wednesday and released later in the day by the military government of Myanmar [government website; JURIST news archive]. The activists joined [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] A senior official in a Rwanda [JURIST news archive] human rights organization was arrested Wednesday in the capital of Kigali after being implicated by a local gacaca [Wikipedia backgrounder] court in the 1994 genocide. The official, Francois-Xavier Byuma, is vice president of the board of the Rwandan League for [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] Members of the Ukranian Parliament [official website] have requested that the Ukrainian Constitutional Court [official website] rule on the legality of President Viktor Yushchenko's dismissal of three judges from its bench, according to the court's information office Tuesday. The request came after last Friday's dismissal of Volodymyr Ivashchenko, the [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] A US district judge gave the State of Tennessee permission Wednesday to perform an autopsy on executed Seventh Day Adventist Philip Workman [Wikipedia backgrounder], despite Workman's pre-execution objections to the procedure on the grounds that it would conflict with his religious beliefs. Chief District Judge Todd Campbell [FJC profile] [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] Judge Thomas E. Connolly of the Massachusetts Suffolk County Superior Court has ruled [judgment, PDF] that the marriages of more than 170 same-sex couples from New York who married in Massachusetts before the New York Court of Appeals upheld a ban on New York same-sex marriage [JURIST report] on [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada [official profile; Wikipedia backgrounder], one of Pakistan's most renowned lawyers, presented the government's case against ousted Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry [official website; JURIST news archive] Wednesday to a panel of Supreme Court [official website] judges. Dismissing Chaudhry's claims that his March 9 suspension order [JURIST [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] US Ambassador to the UN Zalmay Khalilzad [official profile] said Tuesday that the US will submit a draft resolution to the UN Security Council to establish a tribunal under Chapter VII of the UN Charter [texts] to try suspects in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] A panel of three judges on the London Court of Appeal Criminal Division reduced the sentence of convicted bomb plotter Dhiren Barot [BBC profile] from a minimum of 40 years to life to 30 years to life Wednesday because Barot's conspiracy did not amount to an actual attempt and [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] Nine defendants in the 2004 Madrid train bombings [JURIST news archive] trial indicated in court Wednesday that they have begun a hunger strike, joining four other defendants who initiated the hunger strike last Thursday. The thirteen defendants are among eighteen who remain in custody during the trial, while eleven [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] Fifty-six former Harvard Law School classmates of US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile; JURIST news archive] have signed an open letter published Tuesday, rebuking Gonzales for his "failure to stand for the rule of law" and failure at doing "the tough job of providing independent counsel" and urging [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] Jonathan Samkange, senior lawyer for the legal team defending Simon Mann [BBC profile] in his extradition proceedings, was released by Harare police in Zimbabwe Wednesday after being arrested [JURIST report] Monday night for alleged violations of Zimbabwe's Immigration Act [PDF text]. Following applications by fellow lawyers seeking to have [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] A crisis meeting of top British judges Tuesday called for constitutional protections in the face of the British government's creation of a new Ministry of Justice [official website]. Members of the Judge's Council [official website] and judges on the UK executive judicial board agreed to press their case with [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] A High Court in Kenya has denied government objections to a civil lawsuit brought by family members of the 365 confirmed victims of the 1984 Wagalla Massacre by Kenyan security forces. The Kenyan government had filed a motion seeking to dismiss the civil suit [East African Standard report] on [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger [official website] submitted a capital punishment proposal [report, PDF; fact sheet] Tuesday in an effort to persuade US District Judge Jeremy Fogel to lift a moratorium on executions in the state. The proposal includes the construction of a new execution chamber [materials] and a revised [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] Legislation proposed Wednesday by the European Commission [official website] will seek to decrease incentives for employers to hire illegal immigrants [JURIST news archive], threatening fines, closing of businesses, and possibly jail time for those that partake in human trafficking or repeatedly employ illegal immigrants. The proposals [summary memo; press [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] US Marine Capt. Randy Stone testified Tuesday that he did not launch an investigation into the killings of 24 Iraqi civilians at Haditha [USMC timeline; JURIST news archive] because he believed that the killings occurred within the bounds of lawful combat. During Stone's Article 32 hearing [JAG backgrounder], he [read more]

08:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website] announced Wednesday that the UN-supported Khmer Rouge genocide tribunal will meet for two weeks beginning May 31 to resolve remaining disputes between Cambodian and international judges concerning the internal regulations of the tribunal. Co-investigating judge Marcel Lemonde told [read more]

07:05 EDT

[JURIST] Colombian Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos [official profile, in Spanish] acknowledged Tuesday the existence of an illegal police wiretapping program that had targeted journalists, members of the opposition and government, but insisted that Colombian President Alvaro Uribe [official profile, in Spanish; BBC profile] and his administration were unaware of [read more]

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