Legal news from Wednesday, June 6, 2007
19:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) [official website] are investigating allegations that an army commander used Palestinians as human shields in the latest and highest-reaching probe into the banned practice, according to Israeli media reports Wednesday. Accused officer Brig. Gen. Yair Golan, commander of the West Bank army division and [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz [official profile] Wednesday ordered the dropping of all complaints previously lodged against approximately 200 journalists, opposition party members and pro-democracy activists who protested [JURIST report] Monday against an emergency media ordinance. The protest took place in defiance of a government ban on unauthorized rallies [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website] will fast-track its decision in a case concerning insurance companies' coverage of levee failure damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive], a judge said following oral arguments Wednesday. Judge Carolyn King [official profile], part of [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Defense (DOD) Wednesday announced [press release] the transfer of Abdullahi Sudi Arale, a suspected East Africa al Qaeda (EAAQ) courier captured in Somalia, to the military prison at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. Arale is accused of aiding various EAAQ-affiliated extremists in obtaining weapons and [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] The family of Iraqi hotel receptionist Baha Musa [Herald report], who died while in British military custody in 2003, plans to sue the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) [official website], according to a family lawyer Wednesday. Solicitor Martyn Day [firm profile] told Reuters that the move was necessary following [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] Carla Del Ponte [official profile], top prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] praised last week's arrest and extradition [JURIST reports] of war crimes suspect Zdravko Tolimir [ICTY case backgrounder, PDF] Wednesday, but reiterated that Serbia must arrest and extradite war crimes fugitive [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] The government of Ethiopia charged 55 people affiliated with the opposition Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) [party website] Tuesday with plotting to overthrow the government following Ethiopia's 2005 election [JURIST news archive]. The CUD has previously accused Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of stealing the election by voter fraud [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] An Iranian judge said Wednesday that two detained Iranian-Americans [JURIST news archive] had admitted to carrying out some "activities," but it is not clear if this is tantamount to admission of spying. In an interview with Iran's ISNA news agency [official website, in Persian], Judge Hossein Haddad, security deputy [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] A court in Mauritania [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] acquitted 24 defendants on trial for assorted crimes under anti-terror laws Tuesday, finding that confessions and testimonies obtained from the suspects were inadmissible because they were obtained through torture. Only one defendant, who was tried in absentia following his escape, [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Eldon E. Fallon of the US Eastern District of Louisiana [official website] Tuesday modified his 2006 ruling [JURIST report] that rejected a $51 million jury award [JURIST report] against pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. [corporate website], offering the plaintiff $600,000 in compensatory damages and $1 million [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] The California State Assembly voted 42-34 Tuesday to approve the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act [AB 43 text; procedural history] which would restore California's marriage statute to its pre-1977 gender-neutral language and define marriage as "a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between two persons" [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] Judges on Ecuador's new Constitutional Tribunal [official website] Tuesday selected Patricio Pazmino Freire, a supporter of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa [official website, in Spanish; personal website], to head the court. The new membership of the tribunal, elected [Prensa Latina report] last week by the pro-Correan Ecuadorean Congress [official website, [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Constitutional Court of Hungary [official website] ruled Tuesday in favor of a proposed referendum on unpopular economic reform proposals advanced by Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany [BBC profile]. A coalition of opposition parties including the Hungarian Civic Party (FIDESZ), the Christian Democratic People's Party (KDNP), and the Hungarian [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) filed an appeal Tuesday against the dismissal [PDF text; JURIST report] of immigration fraud charges against anti-Castro militant Luis Posada Carriles [JURIST news archive; case materials]. US District Judge Kathleen Cardone ruled in May that the indictment against Carriles should be dismissed because [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] The New Haven, Connecticut Board of Alderman has voted 25-1 [press release] to fund a program advanced by Mayor John DeStefano Jr. [official profile] that will provide a municipal identification card to all residents, including the approximately 15,000 undocumented immigrants that reside in New Haven. DeStefano hailed Monday's vote [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday that Russia will not raise the issue of withdrawing from the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty [text; backgrounder] when it meets with other CFE Treaty signatories in Vienna next week. Lavrov's statement comes amid tension between the US and Russia [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] France's practice of expelling non-citizens accused of links to violent extremism lacks sufficient procedural safeguards and undermines human rights [press release], according to a report [PDF text] released Wednesday by Human Rights Watch [advocacy website]. The report found that the current French policies allow the expulsion or deportation of [read more]

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