Legal news from Monday, July 16, 2007
19:07 EDT

[JURIST] Former Ugandan health minister Jim Muhwezi [New Vision profile] went to trial Monday on charges of embezzlement and abuse of office. Muhwezi is alleged to have misused $4.3 million in grants donated to the government of Uganda by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and the Immunization (GAVI) and the [read more]

19:07 EDT

[JURIST] Lance Cpl. Stephen Tatum [advocacy website] admitted during a preliminary hearing Monday to killing Iraqis at Haditha [USMC timeline; JURIST news archive] in November 2005 but said he was acting pursuant to proper military protocol. Tatum is charged [news release] with unpremeditated murder, negligent homicide, and assault related to [read more]

15:07 EDT

[JURIST] Judge Haley Fromholz of the Los Angeles Superior Court Monday approved a $660 million settlement [press release; JURIST report] between the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles [diocesan website] and plaintiffs in 508 outstanding clergy sex abuse lawsuits [JURIST news archive]. Fromholz called the settlement "the right result" and [read more]

14:07 EDT

[JURIST] Washington, DC Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Attorney General Linda Singer [official profiles] announced Monday that the city will appeal a ruling invalidating the District of Columbia's handgun ban [JURIST report] to the US Supreme Court. The city has until August 7th to file an appeal with the high [read more]

14:07 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers and human rights advocates called for more rigid procedures governing the investigation of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines at a Monday conference [press release] organized by the Supreme Court of the Philippines [official website]. Edelina dela Paz, chairwoman of human rights group Karapatan [advocacy website], called for a [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Lewis Kaplan Monday dismissed charges [opinion, PDF] against 13 of 16 defendants in an ongoing criminal tax shelters case [JURIST report] against former employees of the accounting firm KPMG [corporate website], ruling that federal prosecutors violated the constitutional rights of the defendants [JURIST report] by pressuring [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] A bipartisan group of 44 former US state attorneys general have asked the US House and Senate Judiciary Committees to investigate whether the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman (D) [official profile; JURIST news archive], was politically motivated, according to Monday reports. Last month, Alabama attorney Jill Simpson, [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] Pakistani government lawyer Sharifuddin Pirzada informed the Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] Monday that prosecutors are dismissing a single charge of judicial misconduct against suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry [official website; JURIST news archive]. Pirzada said that President Pervez Musharraf made the decision, but did not specify [read more]

12:07 EDT

[JURIST] A spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert [official profile] Monday confirmed the impending Israeli release of 250 Palestinian prisoners belonging to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Movement [BBC backgrounder] and other minor factions. The release, approved by the Israeli cabinet [JURIST report] last Sunday and expected to take [read more]

12:07 EDT

[JURIST] An Ethiopian court sentenced 35 opposition members to life in prison Monday for their roles in mass anti-government demonstrations [JURIST reports]. The opposition members, five of whom were sentenced in absentia were convicted last month of treason and inciting violence. Prosecutors had sought the death penalty [JURIST report]. The [read more]

12:07 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] ruled Monday that spouses and unmarried partners of women who face inhumane treatment under rigid Chinese population control measures do not automatically qualify for asylum [opinion, PDF] in the United States. The court said section 601(a) of the [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] Six opposition members and former constitutional delegates have criticized the efforts of the military government of Myanmar to reconvene negotiations on a new constitution [JURIST news archive]. The six accused the military junta Sunday of handpicking most of the delegates to the country's National Convention to ensure it remains [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] Antun Gudelj, a Croatian man convicted in 1994 of murdering three police officials who were trying to negotiate with Serb rebels opposed to Croatian independence in 1991, was extradited from Australia to Croatia on Sunday. Gudelj, who maintains he acted alone despite popular suspicion that he acted in concert [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] The US Defense Department announced Monday that 16 detainees have been transferred to Saudi Arabia [press release] from Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] Monday, bringing the total of repatriated Saudi detainees up to 77. The 16 will remain in custody pending Saudi investigations into whether they were linked to [read more]

08:07 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge has given preliminary approval to a $3.2 billion settlement agreement [JURIST report] between Tyco International [corporate website; JURIST news archive], Tyco's former auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers [corporate website], and investors who were harmed by fraudulent accounting practices orchestrated by Tyco's former top executives. Judge Paul Barbadoro, however, said [read more]

08:07 EDT

[JURIST] Bangladeshi authorities arrested former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed [Wikipedia profile] following a raid on her home Monday, accusing Hasina of extorting approximately $1.16 million from two businessmen. Hasina is also accused of involvement in the political assassination [JURIST report] of four rivals during her tenure in office from [read more]

08:07 EDT

[JURIST] Peruvian Extradition Unit Chief Omar Chehade on Sunday criticized a Chilean court ruling [JURIST report] denying a Peruvian request for the extradition of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori [personal website; JURIST news archive], characterizing it as slanted and partial decision. Chehade also indicated that Peruvian officials may travel to [read more]

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