Legal news from Thursday, August 2, 2007
20:08 EDT

[JURIST] A senior Thai Justice Ministry official said Thursday that Thailand will renew a probe into the anti-drug campaign of former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] during which close to 2,500 people were killed. Thaksin's war on drugs [GlobalSecurity backgrounder] began in 2003 and gained [read more]

19:08 EDT

[JURIST] A military court-martial jury Thursday found US Marine Corps Sgt. Lawrence G. Hutchins III [JURIST news archive] guilty of murder [press release] for his role in the April 2006 kidnapping and murder of an Iraqi civilian in Hamdania [USMC timeline; JURIST news archive]. Hashim Ibrahim Awad [Wikipedia profile] was [read more]

16:08 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate voted 83-14 [roll call] in favor of a new ethics bill [S 230 text] that will require congressmen and other officials to make public additional information about money involving personal projects and lobbies. The legislation also bans gifts from lobbies to lawmakers, and requires former senators [read more]

15:08 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website] held [opinion, PDF] Thursday that insurance policies held by many victims of Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive] did not cover flood damage caused by the storm. Writing for a three-judge panel, Judge Carolyn King said that flood damage [read more]

14:08 EDT

[JURIST] Chinese Communist Party discipline commission spokesman Gan Yisheng said Thursday that China's use of capital punishment in political and economic corruption cases is appropriate and effective. Gan justified the punishment saying that it had "been endorsed by the Chinese people and also recognized by the international community." In July, [read more]

13:08 EDT

[JURIST] The Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal of Justice [official website, in Spanish] Wednesday suspended an order issued by the government's telecommunication commission requiring Radio Caracas Television (RCTV) [media website, in Spanish] to register as a "national audiovisual production service" or face shutdown after agreeing to hear a case on whether cable [read more]

13:08 EDT

[JURIST] The US House Judiciary Committee [official website] approved new legislation [HR 2102 materials] on Wednesday shielding reporters from being compelled to disclose confidential sources. Under the bill, journalists could not be forced by prosecutors to reveal their informants unless a court determined that the public interest in disclosure outweighed [read more]

13:08 EDT

[JURIST] The UK Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) [official website] issued a report [PDF text] Thursday on the shooting death of Jean Charles de Menezes [advocacy website; BBC profile], an innocent Brazilian man mistaken for a terrorist by police in July 2005, clearing London Metropolitan Police Commissioner Ian Blair of [read more]

13:08 EDT

[JURIST] China's Shanxi province High People's Court announced the conviction of 31 defendants in 18 separate trials for their involvement in the use of slave labor at various brick kilns in the Shanxi and Henan provinces Thursday. The defendants were sentenced to between two to five-years in prison. Four government [read more]

13:08 EDT

[JURIST] The US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court [court rules, PDF; official backgrounder] restricted the government's monitoring of e-mail and telephone conversations of suspected terrorists in foreign countries in a ruling publicly disclosed Thursday. According to US House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-OH) [official website], the ruling limits the ability [read more]

12:08 EDT

[JURIST] White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove [official profile] refused to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday during the committee's seventh hearing [witness list] on the Justice Department's firing of US Attorneys [JURIST news archive]. Following President Bush's orders that White House staff not [read more]

12:08 EDT

[JURIST] UK Conservative Party leader William J. Hague [official website] repeated his earlier call for a general referendum [press release] on the proposed EU Reform Treaty [PDF text; EU materials] during an interview with BBC Radio 4 Thursday, saying that the reform treaty is essentially the same [recorded audio, RAM] [read more]

11:08 EDT

[JURIST] The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) [official website] convicted two former leaders of Sierra Leone's Civil Defense Forces [SCSL case materials] militia Thursday, finding Moinina Fofana and Allieu Kondewa [TrialWatch profiles] guilty on four counts [press release, PDF] of "murder, cruel treatment, pillage, and collective punishment." Kondewa was [read more]

11:08 EDT

[JURIST] The Bangladeshi Appellate Division of the Supreme Court [official backgrounder] ruled Thursday that former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed [party profile] can be detained and prosecuted under emergency laws declared by the interim emergency government, overturning the High Court Division's Monday ruling that suspended Hasina's extortion trial [JURIST report]. [read more]

10:08 EDT

[JURIST] The High Court of Australia [official website] upheld an interim control order against Joseph Terrence Thomas [advocacy website] Thursday, accepting the government's argument [JURIST report] and ruling that the control order provision of a controversial anti-terror law [ANS backgrounder] is constitutional because it is supported by the government's "defense [read more]

10:08 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Amy St. Eve [official profile] ruled in Chicago Wednesday that Canadian-born financier and former media mogul Conrad Black [JURIST news archive] may stay out on bail until his November 30 sentencing but denied a request to allow him to return to his home in Toronto. During [read more]

09:08 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers from the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed a petition [press release] Wednesday under the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA) [text] challenging the enemy combatant designation of Guantanamo Bay detainee Mohammed Sulaymon Barre, saying the US military violated governing rules of Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRT) [DOD materials] by [read more]

09:08 EDT

[JURIST] The Congress of Guatemala [official website, in Spanish] voted to create the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) Wednesday, establishing an independent body [press release, in Spanish] to investigate organized crime and official corruption. The CICIG, which will be funded by voluntary international contributions, will be given independent [read more]

07:08 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile; JURIST news archive] sent a letter [PDF text] to the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday in response to a request that Gonzales clarify testimony [transcript] provided last week. Gonzales maintained that his testimony was truthful and that apparent contradictions stemmed [read more]

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