Legal news from Tuesday, October 30, 2007
20:10 EDT

[JURIST] AT&T [corporate website] and the US Department of Justice [official website] reached a consent decree [press release] Tuesday under which the telecommunications giant agreed to sell assets in seven rural US markets in exchange for DOJ approval of AT&T's acquisition of Dobson Communications Corp. [corporate website] and the withdrawal [read more]

19:10 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] granted a stay of execution [order, PDF] to a convicted murderer on Mississippi's death row Tuesday, pending the Court's decision on whether to grant certiorari in the case. Earl Wesley Berry was scheduled to die by lethal injection Tuesday night; his was the [read more]

18:10 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey [WH profile; JURIST news archive] wrote in a letter [PDF text] to Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday that he did not know if waterboarding [JURIST news archive] was illegal, and that it would be "irresponsible" of him to provide a legal [read more]

18:10 EDT

[JURIST] The accumulated evidence against former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC profile] may be insufficient to compel the United Kingdom to extradite the ousted prime minister on corruption charges, according to Chief Prosecutor for Foreign Litigation Sampan Sarathana as reported in the Bangkok Post Tuesday. Saranthana travelled to London [JURIST [read more]

18:10 EDT

[JURIST] A Bangladesh special tribunal sentenced former state minister Lutfozzaman Babar to 10 years in jail Tuesday for illegal possession of firearms. Babar, who served as home minister until October 2006, was found guilty of illegally possessing two pistols, a revolver and ammunition. The court officially sentenced him to a [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] The military junta in Myanmar [JURIST news archive] has released six more dissidents held in the wake of a late summer crackdown against protesters and political opponents, the pro-democracy National League for Democracy (NLD) said Tuesday. Three members of the NLD, headed by the long-detained Aung San Suu Kyi [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [transcript, PDF] Tuesday in United States v. Williams [LII case backgrounder; merit briefs], 06-694, to determine whether part of the federal anti-child abuse PROTECT Act of 2003 [PDF text] is unconstitutional for criminalizing speech protected by the [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of State [official website] does not have the authority to "immunize an individual from federal criminal prosecution," State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack said at a daily press briefing [transcript] Tuesday, correcting an AP report [text; JURIST report] Monday citing anonymous sources as saying the State Department [read more]

14:10 EDT

[JURIST] Canadian government lawyers plan to ask a judge to take the reportedly unprecedented step of approving the installation of closed-circuit video cameras in the home of Mahmoud Jaballah, one of the so-called Secret Trial Five [CBC backgrounder] subject to security certificates [PSC backgrounder] allowing for their detention without charge [read more]

13:10 EDT

[JURIST] Thailand's cabinet voted Tuesday to lift martial law [JURIST news archive] in 221 of the country's 400 districts where it is still in force, according to Deputy Secretary-General of the National Security Council Thawil Pliensri. Martial law will remain in effect in 179 districts because of security concerns regarding [read more]

12:10 EDT

[JURIST] Prosecutors for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] on Tuesday appealed the sentences [JURIST report] imposed on war crimes convicts Mile Mrksic and Veselin Sljivancanin [BBC profiles; ICTY case backgrounder], who were convicted in connection with the killings of over 200 Croatian prisoners of [read more]

11:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Iraqi cabinet Tuesday approved a draft law [JURIST report] that would strip foreign security contractors of immunity from Iraqi prosecution granted under Order 17 [PDF text] passed by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) [official website]. The draft law now goes to the Iraqi parliament. According to government spokesman [read more]

11:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] heard arguments Tuesday in a challenge against the September 10 deportation of former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif [BBC profile] to Saudi Arabia. Pakistani authorities arrested Sharif on corruption and money laundering charges [JURIST report] and then expelled him shortly after he [read more]

09:10 EDT

[JURIST] Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DJP) [party websites] Tuesday failed to reach a consensus on new anti-terror legislation necessary to extend Japan's support mission for US operations in the Indian Ocean. The LDP had urged the approval of the proposed legislation, [read more]

09:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Constitutional Court of Indonesia [official website] rejected an appeal by five convicted drug smugglers against the death penalty Tuesday, ruling that capital punishment did not violate the Indonesian constitution [text]. Lawyers representing the five had argued that the death penalty violated the defendant's constitutional right to life.The drug [read more]

08:10 EDT

[JURIST] Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz [official profile] temporarily suspended a government plan to cut electricity to the Palestinian Gaza Strip [BBC backgrounder] Monday, pending legal challenges [press release; JURIST report] from several human rights groups in the Israeli Supreme Court. The human rights groups allege that the Israeli government's [read more]

08:10 EDT

[JURIST] China has arrested 774 people in a crackdown on the production of substandard products, officials said Monday. The Chinese General Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) [official website, in Chinese] conducted 626 criminal investigations into the manufacture and sale of fake or poor quality food, medicine and [read more]

08:10 EDT

[JURIST] Eleven plaintiffs, including the R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF) [trade association website] have sued [press release] the US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) to prevent a rule change that would allow Canadian cattle over 30 months old and beef products from such cattle to be imported into the country [read more]

07:10 EDT

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism Martin Scheinin [official website] called on the US in a report [DOC text] released Monday to quickly prosecute or release terror suspects detained at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] so that the US can close the detention center. Scheinin paid an [read more]

07:10 EDT

[JURIST] A judge in Chad has approved kidnapping charges against six French nationals after French charity Zoe's Arc [advocacy website, in French] tried to fly 103 children believed to be orphans [ZA backgrounder, in French] from the embattled Darfur region of Sudan [JURIST news archives] to France, Chadean officials said [read more]

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