Legal news from Thursday, November 8, 2007
23:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate voted 53-40 [roll call] late Thursday evening to confirm former federal judge Michael B. Mukasey [WH profile; JURIST news archive] as the 81st attorney general of the United States. The nomination was backed by the Senate Judiciary Committee [JURIST report] earlier this week by an 11-8 [read more]

20:11 EDT

[JURIST] Pakistani lawyers detained by the government under the declaration of emergency rule [PDF text] issued earlier this month by President Pervez Musharraf [BBC profile] are being tortured, according to Asma Jahangir [official profile, PDF] head of the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan [advocacy website] and UN Special Rapporteur [read more]

18:11 EDT

[JURIST] A resolution [DOC text] calling for a worldwide moratorium on the use of the death penalty has been introduced before the United Nations General Assembly. Over 70 states [co-sponsor list, XLS] have backed the proposal, which will be voted on by the Assembly next week. The draft resolution states [read more]

18:11 EDT

[JURIST] Italy's highest court on Thursday upheld life sentences handed down to three former Nazi SS officers for their role in a massacre during WWII that left hundreds of Italian villagers in Tuscany dead. All three men are in their 80s and were members of an SS regiment that surrounded [read more]

17:11 EDT

[JURIST] The military junta in Myanmar [JURIST news archive] Thursday agreed to allow opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi [BBC profile] to meet with fellow members of her political party Friday for the first time in three years. The announcement came after UN Special Envoy for Myanmar Ibrahim Gambari [official [read more]

17:11 EDT

[JURIST] Malcolm W. Nance, a former Navy interrogation instructor and counterterrorism intelligence specialist, said Thursday that the practice of waterboarding [JURIST news archive] "is torture and should be banned," during a hearing [notice] held by the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties of the US House Judiciary [read more]

17:11 EDT

[JURIST] The man believed to be the commander of the Irish Republican Army [BBC backgrounder] was arrested Wednesday night and charged Thursday with nine counts of tax evasion, totaling $3.7 million. Thomas "Slab" Murphy [Wikipedia profile] is believed to be the chief of staff of the IRA. He was arrested [read more]

16:11 EDT

[JURIST] The UK Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) [official website] Thursday published a report [PDF text; press release] on its investigation into the fatal shooting of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes [advocacy website; BBC profile] in a London Tube station by officers of the Metropolitan Police Service who mistakenly believed [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] Zimbabwean Attorney General Sobusa Gula-Ndebele has been charged with corrupt conduct for allegedly contacting a fugitive, Zimbabwean police said Thursday. Gula-Ndebele is charged with violating the Criminal Law (Codification Reform) Act for doing "anything contrary to or inconsistent with a duty as a Public Officer" and faces up to [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] The man who shot and paralyzed former Alabama Governor George Wallace [ADAH profile] in 1972 will be released from a Maryland prison Friday, according to an alert from an automated victim-notification system Thursday. Prison officials have refused to publicly confirm the release date due to security reasons. Arthur Bremer [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Russian Supreme Court [official website, in Russian] ruled Thursday that Tsar Nicholas II [Wikipedia profile] and his family were murdered by Bolshevik revolutionaries in 1918 [eyewitness account], and therefore not eligible for legal rehabilitation. The decision upholds a September determination [JURIST report] by Russia's Prosecutor General [official website, [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] Argentinian President Nestor Kirchner [official website] dedicated a new monument to victims of the 1976-83 Dirty War [Global Security backgrounder] in Buenos Aires on Wednesday. The monument, on which the names of thousands of victims are engraved, sits beside the Rio de la Plata, where drugged prisoners who were [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal [official website] ruled Thursday that warrants for documents seized from former Deputy President Jacob Zuma [advocacy website; party profile] were lawfully obtained, and could be used against him in any potential corruption trial. The court heard arguments in the case [JURIST report], filed [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] Pakistani prosecutors on Thursday charged four activists with treason, the first such charges brought under the declaration of emergency rule [PDF text] implemented by President Pervez Musharraf [BBC profile] on Saturday. The four activists, who are in detention following a series of arrests made this week by Pakistani police, [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] US military forces in Iraq released 500 detainees at a joint ceremony with the Iraqi government on Thursday at Camp Victory outside Baghdad. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki [JURIST news archive], speaking to the newly released detainees on Thursday, said the release is part of an effort to harmonize [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] Serb nationalist leader and war crimes defendant Vojislav Seselj [BBC profile; ICTY case backgrounder, PDF] used his opening statement at his trial Thursday to call the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) "illegal and illegitimate," and accused the court of an impermissible bias against Serb defendants. Seselj, [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] Bangladesh police on Wednesday arrested an associate of former Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia [UN profile] on suspicion of instigating street demonstrations in violation of the ban on assembly, one of the freedoms restricted in January when the military government declared a state of emergency [JURIST report; advocacy backgrounder]. [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] Louisiana Attorney General Charles C. Foti [official website] filed suit in state court Wednesday against the state's six largest insurance companies, including Allstate and State Farm, alleging the companies conspired to fix payouts for damages related to Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive] in violation of the Louisiana Monopolization Act. [read more]

08:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Russian Foreign Ministry [official website] on Thursday denounced the state of emergency [JURIST report] imposed Wednesday in the neighboring Georgian Republic as "a gross violation of human rights and democratic freedom." Russia urged the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe [read more]

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