Legal news from Thursday, November 29, 2007
18:11 EDT

[JURIST] Thousands of protesters filled the streets of Caracas, Venezuela on Thursday to voice their opposition to 69 constitutional amendments [JURIST report] proposed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez [BBC Profile]. The proposed reforms, which will be put to a national referendum on Sunday, would extend the presidential term from six [read more]

18:11 EDT

[JURIST] BP Exploration Alaska (BPXA), a subsidiary of British Petroleum (BP) [corporate website], pleaded guilty Thursday to violating the Clean Water Act [text] in a case stemming from the March 2006 oil spill [JURIST report] at the company's Prudhoe Bay oil field in Alaska. According to a plea agreement [PDF [read more]

17:11 EDT

[JURIST] Thailand's National Counter-Corruption Commission (NCCC) [official website] has approved the creation of three subcommittees to investigate former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and two of his former senior administration officials, according to an NCCC spokesperson Thursday. The first subcommittee will probe Thaksin's involvement in the [read more]

17:11 EDT

[JURIST] Serbia's Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor [official website, in English] Thursday indicted 14 former soldiers and paramilitaries on war crimes charges in connection with the October 1991 Lovas Massacre [Wikipedia backgrounder] in Croatia, a spokesperson told Reuters. Half of those charged are in custody while the rest remain [read more]

16:11 EDT

[JURIST] UN International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) [authorizing resolution; UN materials] head Serge Brammertz [ICC profile; JURIST news archive] told the UN Security Council Wednesday that unspecified "persons of interest" have been identified and other progress has been made in the international investigation into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] About a dozen officers on trial in the Philippines [JURIST news archive] in connection with a failed 2003 mutiny [BBC report] Thursday walked out of court, took control of a Manila hotel, and demanded the resignation of Philippine President Gloria Arroyo [official website; BBC profile]. Philippine military and police [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] Russian opposition leader Garry Kasparov [personal website, in Russian] was released from jail Thursday after serving five days in custody for organizing an unsanctioned protest [JURIST report] against Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website] and resisting arrest. The former chess champion and head of the liberal United Civil Front [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] A Russian court Thursday found exiled business tycoon Boris Berezovsky [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] guilty of embezzling 214 million rubles from Russian national airline Aeroflot [official website]. The court sentenced him to six years in prison, though prosecutors had asked for nine years [JURIST report]. Berezovsky was tried [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] Israeli police Thursday concluded a corruption investigation into Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert [official website; JURIST news archive], telling prosecutors at the Ministry of Justice [official website] that they do not believe there is enough evidence to indict Olmert on allegations that he illegally interfered [JURIST report] with the [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] US Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) on Thursday rejected White House assertions of executive privilege in the ongoing congressional investigations into the US Attorneys firing scandal [JURIST news archive]. Leahy issued a ruling [text and press release] in which he directed the White House to comply with [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf pledged to lift emergency rule in the country on December 16 in a televised speech [unofficial translation] Thursday delivered after he took the presidential oath of office [JURIST report] as a civilian Thursday morning. Pakistani media quoted Musharraf as saying:It is my intention to lift [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] The three British bankers known as the NatWest three [JURIST news archive] pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of wire fraud as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. David Bermingham, Giles Darby and Gary had been indicted on seven counts of wire fraud [indictment, PDF] for allegedly entering [read more]

10:11 EDT

[JURIST] Judges, lawyers, and court clerks went on strike in France Thursday to protest a proposal to eliminate 319 French courts. French Justice Minister Rachida Dati [official profile, in French; BBC profile] has proposed the cutbacks, which the Magistrates' Trade Union says has been mishandled by Dati and the Justice [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf was sworn in to a new five-year term as the country's civilian president Thursday, taking the oath of office [text] under the 1973 Constitution a day after stepping down as chief of the army [JURIST report]. Delivering his inaugural address [APP report], Musharraf defended his [read more]

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