Legal news from Friday, February 8, 2008
16:02 EDT

[JURIST] Kenyan Minister of Internal Security George Saitoti [official website] Friday lifted a ban on public assembly in the strife-torn country, saying that "security has generally improved." The ban was imposed after violent protests broke out following December's contested presidential election [JURIST report], killing 1,000 people and displacing some 250,000 [read more]

16:02 EDT

[JURIST] A Spanish National Court judge Friday blocked [JURIST report] two Basque political parties from fielding candidates in Spain's March general elections, ruling that the parties were connected to ETA [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive], the armed Basque separatist movement. Judge Baltasar Garzon found that Batasuna [BBC backgrounder], ETA's banned [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown [official website] Friday rejected a suggestion by the nation's highest Christian cleric that UK Muslims be given an option to resolve some civil disputes under Sharia law [CFR backgrounder] rather than UK law. Speaking [interview transcript] to the BBC, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Paris appeals court [official website, in French] Friday ordered accused "rogue trader" Jerome Kerviel [BBC profile] held in custody while an investigation continues into $73 billion worth of unauthorized trades [AP timeline] he allegedly made while working for French bank Societe Generale [corporate website]. The court granted a [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit [official website] Friday ruled [PDF text] that the "cap-and-trade" policy, to be implemented in 2010 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website] to regulate electrical power plant mercury emissions, is effectively invalid. The policy would permit power plants whose [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] A French court Friday sentenced Jean-Marie Le Pen [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], leader of France's far-right National Front party [party website, in French], for making public comments minimizing the World War II Nazi occupation of France. The charges stem from a 2005 interview [BBC report] with the right-wing [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] Court-martial proceedings began Friday for US Army sniper Sgt. Evan Vela [JURIST news archive], charged in connection with the killings of unarmed Iraqi civilians near Iskandariyah. In opening statements, Vela's lawyer said that he was only following a superior's orders and that Vela was sleep-deprived and unable to think [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Nebraska Supreme Court [official website] Friday ruled [PDF text] that execution by electric chair is "cruel and unusual" punishment and therefore prohibited by the Nebraska constitution [text]. In State v. Mata, an appeal by convicted murderer Raymond Mata Jr. against his 2000 death sentence, the court found that [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] Two civil rights organizations filed a complaint [PDF text; press release] Thursday against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [official website] in federal district court in San Francisco, alleging that DHS failed to respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request regarding department policies on questioning and searching [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] Thai investigators formally asked state prosecutors Friday to bring new charges against former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and his wife Pojamarn Shinawatra for allegedly concealing assets. Pojamarn returned to Thailand from self-imposed exile [JURIST report] last month to face corruption and fraud charges. [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] Two new judges, Sheikh Hakim Ali of the Lahore High Court and retired judge Mohammad Farrukh Mahmood, were sworn in to the reconstituted Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website] by Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar Friday, bringing the regular membership of the court up to 16. They follow three [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] A Cambodian genocide survivor Friday testified against former Khmer Rouge official Nuon Chea [PBS backgrounder] at a pre-trial hearing before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website; JURIST news archive], marking the first time that a victim has ever taken the stand against a former [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] French authorities questioned a second "rogue trader" Friday in their investigation into the massive financial losses of French Bank Societe Generale [bank website], Le Monde reported Friday. The French newspaper reported that French authorities questioned the undisclosed trader about `his relationship with Jerome Kerviel [BBC profile], who stands accused [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge on Thursday dismissed [PDF text] a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] filed by business groups challenging the Legal Arizona Workers Act [AZHB 2779 text, PDF; Arizona Republic backgrounder], saying that the law does not overstep the federal government's authority to regulate immigration. Civil rights groups, including the American [read more]

06:02 EDT

[JURIST] New Jersey pharmaceutical manufacturer Merck [corporate website] has agreed to pay $671 million to settle claims [press release, PDF] that it defrauded Medicaid and improperly marketed three of its drugs to doctors, federal prosecutors said Thursday. The settlement [PDF text] stems from two separate lawsuits filed in Philadelphia and [read more]

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