Legal news from Friday, February 22, 2008
16:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Belarus Friday ordered a former newspaper editor who had been had been sentenced [JURIST report] to three years in prison for reprinting cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad [JURIST news archive] to be released, his lawyer said. Alexander Sdvizhkov, former deputy editor of Belarus newspaper Zhoda, [read more]

16:02 EDT

[JURIST] US Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ) [official website] has been indicted [press release] on charges that include extortion, money laundering, and wire fraud in connection with a complex land scheme, according to an indictment [PDF text] released Friday at a Phoenix press conference [recorded audio]. If convicted, Renzi could face [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US government has granted final approval to the first stretch of "virtual fencing" [JURIST report], which will run for 28 miles along the US-Mexico border [GlobalSecurity backgrounder] southwest of Tucson, Arizona, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Friday at a briefing [transcript] on Immigration Enforcement and Border Security [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] has launched an internal probe [press release] into whether top department officials improperly approved the CIA's use of waterboarding [JURIST news archive], according to documents released Friday. The DOJ Office of Professional Responsibility investigation, which a DOJ spokesperson said has been [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] Turkish President Abdullah Gul [official profile] Friday approved amendments to the country's constitution [text] that will ease a current ban on Islamic headscarves [JURIST report] in universities. Gul's office said in a statement that the amendments did not conflict with the country's "basic principles." Opposition parties have said they [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] The European Commission (EC) [official website], the executive branch of the European Union, is still awaiting appropriate responses from Romania and Poland regarding allegations that they assisted the CIA in operating secret prisons [JURIST news archives] for terror suspects, an EC spokesperson said Friday. The spokesperson said that Romania [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] Friday upheld [opinion, PDF] the dismissal [JURIST report] of a case brought by approximately three million Vietnamese plaintiffs against more than 30 American chemical companies for producing and supplying defoliants, including Agent Orange [VA materials, JURIST news archive], [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] David Bermingham, one of three British bankers known as the NatWest Three [JURIST news archive] was sentenced to over three years in prison Friday after pleading guilty [JURIST report] in November to one count of wire fraud. Bermingham, along with Giles Darby and Gary Mulgrew, was indicted on seven [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] The appeals chamber of the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone [official website] on Friday upheld the sentences [press release, PDF] of three former leaders of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council [MIPT backgrounder; SCSL case materials] who were convicted of crimes against humanity. In July 2007, the court sentenced [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] Delegates failed to agree on a binding treaty banning cluster bombs [ICRC materials; JURIST news archive] by the end of a five-day conference organized by Cluster Munitions Coalition (CMC) [advocacy website] in New Zealand Friday, but have agreed to continue negotiations at a May conference in Dublin. By Friday, [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] The National Parliament of East Timor voted Friday to further extend the country's state of emergency [AP report], which was set to expire Saturday, by an additional 30 days. Last week, the parliament extended the state of emergency [JURIST report] in response to attacks against East Timorese President Jose [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] The British House of Commons approved an order [text] Thursday extending until March 2009 provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 [HO materials] regarding control orders, which impose restrictions on uncharged terror suspects. The measure was approved by a margin of 267-60. The UK's counter-terrorism law ombudsman said [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] James Tobin [SourceWatch profile], President Bush's 2004 campaign chairman for New England, was acquitted [opinion, PDF] Thursday of federal telephone harassment charges for his alleged role in a 2002 phone-jamming scheme. In his ruling Thursday, US District Judge Steven McAuliffe said he was "constrained" by an earlier appeals court [read more]

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