Legal news from Wednesday, March 12, 2008
18:03 EDT

[JURIST] An Afghan Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee alleged that he has been mistreated in custody and asked to boycott his upcoming trial at his first pretrial hearing before a military commission Wednesday. Mohammed Jawad [DOD materials] is charged [press release] with attempted murder [charge sheet, PDF] and intentionally [read more]

17:03 EDT

[JURIST] Justice Anne Mactavish of the Federal Court of Canada ruled [judgment, PDF; summary, PDF] Wednesday that the protections of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms [text] do not extend to Afghan detainees captured by Canadian soldiers. Amnesty International Canada and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association [advocacy websites] had [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] A second employee of French bank Societe Generale [corporate website] has been detained in connection with the investigation into fraudulent activity allegedly committed by rogue trader Jerome Kerviel [BBC profile], the bank said Tuesday. A Societe Generale spokesperson did not name the man but did confirm that he is [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] The appeals chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website; JURIST news archive] Wednesday upheld the conviction of Catholic priest Father Athanase Seromba [case materials] for genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and increased his sentence to life [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] A former militia commander testified Wednesday before the Special Court for Sierra Leone [official website] at the war crimes trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], describing scare tactics used by Taylor to intimidate the population and frighten his enemies. Joseph Marzah said that [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] The resignation [statement text] of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer [JURIST news archive] Wednesday following disclosure of his involvement with a prostitution ring subject to a federal wiretap [criminal complaint, PDF] has interrupted and potentially compromised a series of law reform initiatives championed by the former state attorney general. [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] Several provincial Egyptian courts ruled Tuesday that members of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood [party website; FAS backgrounder] must be allowed to register as candidates in the upcoming local council elections in April, even as Egyptian police continued arrests of group members. Egyptian police arrested at least 10 Brotherhood members [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak [UN profile] said Tuesday that US officials have refused to grant him access to US prisons operating in Iraq when he travels to the country later in the year. Nowak told reporters in Geneva that US officials told him the facilities were [read more]

11:03 EDT

[JURIST] Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] Wednesday pleaded not guilty to charges [JURIST report] of abuse of power for personal gain, conflict of interest violations, and dereliction of duty for personal gain in corruption proceedings before the Supreme Court of Thailand. The charges stem [read more]

11:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives [official website] Tuesday voted 229-182 [roll call] to pass a resolution [HRES 895 materials] creating an independent ethics panel to investigate allegations of malfeasance against House lawmakers. The Office of Congressional Ethics will consist of six non-House members of "exceptional public standing." This represents [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] Telecommunications companies who have assisted the government in its warrantless surveillance program [JURIST news archive] would not be provided retroactive immunity from prosecution under the latest version of proposed surveillance legislation being considered by the US House of Representatives. The companies, however, would be allowed to present classified evidence [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] A member of the National Human Rights Commission of Indonesia [official website] said Tuesday that the commission has launched an investigation into human rights abuses committed during the regime of former Indonesian President Haji Mohammad Suharto [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], telling AP that four separate teams will work [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] The UK House of Commons voted 346-206 Tuesday in favor of the EU reform treaty [JURIST news archive], properly known as the Treaty of Lisbon [official website; PDF text]. MPs adopted the European Union (Amendment) Bill [text; bill materials], which will incorporate the Treaty of Lisbon into UK law, [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] Democrats in the US House of Representatives Tuesday failed to secure enough votes to override President George W. Bush's veto [JURIST report] of the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2008 [HR 2082 materials], which would have prohibited the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] from using waterboarding [JURIST news archive] [read more]

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