Legal news from Thursday, March 27, 2008
18:03 EDT

[JURIST] A magistrate in Zimbabwe [JURIST news archive] on Thursday handed down a six-month suspended jail sentence to the first white farmer convicted for refusing to vacate his farm after it was declared state property under Zimbabwe's farm seizure program [JURIST report]. Deon Theron was convicted last Tuesday of unlawfully [read more]

18:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Belarus KGB [official website] Thursday detained at least 16 journalists and searched their homes and offices for materials that allegedly libel Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko [official website; BBC profile]. The Belarus Deputy Prosecutor General said that the searches related to an animated Internet cartoon that allegedly insulted Lukashenko [read more]

18:03 EDT

[JURIST] The UN has raised sufficient funds to cover the first-year costs of an international tribunal with the mandate of investigating and trying suspects in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive], UN Legal Counsel Nicolas Michel [official profile] said Thursday. Michel said that [read more]

17:03 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General Michael Mukasey [official profile] said Thursday he would personally ensure that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) does not bow to political pressure as it prosecutes government officials for corruption. In a speech [text; recorded audio] to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Mukasey said:Public corruption [read more]

16:03 EDT

[JURIST] UK Secretary of State for Defence Des Browne [official profile] admitted Thursday that British soldiers had violated the human rights of several Iraqi detainees in Basra in 2003, saying that the Ministry of Defence would specifically admit to substantive breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights [PDF text] [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] The UN Human Rights Council [official website] passed a resolution Thursday urging Sudan to address human rights violations and to prosecute perpetrators of rights abuses. The resolution, introduced by Egypt, also acknowledged that Sudan had instituted some measures to protect human rights, a concession apparently included to avoid a [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] Proposals put forth by the European Commission [official website] to regulate passports and create a centralized fingerprint database fail to adequately address privacy concerns, the head of the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) [official website] said in an opinion letter released Wednesday. Peter Hustinx [official profile, PDF] said the [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] A federal grand jury in San Juan, Puerto Rico charged Puerto Rican Governor Anibal Acevedo Vila [official website, in Spanish] and 12 associates with 27 counts of conspiracy, false statements, wire fraud, federal program fraud and tax crimes related to campaign financing, and other crimes in an indictment [PDF [read more]

11:03 EDT

[JURIST] Journalist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal [advocacy website; Philadelphia Inquirer archive], convicted in 1982 of killing Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner [advocacy website] after a traffic stop, may escape the death penalty after the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on Thursday issued an opinion [PDF [read more]

11:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) [official website] made good on earlier promises to investigate high-ranking governmental officials on Wednesday by formally launching an investigation into former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo [BBC profile]. An EFCC spokesperson advised the public to be patient with the pace of the [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Thursday urged the United Nations [press release] to scrutinize the Philippine government's response to accusations that the Philippines military has engaged in extrajudicial killings of left-wing activists since 2001. HRW's press release comes two weeks before the UN Human Rights Council [official [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] EU and NATO forces on Thursday raided the homes of family members of wanted Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic [BBC profile; ICTY indictment], looking for information on Karadzic's location. In a sunrise raid, the forces entered the homes of Karadzic's wife Ljiljana Zelen Karadzic, his daughter Sonja [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] An Indonesian court cleared former Indonesian President Haji Mohammed Suharto [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and his heirs Thursday of civil liability in a corruption case involving state funds allegedly stolen by a charitable foundation run by Suharto. Dismissing the $1.1 billion damage claim leveled against Suharto, the court [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge in the Eastern District of Michigan on Wednesday struck down [opinion, PDF; ACLU press release] a Michigan election law [text] that limits access to information on presidential primary voters to the Democratic and Republican parties, blocking the state from releasing the voter lists from the Jan. [read more]

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