Legal news from Tuesday, July 1, 2008
15:07 EDT

[JURIST] A Chilean judge Monday sentenced General Manuel Contreras [TrialWatch profile] to two consecutive life terms in prison for a 1974 car bombing that killed another general and his wife. At the time of the bombing, Contreras was the head of the country's infamous secret police, the National Intelligence Directive [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] The Italian Court of Cassation [official website] Monday overturned the convictions of six Italians, including Verona Mayor Flavio Tosi, for distributing anti-Roma literature in 2001. The court found that the men were motivated by a belief that all Roma are thieves, but held that this motivation did not amount [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit Monday released declassified portions of last month's decision [PDF text] that a US Combatant Status Review Tribunal [DOD materials] had improperly designated a Chinese Uighur Muslim [JURIST news archive] detained at Guantanamo Bay as an enemy [read more]

12:07 EDT

[JURIST] The Constitutional Court of Hungary [official website] Monday ruled that two proposals passed by the country's parliament to criminalize hate speech were unconstitutional infringements on the freedom of expression. The court held that the extremist speech that the amendments sought to prevent was not a danger to society because [read more]

12:07 EDT

[JURIST] Polish President Lech Kaczynski [official website] Tuesday refused to sign the EU reform treaty [JURIST news archive], properly known as the Treaty of Lisbon [PDF text; website], saying that to do so would be "pointless" after Irish voters rejected [JURIST report] the treaty in a June referendum. The treaty's [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] Ieng Sary [TrialWatch profile; JURIST news archive], former Foreign Minister during the Khmer Rouge regime [BBC backgrounder], appeared before the Extraordinary Chambers in the Court of Cambodia (ECCC) [court website] for the second day Tuesday to appeal his detention on genocide charges. Lawyers for Sary, whose appearance at the [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] Tuesday dismissed [decision, PDF] a lawsuit brought by Canadian citizen Maher Arar [advocacy website; JURIST news archive], who sought a declaratory judgment against US government officials for deporting him to Syria. The court ruled that Arar had failed [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] The man suspected of killing Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive] has fled to Western Europe, an investigator at the Russian Prosecutor General's Office [official website, English version] said Tuesday. In May, Russian authorities named Chechen Rustam Makhmudov as the main suspect in the murder, charging [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] A French court Monday ordered Internet auction house eBay [corporate website] to pay $63 million in damages to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) [corporate website], finding that the website failed to prevent the sale of counterfeit luxury goods that infringed on registered designs. LVMH praised the holding as [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] A Chinese reporter for US-based Chinese news website Boxun.com [news website, in Chinese] received a four-year prison sentence Tuesday in Nanjing on charges of illegal weapons possession and public disorder. Sun Lin, who writes under the pen name Jie Mu, has reported on sensitive topics including crime, police brutality, [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) filed papers [press release] in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida Monday asking the court to force a Swiss bank to hand over the names of American clients suspected of hiding funds from tax collectors. The DOJ is requesting [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] Nearly $100 million in annual funding is needed to fix California's "dysfunctional" prison system, according to a state commission's report [PDF text; press release] released Monday. The California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice (CCFAJ) [official website] was asked to evaluate instances of wrongful convictions and to make [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] The US does not appropriately protect its citizens and foreign nationals from executions that are out of line with international law, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Philip Alston [advocacy profile] said [statement, PDF; video, RM] Monday. Alston said state death penalty systems need stronger safeguards [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] A Polish appeals court has ruled that the trial of former communist military leader General Wojciech Jaruzelski [official website] can proceed, overturning a lower court decision that halted the trial [JURIST report] while prosecutors gathered more evidence against other communist officials. Jaruzelski was charged in March 2006 [JURIST report] [read more]

08:07 EDT

[JURIST] Four former Abu Ghraib [JURIST news archive] detainees filed lawsuits [CCR materials] Monday against two private US military contractors and three of their employees, alleging torture, war crimes and civil conspiracy. The former detainees said that employees of CACI International and L-3 Communications [corporate websites], which performed interrogation and [read more]

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