Legal news from Wednesday, August 6, 2008
14:08 EDT

[JURIST] The Iraqi Parliament [official website] has failed to agree on a draft election bill prior to adjourning for the summer on Wednesday. Kurdish legislators have strongly opposed the bill's proposal to establish a provincial council in Kirkuk [GlobalSecurity backgrounder] made up of equal numbers of Kurdish, Arab, and Turkmeni [read more]

12:08 EDT

[JURIST] The Constitutional Court of Thailand [official website, in Thai] ruled Tuesday that the law establishing the National Counter Corruption Commission (NCCC) [official website] is appropriate under the country's current constitution [PDF text]. Ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] and his wife Pojamarn Shinawatra [JURIST news [read more]

11:08 EDT

[JURIST] The Venezuelan Supreme Court [official website, in Spanish] Tuesday upheld [press release, in Spanish] a list blocking 272 political candidates from running for office because of suspected corruption. Critics had argued that the list [Venezuela Information Centre analysis] was unconstitutional because many of those included had not been convicted [read more]

11:08 EDT

[JURIST] Iran has commuted the sentences of four people scheduled to be executed by stoning and has suspended the use of the punishment, local media reported Wednesday. Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi, the head of the country's judiciary, had originally placed a moratorium on the punishment in 2002, but nine people were [read more]

11:08 EDT

[JURIST] Serbia's Office of the War Crimes Prosecutor [official website] indicted [press release, MHT] two war crimes suspects Tuesday in connection with the 1992 killing of 700 Muslim civilians in the town of Zvornik. Former Zvornik mayor Branko Grujic and former local defense chief Branko Popovic are accused of using [read more]

11:08 EDT

[JURIST] Sudan Justice Minister Abdel-Basit Sabdarat said Wednesday that he had named one primary prosecutor and three assistants to investigate and try war crimes suspects from the country's Darfur region [JURIST news archive]. The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] in the Netherlands currently handles such proceedings, but if Sudanese [read more]

11:08 EDT

[JURIST] A military group staged a coup in Mauritania [CIA factbook profile] early Wednesday, detaining President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi [BBC profile] and Prime Minister Yahya Ould Ahmed Waqef [IBT report]. The coup's apparent leader, Gen. Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, also backed a 2005 coup [JURIST report] that removed then-President [read more]

10:08 EDT

[JURIST] Judge Royce Lamberth [official profile] of the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] on Wednesday ordered the unsealing of hundreds of documents [court materials] related to the FBI's probe into the 2001 anthrax attacks [GWU backgrounder]. Among other papers, the released documents include 14 search warrants [read more]

10:08 EDT

[JURIST] The jury in the military commission trial of Salim Ahmed Hamdan [DOD materials; JURIST news archive] found Hamdan guilty on Wednesday of providing material support for terrorism, marking the first verdict rendered by a military commission trial at Guantanamo Bay. The jury [Miami Herald report], made up of six [read more]

10:08 EDT

[JURIST] US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) [official website] launched a new program [fact sheet; press release] Tuesday that allows certain illegal immigrants to coordinate their removal from the US with ICE without the risk of home raids, arrest or detention. The Scheduled Departure Program, a pilot program that will [read more]

08:08 EDT

[JURIST] The state of Texas executed Mexican national Jose Ernesto Medellin [ASIL backgrounder; JURIST news archive] late Tuesday evening after the US Supreme Court narrowly refused [decision, PDF] to stay his sentence [information sheet]. Medellin's appeal was based on a July order [order and press release, PDF; JURIST report] by [read more]

08:08 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Tuesday that a radio talk-show host's inflammatory remarks about a company which conducted interrogations for the US military at Abu Ghraib prison [JURIST news archive] were protected under the First Amendment. In 2005, CACI International [corporate [read more]

08:08 EDT

[JURIST] Spain's National Court [official website, in Spanish] agreed Tuesday to hear a suit filed by pro-Tibet advocacy groups alleging that seven Chinese officials committed acts of genocide in connection with China's attempts to suppress protests against Chinese rule in Tibet [BBC backgrounder] in March. The suit, filed July 7 [read more]

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