[JURIST] Iraqi judges Saturday began investigative pre-trial hearings for Sultan Hashim Ahmad, Saddam Hussein's last defense chief, and Ali Hassan al-Majid (Chemical Ali), another former defense minister. Saddam and eleven of his deputies face prosecution for alleged crimes during Saddam's three-decade rule. Today's hearings before a panel of investigative judges set up by the Iraqi Special Tribunal were closed to the media, but the Tribunal released video after the close of questioning. The Tribunal said lawyers for the men were present. AP has more, along with a video report including footage released by the tribunal.
[JURIST] Bosnian Foreign Minister, Mladen Ivanic, stepped down Saturday, one day after Bosnian Serb Prime Minister Dragan Mikerevic resigned. Ivanic, also a Serb, cited new international sanctions against the Bosnian Serbs for their lack of cooperation in solving war crimes as the reason for his resignation. The International High Representative in Bosnia, Paddy Ashdown, and the United States had on Thursday imposed the sanctions against the Bosnian Serbs over their lack of cooperation in bringing those indicted for war crimes to justice. Ivanic warned journalists that there would be more resignations from the Party of Democratic Progress (PDP). AFP has more.
[JURIST] In Washington state, Pierce County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Arend ruled Friday that it is too late for King County to consider hundreds of recently discovered ballots from the extremely close November governor's race. Many of the lost ballots were simply misplaced or mistakenly rejected by county workers because of technical errors. The state Republican Party requested the block of the ballot count. Democrats appealed to the state Supreme Court; the county also plans to appeal. The Washington high court is preparing to hear the case next week. With all but King County finished with a hand recount, Republican Dino Rossi was leading Democrat Christine Gregoire by 50 votes. View the official results here from the WA Secretary of State. AP has more.
[JURIST] An Alabama state appeals court Friday refused to vacate the murder conviction of ex-Klansman Bobby Frank Cherry. Cherry was convicted of the 1963 Klan-related church bombing in Birmingham which killed four black girls. As previously report in JURIST's Paper Chase, Cherry died in prison last month while he was appealing his conviction; his attorney attempted to pursue the appeal under an Alabama law that allows the judge to vacate the conviction if the defendant dies while the conviction is being appealed. The Court of Criminal Appeals stated that since it had already ruled against the appeal the law did not apply in this case. AP has more.
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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.