Legal news from Tuesday, April 26, 2005
13:04 EDT

[JURIST] A prominent Islamic scholar was convicted Tuesday by a Virginia jury on 10 counts [indictment PDF; JURIST report] of encouraging his followers to fight a holy war against the US and join the Taliban in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks. Ali al-Timimi [pro-al-Timimi profile; Support Committee [read more]

12:04 EDT

[JURIST] A senior US State Department envoy said Tuesday after meetings with German officials that the German federal experience could provide a useful model for a permanent Iraqi constitution. Citing the German structure of multiple laender [maps and profiles] with considerable autonomy united in a federal union, Richard Jones [archived [read more]

12:04 EDT

[JURIST] Italian prosecutors in Milan Tuesday asked a judge to order Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and 12 others to stand trial on corruption charges relating to alleged fraud, tax evasion and money laundering in connection with a TV rights deal involving Mediaset [corporate website in Italian]. Mediaset, controlled by [read more]

11:04 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court ruled 5-3 Tuesday in Small v. US [case backgrounder from Duke Law] that people convicted of a crime in a foreign country may own a gun in the US. Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the majority, said that applying 18 U.S.C. 922, which makes it [read more]

10:04 EDT

[JURIST] Syria completed a withdrawal of its military forces from Lebanon Tuesday, ending a 29-year presence just weeks before thr country's's parliamentary elections. The February 14 assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri, suspected to be the work of Syrian backers of the Lebanese government, brought about massive civil unrest in [read more]

10:04 EDT

[JURIST] On a visit to France Tuesday, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder [official site, in German] voiced support for a call by French President Jacques Chirac [official site, in English] for French citizens to ratify the new EU Constitution [official site]. Current polls indicate that French voters will reject the constitution [read more]

10:04 EDT

[JURIST] A resolution [official text] amending the Texas Constitution [official text] to define marriage as between "one man and one woman" passed the Texas House on Monday by a vote of 102-29. If the resolution receives final passage on the Senate floor, it will be added to the Nov. 8 [read more]

09:04 EDT

[JURIST] A Japanese court Tuesday refused to grant a petition by a group of Japanese and South Korean citizens seeking to stop Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi [official website, English version] and Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara from visiting a Shinto shrine honoring Japan's war dead, including convicted World War II [read more]

08:04 EDT

[JURIST] The Iraq Survey Group investigating the existence of possible Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) reported publicly Monday that it could find no evidence that any such weapons were transferred to Syria in an effort to hide them from inspectors, although it did not rule out the possibility of [read more]

08:04 EDT

[JURIST] The number of death sentences handed down in 2004 was the lowest since 1976, according to new statistics released by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund [advocacy website]. A total of 125 people were sentenced to death by US courts in 2004, down from 144 in 2003, and 300 in [read more]

08:04 EDT

[JURIST] Mexico City mayor Lopez Obrador [advocacy website in Spanish] returned to work Monday despite government contentions that that was illegal and that he had in fact lost his job after the country's Congress lifted his immunity from prosecution earlier this month on a contempt charge. Hundreds of thousands of [read more]

08:04 EDT

[JURIST] A Chilean court Monday freed a portion of former Chilean President Augusto Pinochet's previously-frozen assets [JURIST report] to allow the ex-dictator to pay five years of back taxes. Judge Sergio Munoz froze the assets last year after finding that Pinochet [JURIST news archive] and his family put about $17 [read more]

07:04 EDT

[JURIST] Togo's electoral commission Tuesday released provisional figures [Togo government report] indicating that ruling party candidate Faure Gnassingbe won Sunday's disputed presidential election, taking 60.22% of the vote as against 38.19% for opposition coalition leader Emmanuel Bob-Akitani. Allegations of fraud surrounded the poll, which was marred by violence in the [read more]

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