Legal news from Thursday, May 12, 2005
17:05 EDT

[JURIST] Federal officials with the US Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement [official website], part of the US Department of Homeland Security, announced Thursday that a federal grand jury had indicted two Washington DC law firms, two associated lawyers and two legal assistants with conspiring to commit immigration fraud by [read more]

17:05 EDT

[JURIST] KGW in Portland, Oregon, is reporting that a federal judge has just struck down Nebraska's ban on gay marriage, ruling that it interferes with the rights of gay couples and also with those of foster parents, adopted children and people in many other living circumstances.5:41 PM ET - The [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee has voted 10-8 to send John Bolton's nomination for US ambassador to the UN to the full Senate, but without committee endorsement. The move follows a refusal earlier today [JURIST report] by Ohio Republican Senator George Voinovich to support Bolton's nomination as had [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] Jordan's King Abdullah [official website] announced Thursday that he was willing to review the 1992 conviction of Ahmad Chalabi [BBC profile], sentenced in absentia by a Jordanian court to 22 years of hard labor for embezzling funds from Petra Bank, which Chalabi founded during a long residence in Jordan. [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] A bill approved by Estonian lawmakers Thursday authorized Internet voting for local elections in the country's capital, Tallinn, scheduled for October. The bill, initiated by the Constitutional Affairs Committee [official website, in English] of the Riigikogu [official website, in English], Estonia's parliament, will require voters to have an electronic [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] Spc. Sabrina Harman [Wikipedia profile], the latest US soldier to stand trial for involvement in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, pleaded not guilty to charges of abusing detainees in the military prison at the beginning of her trial [JURIST report] Thursday. Harman has been charged with conspiracy, dereliction of [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] approved the nomination of William Pryor [DOJ profile] for the US Court of Appeals by a 10-8 party line vote Thursday. Pryor has a temporary place on the US Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals under a recess appointment [JURIST report] made after [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] Ex-Merrill Lynch investment banker Robert Furst has been fined $565,000 and sentenced to 37 months in federal prison in connection with his role in the Enron [corporate website] scandal. Furst was convicted for setting up a fake deal with Enron in 1999 to boost that company's earnings. Another former [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] A US sailor who turned against the Iraq war was convicted Wednesday during a special court-martial [JURIST report] for failing to report for duty in the Persian Gulf in December. Petty Officer 3rd Class Pablo Paredes [defense website] was found guilty by a military judge for missing movement, but [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] GOP Senator George Voinovich [official website] surprised observers Thursday when he told colleagues on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he will not support the nomination of John Bolton [official profile] as US ambassador to the United Nations [US mission to UN, official website], although he said he would [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] Hearings began Thursday in a civil suit filed against the Dutch government by two families of victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre [BBC timeline]. The families claim that the Dutch government should be held responsible because of Dutch peacekeepers' inability to stop Serb forces' slaughter of 7,500 Bosnian Muslim [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] Germany's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag [official website, in English], approved the European Constitution [text] Thursday by a 569-23 vote. The Constitution next heads to the Bundesrat [official website, in English], Germany's upper house, where it is also expected to pass. A poll conducted earlier this week showed [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] Riots in eastern Afghanistan [JURIST report] triggered by recent Newsweek-published reports of American desecration of the Koran at Guantanamo continued and spread Thursday, resulting in three more deaths [AFP report]. Rioting has now hit 10 Afghan provinces, including the capital Kabul, and has killed a total of 7 people [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] The appellate body of the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] ruled Thursday that the Turkish trial [BBC backgrounder] of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan [official website] was unfair [ECHR press release], stating that Ocalan was not tried in front of an independent and impartial court. Turkey [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] The investigations subcommittee [official website] of the US Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee [official website] reported Thursday that British Member of Parliament George Galloway [BBC News profile] and French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua [official website, in French] both received Iraq oil kickbacks from Saddam Hussein under the [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] A colonel at the head of a military intelligence unit at Abu Ghraib prison has been reprimanded and fined $8000 in connection with the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. Col. Thomas M. Pappas [official profile], commander of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, could have faced a court-martial, but the Army [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] Wednesday approved an amendment to the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2005 (FAIR) [PDF text] which would guarantee that the sickest asbestos victims will be compensated the fastest. The FAIR Act, which has been delayed in the Senate for some [read more]

08:05 EDT

[JURIST] No criminal charges are to be filed against the pilots of a Cessna 150 aircraft [Airliners.net backgrounder] that flew into White House airspace [White House press briefing transcript] Wednesday, prompting evacuations of the White House, the Capitol, and nearby federal buildings. For eight minutes, the alert level at the [read more]

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