Legal news from Tuesday, May 31, 2005
20:05 EDT

[JURIST] Detainees being held in Guantanamo Bay claim they were sold into captivity, according to new US government documents released to AP [JURIST report] under the Freedom of Information Act [text]. The CIA and the US Defense, State and Justice departments deny any knowledge of bounty payments being made for [read more]

20:05 EDT

[JURIST] The UN Security Council [official website] Tuesday for the first time condemned acts of sexual abuse and exploitation [UN press release] committed by UN peacekeepers and urged countries contributing troops to work to prevent such behavior from occurring in the future. A statement drafted by the US was read [read more]

20:05 EDT

[JURIST] Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari [Wikipedia profile] told the UN Security Council Tuesday that Iraq will allow the International Advisory and Monitoring Board [official website] to keep monitoring its oil production and spending related to oil revenues. Zebari said that oversight from the group would demonstrate that oil revenues [read more]

19:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Massachusetts legislature Tuesday overrode a Friday veto by Gov. Mitt Romney [official website] on a bill [Senate bill text] allowing scientists seeking to do stem cell research in Massachusetts to bypass approval from the local district attorney. The new law does, however, give the state Department of Public [read more]

19:05 EDT

[JURIST] Former Montreal advertising executive Paul Coffin [CBC profile] pleaded guilty Tuesday to 15 counts of fraud in a corruption scandal [CBC backgrounder; JURIST report] that has nearly brought down the government of Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin [Wikipedia profile]. Coffin, originally charged with 18 counts until 3 were dropped [read more]

17:05 EDT

[JURIST] Following claims circulated by Vanity Fair earlier Tuesday [JURIST report; Vanity Fair article], the Washington Post has confirmed that retired FBI deputy director W. Mark Felt, now 91, was Watergate's "Deep Throat". Reporters Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein and former editor Ben Bradlee acknowledged Felt's hitherto-secret identity, with Woodward and [read more]

16:05 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's international brief, the leading opposition party in Ethiopia [DC Embassy website] has filed suit with local courts in the capital city of Addis Ababa seeking to prevent the official certification of the results of the disputed national elections [JURIST report] held 15 May. The Coalition for Unity [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] Members of an Alabama jury apparently split [JURIST report] over whether to convict former HealthSouth Corp. [corporate website] CEO Richard M. Scrushy [Wikipedia profile] have agreed to add an hour of work to their daily deliberations, according to a federal court official's statement Tuesday. The jury has typically worked [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] In a White House press conference [transcript] Tuesday US President George W. Bush slammed a report from rights group Amnesty International [JURIST report, AI press release] as "absurd" after the organization referred to US detention facilities abroad as an international "gulag." Bush stressed that the US "promotes freedom around [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Sudanese government Tuesday arrested the Darfur coordinator for the Dutch branch of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) [NGO website], the second arrest of an MSF aid worker in two days. Vince Hoedt was detained over a March 2005 report [PDF text] alleging mass rape in the Darfur region. The [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] Government officials in the Netherlands [government website in Dutch] are making a final plea to Dutch voters in an effort to persuade them to support the European constitution in a June 1 referendum, an uphill battle after voters in France rejected the charter [JURIST report] earlier this week. Unlike [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] Former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] could face trial for war crimes within two months according to comments made Tuesday by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani [Wikipedia profile] in a CNN interview. Talabani said that the Iraqi people were "starting to ask for executing Saddam Hussein" but Hussein's [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] Venezuelan Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel [Wikipedia profile] has said US officials may not be welcome to visit Venezuela after the president of the Venezuelan Supreme Court [official website in Spanish] Omar Mora [profile in Spanish] had his tourist visa to the United States cancelled by US immigration officials. [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] Wire services are reporting that a former FBI official is claiming to be "Deep Throat", the Washington insider who leaked secrets about the Watergate coverup to the Washington Post that eventually led to President Richard Nixon's 1974 resignation, according to an article to appear in the July issue of [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] Pope Benedict XVI [official website] stepped into an ongoing political fray Monday by backing calls for Italian voters to abstain from a June referendum on embryo research, artificial insemination, and egg and sperm donation. At issue in the referendum is Law No. 40, passed in 2004, which bans embryo [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court Tuesday overturned the conviction of the Arthur Andersen accounting firm for destroying documents related to the Enron collapse, citing faulty jury instructions. According to the Court, the instructions failed to convey properly the elements of a "corrup[t] persuas[ion]" conviction; specifically, the instructions did not convey [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] US military officials have acknowledged that the arrest Monday of Sunni leader Mohsen Abdel Hamid [JURIST report], head of the Iraqi Islamic Party [official website], was a mistake, and that US forces had confused Hamid with someone else. According to Hamid, American soldiers attacked his Baghdad home, seized him, [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Illinois House and Senate [official legislative website] sent a bill to Governor Rod Blagojevich [official website] early Tuesday seeking to lower doctors' medical malpractice insurance rates by capping medical malpractice damage awards. SB 475 [bill status and text] passed the House 68-46 and the Senate 36-22 and would [read more]

08:05 EDT

[JURIST] China Tuesday publicly accused Ching Cheong, chief China correspondent for Singapore's Straits Times newspaper [subscription required], of spying for "foreign agencies". According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry [official website, English version], "Ching admitted that in recent years he engaged in intelligence-gathering activities on the mainland on instructions from foreign [read more]

06:05 EDT

[JURIST] French President Jacques Chirac has accepted the resignation [Elysee Palace press release, in French] of Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin [official profile] just two days after French voters turned down the proposed European constituton [JURIST report] in a referendum that was seen by many as a rejection of the current [read more]

06:05 EDT

[JURIST] The BBC is reporting that on the twelfth day of verdict-reading, a Moscow court has sentenced Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky [JURIST news archive; defense website in English and Russian], former CEO of Russian oil company Yukos, to nine years in jail after being formally found guilty of charges [read more]

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