Legal news from Wednesday, June 8, 2005
20:06 EDT

[JURIST] In a move to gain support for a draft UN reform resolution introduced last month [JURIST report], Germany, Japan, Brazil and India - the so-called G4 group - have dropped their proposal to give veto power to any new permanent Council members. Their plan would still expand the current [read more]

20:06 EDT

[JURIST] When asked about the fate of the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay during a Fox News interview [transcript] Wednesday, President Bush insisted that all prisoners there are being treated in accordance with international standards, but did say that the government was "exploring all alternatives" regarding its future. The [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] In a 56-43 vote [Senate roll call] Wednesday, the Senate confirmed the nomination of California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown [Independent Judiciary profile] to the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia [official website]. Brown’s nomination process began in 2003 and quickly encountered opposition from [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's international brief, the leading opposition party in Zimbabwe [government website], the Movement for Democratic Change [official website] has announced its intention to boycott the opening of the Zimbabwean Parliament [government website] Thursday morning by Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe [Wikipedia profile]. The MDC, which challenged the recent national [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] South African businessman Schabir Shaik [Wikipedia profile] was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in jail after being found guilty [JURIST report] of two counts of corruption and one count of fraud, ending a high-profile case that many in South Africa had followed over its seven-month duration. Shaik has close [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] An 80-year-old man reputed to be a member of the Ku Klux Klan will stand trial [JURIST report] starting Monday for the 1964 murder [UMKC backgrounder] of three civil rights workers. Edgar Ray Killen [UMKC profile] is charged with murdering three men who came to Mississippi to help blacks [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia [JURIST news archive; official website] in The Hague Wednesday dismissed two charges [official press release] against former Bosnian commander Naser Oric [Wikipedia profile]. The court ruled that charges that Oric's soldiers took weapons and food from Serbs were necessities of war [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] A leading Sunni Muslim group in Iraq announced Wednesday that it would not participate in writing the new Iraqi constitution unless Sunnis were given a fair number of seats on the drafting committee. The parliamentary committee in charge [JURIST report] and the US government [JURIST report] both want increased [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals [official website] in San Francisco has upheld [opinion, PDF] the drug conviction of a passenger found with cocaine during an airport security check. Sergio Ramon Marquez was randomly selected from a line of passengers in October 2002 to be searched with a [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] The British government Wednesday announced proposals to stop the manufacture, import, and sale of the majority of replica guns [Home Office press release] available in the UK. The plan is part of the new Violent Crime Reduction Bill [PDF text], legislation that also seeks to raise the age at [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] Palestinian detainees at Israel's Megiddo prison [Jerusalem Post report] began a hunger strike on Wednesday as Israeli officials denied reports that prison guards there had abused the Koran, echoing similar stories from Guantanamo Bay [JURIST report]. Prisoners complained that the book was desecrated by guards [Aljazeera report] during a [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The British government announced Wednesday that it has agreed to extradite Algerian Rachid Ramda [advocacy profile], held on a French arrest warrant for the past eight years in connection with a Paris bomb attack in 1995 that took the lives of eight people. UK Home Secretary Charles Clarke [official [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner [official profile] has called Tuesday's acquittal of 10 Libyan police officers [JURIST report] charged with torturing six foreign medics - five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor - into confessions in an AIDS tainted blood scandal [JURIST report], "a matter for serious concern." [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari [BBC profile] Wednesday promised to continue fighting corruption in Iraq's new government. He said "administrative corruption" was one of many challenges Iraq must face, and that the government has "rolled up its sleeves and taken measures" to prevent it, including establishing a telephone hotline [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] A British court Wednesday began a retrial of suspected Afghan warlord Faryadi Sarwar Zardad [Wikipedia profile] in what may be the first instance of a country prosecuting an alleged torturer for crimes committed abroad. Zardad is believed to have controlled key road checkpoints in the mid-1990s on the main [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US House Appropriations Committee [official site] Tuesday continued to press the FBI to adopt recommended reforms in hearings on the the FBI's new budget [committee press release]. On Monday, members of the 9/11 Commission also expressed concern [CBS News report] that the Bureau hasn't made enough progress [official [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] After rejecting [JURIST report] the proposed European Constitution [JURIST news archive], a poll of French citizens released Wednesday says 61 percent want the constitution renegotiated, while 35 percent say it should not be changed. 74 percent believed France could get "significant and positive" changes to the proposal. The proposed [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for the US Department of Justice Tuesday asked for less than one-tenth of the expected penalty in a civil racketeering case against major tocacco companies. At the conclusion of closing arguments [JURIST report; US DOJ press statement], government lawyer Stephen D. Brody asked for just $10 billion of [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Fifteen Guantanamo [JURIST news archives] detainees who have been cleared of wrongdoing in March by Combatant Status Review Tribunals [DOD factsheet, PDF] that concluded they were not properly classed as "enemy combatants" are still being held at the facility more than two months later, according to a Reuters report [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] US Marines detained 19 employees of North Carolina-based Zapata Engineering [company website] for 3 days, after reportedly witnessing the contractors open fire on troops and civilians in Iraq, the US military announced Tuesday. The employees, including 16 Americans, most of whom were security personnel, and 3 Iraqi translators, have [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] A father and son have been arrested and charged [AP report] with lying to federal agents after the son admitted to attending an al-Qaida training camp in Pakistan, the FBI said on Tuesday. Hamid Hayat, 22, is charged with lying about attending the camp. Hamid's father, Umer Hayat, 47, [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Alvaro Gil-Robles [official profile] Wednesday criticized the UK for its methods of detaining terror suspects [press release]. In a report [DOC text] to the Council Gil-Robles specifically targeted "control orders", a form of house arrest instituted by the British government earlier this [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen [Wikipedia profile], a former Khmer Rouge soldier, responded to an opposition proposal Wednesday by saying that the families of the 1.7 million victims of the hardline communist Khmer Rouge [Wikipedia backgrounder] regime that ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979 should not be paying for [read more]

07:06 EDT

[JURIST] Theodor Meron [profile], president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia [official website] said Tuesday that the tribunal will miss a 2008 trial completion date set by the UN Security Council, extending at least into 2009. Meron said the tribunal can't cut corners at the expense of [read more]

07:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US will end its lone opposition to Mohamed ElBaradei [Wikipedia profile], Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA official website] Wednesday in exchange for concessions involving Iran and the fight against nuclear arms proliferation. ElBaradei is arriving in Washington to meet with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [read more]

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