Legal news from Monday, June 27, 2005
20:06 EDT

[JURIST] After spending the weekend at Camp Delta at Guantanamo Bay, US Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) [official website] and Ben Nelson (D-NE) told reporters Monday that while closing the military detention center is not necessary, establishing a precise legal status for prisoners and clarifying the rules governing them is. In [read more]

20:06 EDT

[JURIST] New United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres [Wikipedia profile] Monday urged countries to grant asylum to refugees rather than seal borders because of fears of terrorism. His call came at the end of a three-day visit to Kyrgyzstan [press release] by assistant high commissioner Kamel Morjane, and [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] US Department of Defense officials Monday released [press statement] a new policy on responsibilities of military healthcare providers to detainees. The memorandum [PDF], circulated internally last week [JURIST report], reaffirms standards similar to those used in US federal prisons, indicating that military healthcare personnel have a duty to protect [read more]

18:06 EDT

[JURIST] Six Pakistanis formerly held at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] told reporters Monday after their release from subsequent detention in a Pakistani prison in Lahore that US personnel at the camp had abused the Koran in their presence. After being greeted by their families the men alleged that American [read more]

18:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Monday's corporations and securities law news, the SEC [official website] is investigating IBM [corporate website], the company announced today. In a press release, IBM said that it received a request to voluntarily comply with the SEC's informal investigation. The inquiry is related to IBM's first-quarter report and how [read more]

17:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Monday's states brief, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled [PDF text] today that allowing jurors to submit questions to witnesses is not a per se violation of a defendant's right to a fair trial in criminal cases. One defendant's attorney argued that the threat of unfair questions from the [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdulmahdi told local leaders in the southern Iraqi province of Nassriya on Monday that some countries are pressing for a delay in the trial of Saddam Hussein. He did not specific which countries, but Iraq's justice minister has previously accused the US of stalling the [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] A Turkish prosecutor has asked for life sentences for four alleged conspirators in the November 2003 bombings in Istanbul [BBC report] that killed 61 people and wounded hundreds more. The trial [JURIST report] actually encompasses 71 defendants; in addition to the four life sentences, prosecutor Zekeriya Oz asked the [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] An Italian judicial source told Reuters Monday that Italy plans to formally seek the extradition of 13 agents working for the CIA for their alleged role in the 2003 seizure and deportation from Italy of Egyptian imam Abu Omar [Washington Post report]. The same source said Italy might put [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Iraqi Special Tribunal [JURIST news archive; official website] has questioned former Iraqi deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz [BBC profile]. The urbane onetime Iraqi foreign minister, the only Christian in the Iraqi leadership and often the global media face of Saddam Hussein's government, was shown in court footage released [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] Mississippi Circuit Judge Marcus Gordon Monday denied a request for a new trial by lawyers for Edgar Ray Killen [JURIST news archive]. Last week Killen was convicted of manslaughter [JURIST report] for the 1964 killing of three civil rights workers in Mississippi and sentenced to 60 years in jail [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] In a significant denial of certiorari Monday, the US Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from two reporters asking the Court to allow them to refuse to identify their sources and not risk facing fines or jail time. Matthew Cooper of TIME [JURIST report] and Judith Miller of the [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] French interior minister Nicolas Sarcozy [BBC profile] said Monday that the European Union should suspend any further enlargement [EU overview] given the strong rejection of the European Constitution [JURIST news archive] by French and Dutch voters. The statement was understood to be directed mostly at Turkey as Sarcozy added [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] An Israeli military tribunal Monday convicted former Israeli soldier Taysir Hayb of manslaughter in connection with the killing of Tom Hurndall [JURIST report], a British peace activist [Guardian obituary]. Hurndall was shot while helping Palestinian children avoid gunfire in Gaza. His family was barred from entering Israel to view [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for detainees at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] say they are frustrated by delays that have prevented any court hearings for their clients, despite a US Supreme Court order from almost a year ago that granted them access to US courts [JURIST report]. Differing interpretations of the order [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website, English version] is set to sign into a law a measure passed by both houses of the Russian parliament that will abolish the country's inheritance tax, according to reports on Monday. After Putin made the proposal in an April address his plan was [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] The World Tribunal on Iraq [advocacy website] an unofficial grouping of antiwar activists and intellectuals who have held some 20 meetings around the world over the last two years, concluded its final session [JURIST report] in Istanbul Monday by releasing a scathing preliminary declaration [full text] insisting that the [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] A Spanish prosecutor Monday called for legal rather than military means of fighting the war on terror during closing arguments in the trial of three men suspected [JURIST report] of aiding the 9/11 attacks. Apparently referring to US strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq, he said "We don't need wars. [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court on Monday upheld an FCC determination [FCC press release] that broadband cable modem companies are free from the mandatory regulations that apply to common-carriers. The 6-3 ruling means cable companies are allowed to keep rival internet providers from using their lines, a decision that lessens [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court ruled Monday that police officers are immune from suits based on how they enforce restraining orders. In a 7-2 decision the Court said that a woman whose estranged husband murdered her three children did not have a constitutional right to police enforcement of the restraining [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court recessed for the summer Monday morning without any announcement from Chief Justice William Rehnquist [OYEZ profile] on his possible retirement from the bench after 33 years of service. Speculation had been rife that the ailing and increasingly frail Rehnquist, 80, might take the occasion of [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court has ruled that the Ten Commandments can be displayed on the grounds of a state capitol building. The US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals had previously ruled [PDF] in Van Orden v. Perry [Northwestern University backgrounder] that a six-foot-tall display of the Commandments on the [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that developers of software violate federal copyright law when they provide computer users with the ability to share music and movie files downloaded from the internet. Read the Court's opinion [PDF]. AP has more.The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] Dennis Rader [Court TV profile], charged with 10 murders [JURIST report] that took place between 1974 and 1991 as the "bind, torture, kill" (BTK) killer, pleaded guilty on Monday as his trial began in Wichita, Kansas. Prosecutors said before the hearing that no deal had been made. No date [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court has ruled that the Ten Commandments cannot be displayed in courthouses. The US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled in McCreary County v. ACLU of Kentucky [Northwestern University backgrounder] that Kentucky counties that had put framed copies of the Ten Commandments in county courthouses [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] A Greek prosecutor launched an investigation on Monday to probe possible Greek involvement in the Srebrenica killings in Bosnia in 1995 [JURIST news archive]. Several Bosnian Serbs have already been arrested [JURIST report] for their roles. Many of the arrested were members of a paramilitary group [JURIST report] alleged [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] A Kenyan magistrate on Monday acquitted three men charged with conspiracy in connection with a 2002 suicide bombing at a hotel. The attack, which al-Qaida claimed responsiblity for, killed 15 people [Jersualem Post file report]. Earlier, four other defendants were acquitted [JURIST report] on charges of actually carrying out [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] Over 9 million people are now in prison worldwide and the number is growing, according to a new report [PDF text] by the London-based International Centre for Prison Studies [NGO website]. The statistical survey included convicts and persons held in pre-trial detention. The US, China, and Russia account for [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US military is planning to expand the current Abu Ghraib [JURIST news archive] and Camp Bucca [Wikipedia backgrounder] detention facilities in Iraq and build a third major facility in the north of the country to accommodate a growing number of Iraqi prisoners. Military officials say the existing prisons [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] Pakistan's Supreme Court [official website] on Monday began hearing an appeal by Mukhtar Mai [BBC profile] against the acqittal of five men who allegedly brutalized her in a gang-rape that attracted national and international attention and condemnation. Mai was raped in 2002, allegedly on the orders of a traditional [read more]

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