Legal news from Wednesday, July 13, 2005
20:07 EDT

[JURIST] A military investigator appearing Wednesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee [official website] told lawmakers that certain terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] were degraded and abused by interrogators, but not tortured. Air Force Lt. Gen. Randall Schmidt [official profile], charged with investigating abuse allegations made by [read more]

20:07 EDT

[JURIST] The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals [official website] heard oral arguments Wednesday in a challenge to Montana District Court Judge Richard Cebull's March ruling [JURIST report] barring the resumed importation of Canadian cattle to the US. US attorney Mark Stern represented the US Department of Agriculture, and urged [read more]

19:07 EDT

[JURIST] Following up on a story previously reported in JURIST’s Paper Chase, the House Select Committee on Intelligence [official website] Wednesday approved several measures porposed by Democrats during a markup session that would limit on governmental power under the Patriot Act [text]. The measures include a provision requiring federal agents [read more]

19:07 EDT

[JURIST] French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy [BBC profile] announced Wednesday that his country will retake full control of its borders within the EU. Sarkozy cited security concerns created after the London bombings last week for the decision to activate the "safety clause" of the 1985 Schengen Treaty [text; Wikipedia backgrounder]. [read more]

16:07 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's corporations and securities news, shareholders of Sprint [corporate website] and Nextel [corporate website] approved Sprint's $36 billion bid to purchase Nextel. In a joint press release, the companies announced that 97 percent of voters approved of the merger. The deal still has several obstacles until it gains [read more]

16:07 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's states brief, the Michigan Supreme Court [official website] ruled today that citizens cannot sue Dow Chemical Company for the costs of testing for future dioxin-related health problems. The court stated that medical monitoring is not a legal claim in Michigan and the issue is better suited for [read more]

15:07 EDT

[JURIST] Prosecutors announced Wednesday that they will not appeal a judge's decision to drop perjury charges [JURIST report] against former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy [JURIST news archive], who was previously acquitted of fraud charges [JURIST report]. Immediately after the acquittal, government attorneys said they planned to get the perjury charges [read more]

15:07 EDT

[JURIST] Despite calls for urgent action by advocacy groups [JURIST report] and a UN panel recommendation, UN officials indicated Wednesday that the UN Security Council was moving slowly on the establishment of a tribunal in investigate the East Timor violence of 1999 [BBC backgrounder], waiting to publish the full UN [read more]

14:07 EDT

[JURIST] Chief Justice William Rehnquist [JURIST news archive] has been hospitalized with a fever. A US Supreme Court spokeswoman said he was "admitted for observation and tests." AP has more. [read more]

14:07 EDT

[JURIST] Two days after US House Judiciary Committee [official site] Chairman James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-WI) [official profile] introduced a bill [HR 3199 text] to make existing provisions of the Patriot Act [JURIST news archive] permanent, Judiciary Committee members Wednesday debated a possible GOP compromise on term lengths for the new [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's international brief, following a statement by military commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama [official profile], head of Fiji's military forces, that the army "will have no qualms about removing a government that will bring back chaos," Fiji Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase [official profile] said that the Fiji government [official [read more]

12:07 EDT

[JURIST] Ali al-Timimi [Wikipedia profile; advocacy website], an Islamic scholar from Fairfax, Virginia, was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday after he was convicted of soliciting others [JURIST report] to levy war against the US, inducing others to aid the Taliban, and inducing others to use firearms in violation of [read more]

12:07 EDT

[JURIST] European Union Interior and Justice ministers Wednesday voiced support for new security measures [JURIST report] proposed at a meeting called in the wake of last Thursday's London bomings. The new rules would require telecommunications companies to retain and allow access to up to year-old communications data [AFP report]. The [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] Former WorldCom [MCIWorldCom website] CEO Bernard Ebbers [JURIST news archive] was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years in prison. US District Court Judge Barbara Jones handed down the sentence three years after WorldCom collapsed in an $11 billion accounting fraud, losing billions for investors. In March 2005 Ebbers was found [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] Iraq has accepted an offer from the Arab League [official website, Wikipedia backgrounder] to lend expertise and support to the committee [official website] established to draft the Iraqi constitution [JURIST news archive]. Meanwhile the drafting and consultation process continues as the August 15 deadline for approval approaches. A document [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] US President George Bush said Wednesday that he will not comment on top aide Karl Rove's involvement in leaking the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame [Wikipedia profile] until a federal criminal investigation into the controversy is complete. Bush called it a "serious investigation" and said he would "not [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] Raed Juhi, a senior judge on the Iraqi Special Tribunal [JURIST news archive; official website], said Wednesday that the Tribunal's investigations of the case against Saddam Hussein are "more than 80 percent complete". He said the court's investigating judges are not the ones to set a trial date, but [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] Argentine newspaper La Nacion reported Wednesday that Argentina has taken formal responsibility for its failure to discover who was behind the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center [Wikipedia backgrounder; AMIA center website] in Buenos Aires that killed 86 people and that Argentine President Nestor Kirchner [Wikipedia profile] has admitted [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] Texas District Judge Robert Perkins [official website] Tuesday reaffirmed an indictment for violations of a state law regarding corporate campaign contributions against an ally of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX). John Colyandro, executive director of Texans for a Republican Majority [Wikipedia backgrounder], was indicted last September on charges [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] Italian police executed 200 search warrants [Reuters report] across the country Wednesday, searching for illegal arms and explosives, the public security department for the Italian Interior Ministry [official website, in Italian] announced. The raids did not lead to any immediate arrests but police are investigating a range of crimes [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] The pro-hunting Countryside Alliance [advocacy website] Wednesday challenged Britain's recent ban on fox hunting with dogs [JURIST report] in the House of Lords Wednesday by questioning the Parliament Act [Wikipedia backgrounder' UK Parliament research paper], the law that allowed the lower house of parliament, the House of Commons, to [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] Police in the Netherlands announced Wednesday the arrest of a 17-year-old boy as part of an investigation into the Hofstad terrorist group that killed filmmaker Theo van Gogh [JURIST report]. Police found a homemade bomb in the boy's room. Although he was investigated for publishing extremist Muslim texts on [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] Parliamentary members of Zimbabwe's ruling African National Union-Patriotic Front [official website] party Tuesday defeated an opposition proposal that would have ended the government's controversial home demolition program [JURIST report]. "Operation Restore Order" has resulted in 30,000 arrests of illegal squatters and merchants, and left anywhere from 300,000 to 1 [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] Human rights groups including the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network [advocacy website press release] and Human Rights Watch [advocacy website press release] have urged UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to support a UN panel's recommendation for an international tribunal [JURIST report; UN panel report summary] to investigate atrocities [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] A New York prosecutor Tuesday dropped all charges against New Paltz [official website] Mayor Jason West, who could have faced jail time for marrying gay couples on the steps of the village hall. In May 2005, 24 misdemeanor counts were filed against West for violating the state's domestic relations [read more]

08:07 EDT

[JURIST] Speaking in the British House of Commons Wednesday one day after police revealed that the perpetrators of the London bombings were British nationals, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said his government would tighten border controls to keep out individuals preaching religious hatred and would take steps to deport from [read more]

08:07 EDT

[JURIST] Judge William G. Young, chief judge of the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts [official website] in Boston, issued a 107-page ruling Tuesday chastising Congress for a "virtually unprecedented" attack on judicial independence and for putting a "chokehold" on federal courts by removing their authority to hear [read more]

07:07 EDT

[JURIST] Near the end of his trial [JURIST report] in Amsterdam Tuesday, Muslim extremist Mohammed Bouyeri [Wikipedia profile] confessed to the November 2004 murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh [Wikipedia profile], saying "if I were released and would have the chance to do it again. . . I would [read more]

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