Legal news from Wednesday, July 27, 2005
20:07 EDT

[JURIST] A pro-government Harare paper said Wednesday that Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe told reporters that special UN envoy Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka confessed to him that she was under pressure to produce an unfavorable report on the 6-week government ordered demolition of illegal homes and businesses in the nation, also known [read more]

20:07 EDT

[JURIST] US Army Sergeant Kevin Benderman [defense website] will go before a general court-martial at Fort Stewart, Georgia, Thursday on charges of desertion and missing movement [JURIST report] after he failed to report for his unit's deployment flight to Iraq on January 7. In April, the Army denied Benderman's application [read more]

19:07 EDT

[JURIST] Updating a story previously reported in JURIST's Paper Chase, police in south London's Stockwell area arrested three women late Wednesday for allegedly harboring several suspects in last week's failed London bomb attacks [JURIST report]. Reuters has more. [read more]

19:07 EDT

[JURIST] Sen. Patrick Leahy [official website] (D-VT) said Wednesday that notwithstanding White House warnings, Democrats plan to request additional legal writings by Supreme Court nominee John Roberts, including work he produced during his tenure as principal deputy solicitor general in President George H.W. Bush's administration. The White House said earlier [read more]

17:07 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's corporations and securities law news, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) [corporate website] has announced that the SEC approved a new rule requiring firms to better inform clients about non-managed fee-based accounts (NMFBA). NYSE Rule 405(A) forces all companies traded on the NYSE to provide clients with [read more]

16:07 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's states brief, the California Supreme Court today overturned a lower court and ordered that state voters will be given the opportunity to vote on Proposition 80 during a November 8th special election [California Secretary of State election website] to decide whether California should reregulate its power market. [read more]

15:07 EDT

[JURIST] Police in Britain have confirmed that Yasin Hassan Omar, a Somali citizen with British residency, was among four men arrested when he was subdued with a stun gun after officers raided a home [JURIST report] in Birmingham early Wednesday morning. Authorities said the 24-year-old Omar, a suspect in the [read more]

15:07 EDT

[JURIST] US Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) [official website] has hinted that he might not support Timothy Flanigan, President Bush's pick for Deputy Attorney General, if Flanigan is not willing to allow proper Congressional oversight of his role. Flanigan, formerly Deputy Counsel to the President and Alberto Gonzales' number [read more]

15:07 EDT

[JURIST] A French court Wednesday found 13 individuals and companies in the Mont Blanc tunnel disaster [Wikipedia backgrounder] trial [JURIST report] guilty of manslaughter, with former French head of tunnel security Gerard Roncoli receiving a six month prison sentence. Gilbert Degrave, the driver whose truck ignited the deadly March 1999 [read more]

14:07 EDT

[JURIST] The former warden of Abu Ghraib prison [JURIST news archive], Maj. David Dinenna, testified at a preliminary hearing on Wednesday for two Army dog handlers accused of using the animals to abuse detainees [JURIST report] that the US Department of Defense sent trainers to the prison to teach soldiers [read more]

14:07 EDT

[JURIST] Five people were sentenced on Wednesday by a French court for their role in a child sex ring after one of the biggest criminal trials in the country's history [JURIST report]. Since March, 66 defendants have been on trial on charges of abusing 45 children. A man, his son, [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] Ahmed Ressam [Wikipedia profile], known as the "millennium bomber" for plotting to blow up Los Angeles International Airport on New Year's Eve 1999 [CBC timeline], was sentenced to 22 years in prison by federal judge John Coughenour Wednesday. US border officials caught the 38-year-old Algerian with nitroglycerin in the [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] US-based rights group Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] has issued a new report [text] detailing accusations of police torture in Nigeria [press release]. Nigeria responded with a sharp denial, saying in a statement that "[We] can say without fear of contradiction that torture is not routinely practiced in Nigeria". [read more]

12:07 EDT

[JURIST] An energy bill likely to pass the US House and Senate this week with the support of President Bush includes over $8.5 billion in tax incentives, loan guarantees, and other subsidies for energy companies. Conservation and efficiency groups are slated to receive $1.3 billion in benefits with another $3 [read more]

12:07 EDT

[JURIST] The Los Angeles Times reported [article] Wednesday that a company of the California Army National Guard [official website] was placed on restricted duty over allegations that members of the unit abused prisoners in Iraq, possibly with a stun gun. Col. David Baldwin, a California National Guard spokesman told the [read more]

12:07 EDT

[JURIST] The Washington Post reported [full text] Wednesday that a far wider range of White House officials than originally known have been interviewed by prosecutors investigating the Valerie Plame leak. The probe has questioned former CIA director George J. Tenet [Wikipedia profile] and deputy director John E. McLaughlin, and former [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] The UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda [official website; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday sent 10 cases for suspects in the country's 1994 genocide to Rwandan national courts, citing a need to meet its deadline of completing all trials by 2008. Cases have been transferred before [JURIST report] with [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] The UN High Commission for Refugees [official website] began airlifting Uzbek refugees from Kyrgyzstan Wednesday amidst concerns for their safety there [JURIST report]. As many as 455 refugees will eventually be relocated [UNHCR press release]. The refugees fled a violent uprising [JURIST report] in May 2005 in the city [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] Last week's subway shooting death [JURIST report] of a Brazilian man erroneously believed to be a suicide bomber has sparked a debate in Britain over anti-terrorism tactics and racial profiling. Under the Terrorism Act of 2000 [bill text], British police have wide latitude to question, search and detain those [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] On a surprise visit to Iraq Wednesday, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld [official profile] told reporters, "Now's the time to get on with it," regarding the impending August 15 deadline for submitting a new Iraq constitution [JURIST news archive] for an October vote. Rumsfeld also warned that delays [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] Approximately 600 suspected Islamic militants have been arrested in a week-long, nationwide effort by Pakistani security forces. Pakistan officials say that those arrested include 295 people belonging to banned militant groups and 300 others including clerics, prayer leaders, and those believed to have incited anti-Western and sectarian hatred through [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] Select provisions of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 [Wikipedia backgrounder] are scheduled to expire in 2007, and activists disagree on whether or not they should be made permanent. The most debated provision is one that requires certain states, mostly southern, to seek approval from Washington to make [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] Republican members of the Senate Judiciary committee [official website] and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) [official profile] have urged committee chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) [official profile] to begin confirmation hearings on US Supreme Court nominee John Roberts during Congress' August recess, rather than after September 5 when the [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] Gregory Casey, a former executive for Qwest Communications [corporate website; JURIST news archive], has reached an agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission [official website] to pay $2.1 million to settle civil charges [SEC report]. Casey was one of seven former Qwest executives, including ex-CEO Joseph Nacchio, charged in [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] The US is set to announce a new global warming pact with China, India, Australia, and South Korea on Thursday, diplomats in Vientiane said Wednesday. US Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick [official bio], who is currently attending the ASEAN regional forum in Laos, will hold a press conference [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] Prime Minister Tony Blair told reporters on Tuesday that he thinks it's "perfectly reasonable" [10 Downing Street transcript] for the British police to be able to hold suspects without charges for more than the current 14 days. But he didn't specifically endorse the three-month time period recently requested by [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] Police arrested four suspects before dawn Wednesday morning in Birmingham, England, while searching for men wanted in last week's failed London bomb attacks [JURIST report]. Reports from local media indicate that one of the men, subdued with a stun gun by police, was a suspected bomber, although police would [read more]

08:07 EDT

[JURIST] After sending a draft back to lawmakers [JURIST report] for reconsideration earlier this month, King Mswati III [BBC profile] of Swaziland has signed a new constitution [draft text and summary] for the sub-Saharan African nation amid concerns that it is undemocratic and designed to maintain the monarch's political power [read more]

08:07 EDT

[JURIST] As briefly noted yesterday in JURIST's Corporations and securities brief, WorldCom ex-CFO Scott Sullivan and two other executives have reached civil settlements over their roles in WorldCom's disastrous accounting fraud [JURIST news archive] that bankrupted the company. Sullivan - who famously testified against recently-convicted WorldCom founder Bernard Ebbers [Wikipedia [read more]

08:07 EDT

[JURIST] In an interview with the Associated Press reported Tuesday, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [Wikipedia profile] said he would reconsider his predecessor John Ashcroft's policies [AP article] on public access to government information. In October 2001 Ashcroft tightened existing policies on information requests, requiring federal agencies to carefully consider national [read more]

08:07 EDT

[JURIST] US lawmakers trying to block a Chinese takeover bid for US oil firm Unocal [corporate website] prior to an crucial shareholders' vote next month have added an amendment to an energy bill that would push back by more than four months the start of a US government review of [read more]

07:07 EDT

[JURIST] A new draft of the Iraqi constitution [JURIST news archive] published Tuesday in Baghdad's Al-Sabah [media website] newspaper declares "Islam is the official religion of the state and is the main source of legislation," raising the concern of US authorities [JURIST report], especially regarding the future of women's rights [read more]

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