Legal news from Thursday, August 4, 2005
21:08 EDT

[JURIST] The Togo parliament [official website, in French] has unanimously passed a law that will increase prison time and fines for individuals convicted of child trafficking. The law comes in response to a reprimand by US State Department officials [JURIST report] two months ago telling the Togolese government and 13 [read more]

20:08 EDT

[JURIST] The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) [advocacy website] Thursday filed a lawsuit [NYCLU press release] claiming that random searches of bags and packages in the New York City subway system [Mayor Bloomberg radio address transcript] are illegal. The complaint [PDF], filed against New York City Police Commissioner Raymond [read more]

20:08 EDT

[JURIST] A US embassy spokesman in Kabul said Thursday that the US will gradually return Afghan prisoners in US custody to Afghan custody once Afghanistan develops the capacity to detain them. The announcement comes after President Bush's meetings in May [JURIST report] with Afghan President Hamid Karzai [Wikipedia profile] prompted [read more]

19:08 EDT

[JURIST] A US Supreme Court spokesman said late Thursday that Chief Justice William Rehnquist had been taken to hospital for evaluation and tests after developing a fever. AP has more. Rehnquist has been suffering from thyroid cancer and has appeared increasingly frail in recent months; he was briefly admitted to [read more]

19:08 EDT

[JURIST] Two former employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) [advocacy website] were indicted [PDF] Thursday for allegedly conspiring to receive and disclose classified US defense information over a five-year period dating back to 1999. The indictment indicates that the two ex-employees of AIPAC, Steven Rosen and Keith [read more]

19:08 EDT

[JURIST] US Army interrogator Sgt. Selena Salcedo was demoted Thursday after pleading guilty to charges [JURIST report] of dereliction of duty and assault of an Afghan prisoner during questioning. The prisoner, Dilawar [Wikipedia backgrounder and profile], was being held at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan and Salcedo admitted to grabbing [read more]

17:08 EDT

[JURIST] Updating an earlier report today on proposals for UN Security Council expansion, China's ambassador to the UN said Thursday that he and new US UN ambassador John Bolton [official profile] had agreed that their countries would both work to block current plans to add new permanent members to the [read more]

17:08 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's states brief, two New Jersey Republican lawmakers filed a lawsuit today in state Superior Court, seeking an injunction to stop plans by acting Governor Richard J. Codey [official website] for a $2.1 billion bond refinance deal that will raise $150 million to help run the state government. [read more]

17:08 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's corporations and securities law news, the Sprint-Nextel merger [merger website] has taken a large step towards final approval after the Federal Communications Commission [official website; includes link to press release] and the US Justice Department [official website] signed off on the deal. The merger, which will create [read more]

15:08 EDT

[JURIST] London-based human rights group Liberty [advocacy website] has urged English Attorney General Lord Goldsmith [PDF letter] to warn British newspapers and media reporting on the London bombings not to prejudice upcoming trials of the bombers by creating an assumption of guilt. Incendiary headlines such as "Got the bastards" have [read more]

15:08 EDT

[JURIST] Saudi Arabia's new ruler King Abdullah [Wikipedia profile] has vowed to "work for justice and serve all citizens without discrimination," in his first address to the nation [speech excerpts] as its official leader. Saudi King Fahd died early Monday [BBC report] but the country had been under the de [read more]

14:08 EDT

[JURIST] Eight members of the UN Commission on Human Rights [official website] Thursday called on Israel to stop building a barrier [press release] to close off the West Bank. The group, marking the first anniversary this summer of an International Court of Justice advisory opinion on the issue [JURIST report], [read more]

13:08 EDT

[JURIST] The Colorado chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union [advocacy website] said Thursday that recently-released FBI files support the contention that the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force is monitoring peaceful protesters as if they were terrorists [ACLU press release]. Mark Silverstein, legal director for Colorado ACLU, said information the [read more]

12:08 EDT

[JURIST] Australian Attorney General Philip Ruddock [official website] has again denied that David Hicks [JURIST news archive], an Australian national facing a US military tribunal on charges he fought for the Taliban, could be tried in Australian courts for the charges he faces. Ruddock Thursday dismissed a new analysis by [read more]

11:08 EDT

[JURIST] After reaching an agreement with G4 nations [JURIST report] to stick to a single plan for UN Security Council expansion, the African Union [official website] opened a conference on Thursday with 46 of the 53 member countries in attendance, all working to form a consensus on the expansion details. [read more]

11:08 EDT

[JURIST] India's Supreme Court [official website] on Thursday let stand the death sentence of Mohammad Afzal for his role in a 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament [BBC report] that left nine people dead. The court commuted the death sentence given to Shaukat Hussain for his role in the same [read more]

10:08 EDT

[JURIST] The London-based Assembly for the Protection of the Hijab [advocacy website], a Muslim women's group, voiced opposition Thursday to a suggestion from the UK Council of Mosques and Imams that women should cease wearing headscarves because of their potential to invite hate crimes. Rajnaara Akhtar, a member of the [read more]

10:08 EDT

[JURIST] Political leaders in Iraq prepared Thursday for a national conference set for Friday designed to break the deadlock surrounding key issues [JURIST report] of the Iraq constitution [JURIST news archive], a draft of which is due August 15. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari are expected [read more]

10:08 EDT

[JURIST] The truth commission [JURIST report] established by Indonesia and East Timor to investigate the 1999 violence in East Timor [Wikipedia backgrounder] that left 1,400 dead met for the first time on Thursday. The commission was set up earlier this year as part of an attempt by Indonesia to avoid [read more]

09:08 EDT

[JURIST] Supreme Court nominee Judge John Roberts [JURIST news archive] helped gay rights activists win a key Supreme Court battle in the 1996 Romer v. Evans case [opinion] while doing pro bono work at Hogan and Hartson [firm website]. While Roberts didn't write a brief or argue before the Supreme [read more]

09:08 EDT

[JURIST] The last four files of the Alabama Legislative Commission to Preserve the Peace were released to the public this week by Alabama state archivists [press release]. The segregation-era state agency secretly monitored the activities of a range of groups from civil rights workers to interracial couples to suspected communists. [read more]

09:08 EDT

[JURIST] After originally allowing a two-day delay for inspections [JURIST report], Iran has now announced that it will push back its plans to resume uranium enrichment until "early next week" to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency [official website] to install surveillence equipment. The UN had requested that Iran not [read more]

08:08 EDT

[JURIST] Italian anti-terror magistrate Pietro Saviotti said Thursday that an extradition hearing has been scheduled for August 17 for Hamdi Issac, a suspect in the failed July 21 London bombing attacks [JURIST report], who was apprehended in Rome last week [JURIST report]. Issac, an Ethiopian, was living in the UK [read more]

08:08 EDT

[JURIST] A panel of judges in Argentina on Wednesday removed a judge from office for bribing a witness to a car bomb attack. The 1994 bombing leveled the seven-story Argentine Israeli Mutual Aid Association [Wikipedia backgrounder], killing 85 and wounding over 200. Five police officers charged with supplying vehicles to [read more]

08:08 EDT

[JURIST] Martha Stewart [JURIST news archive] agreed on Wednesday to a three-week extension of her home confinement [JURIST report] as part of her sentence for lying about a stock sale [JURIST report]. Neither Stewart's lawyers or government officials gave a reason for the extension. The New York Post reported Sunday [read more]

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