Legal news from Wednesday, October 5, 2005
21:10 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that the US Senate [official website] has overwhelmingly approved legislation that sets restrictions on the detention, interrogation and prosecution of terror suspects. The Senate approved the measure [JURIST document] by a 90-9 vote margin [Senate roll call] despite the threat of a White House veto [JURIST [read more]

19:10 EDT

[JURIST] Russia [JURIST news archive] cautioned Switzerland on Wednesday that the countries' bilateral ties would be harmed by the Swiss decision to extradite former Russian atomic energy minister Yevgeny Adamov [Kommersant backgrounder] to the US. Switzerland's Ministry of Justice [official website, in German] ruled earlier this week that Adamov must [read more]

19:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Texas Criminal Court of Appeals [official website] Wednesday reversed for a third time the death sentence of John Paul Penry [advocacy website; Texas offender record, PDF], a convicted killer whose death sentence was twice reversed by the US Supreme Court and sparked debate [Amnesty International report] over whether [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] A UN human rights official warned Wednesday that the UN High Commission for Refugees was facing increasingly difficult conditions that prevented it from protecting millions of threatened refugees [JURIST news archive], but that protection of those people remained an obligation. UNHCR Director of International Protection Erika Feller addressed [transcript] [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that Pentagon analyst Lawrence Franklin has pleaded guilty to giving classified information regarding potential attacks on US forces in Iraq to an Israeli embassy official and members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) [official website], a pro-Israel lobbying group. Read the indictment [PDF text] [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] Syria [JURIST news archive] has removed 81 judges and improved wages, taxes and insurance for the judicial branch as part of a series of reforms, government newspaper Ath-Thawra reported Wednesday. According to the paper, the reforms were ordered by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad [BBC News profile] to improve judges' [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] In Wednesday's environmental law brief, the Philippine provincial government of Marinduque [official website], a small island about 100 miles south of Manila, filed suit Tuesday against Placer Dome Inc. [corporate website] seeking $100 million for environmental rehabilitation and compensation to local residents. The suit against the Canadian mining company [read more]

16:10 EDT

[JURIST] Russian investigators have raided the offices of various companies affiliated with the former oil giant Yukos [corporate website; JURIST news archive] in connection with a $7 billion money-laundering investigation, prosecutors said Wednesday. Prosecutors have previously said they were pursuing such charges [JURIST report] against former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] A group of 13 former and current employees filed a $500 million lawsuit Wednesday against the US Department of Commerce [official website] alleging that the agency discriminated in its hiring and promoting of employees. The suit, filed by 11 black and two white workers claiming to represent all black [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday heard oral arguments on whether the federal government can halt doctors from assisting patients in taking their own lives under an Oregon statute allowing the practice. The justices appeared divided over the issue in Gonzales v. Oregon [Duke [read more]

15:10 EDT

[JURIST] A third grand jury previously unrevealed by prosecutors refused to indict former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay [official website; JURIST news archive] last week, according to a written statement released late Tuesday by Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle [official website]. DeLay has been indicted by two grand juries [read more]

14:10 EDT

[JURIST] Victims of the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings [BBC report] are calling for the Indonesian government to immediately execute [AFP report] those in prison for carrying out the attacks. After new coordinated bombings in two tourist areas [Reuters report] last Saturday, victims of the earlier explosions are saying that three [read more]

13:10 EDT

[JURIST] Two of the six radical Islamic militants interrogated in Bangladesh Wednesday in connection to their role in the simultaneous bombings of three courthouses [BBC report] Monday indicated association with Jamaatul Mujahideen and confessed to targeting the legal system in an effort to intimidate the judiciary into replacing the country's [read more]

13:10 EDT

[JURIST] Sunni Arab leaders threatened Wednesday to boycott the upcoming referendum on Iraq's draft constitution [JURIST news archive] if US troops do not stop offensive operations in western Iraq. US forces Tuesday launched their second offensive in a week [AP report] in Iraq's volatile Anbar province at the outset of [read more]

12:10 EDT

[JURIST] Fiji Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase [official profile] said Wednesday that he plans to change controversial legislation that would grant amnesty to many involved in the 2000 racially-motivated coup [JURIST report]. The Reconciliation, Tolerance, and Unity bill [PDF text] has been the subject of many protests and has even caused [read more]

12:10 EDT

[JURIST] A US District Court judge has struck down a part of California's financial privacy law that places restrictions on banks' ability to sell their customers' private information to their associates. The provision was struck down because a federal law, the Fair Credit Reporting Act [text], already restricted their ability [read more]

11:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Takamatsu High Court in Japan Wednesday upheld a lower court decision [JURIST report] to dismiss a lawsuit against Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi over his visits to the Yasukuni shrine [official website]. The shrine was founded in 1869 and serves as a monument to Japan's war dead, including [read more]

11:10 EDT

[JURIST] A Spanish court convicted a former Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Wednesday and sentenced him to six years in Spanish jail for his involvement in the al Qaeda terror organization. Hamed Abderrahman Ahmed, who hails from the Spanish region of Ceuta in north Africa, was arrested in Pakistan [read more]

10:10 EDT

[JURIST] Amid efforts to pass legislation [JURIST report] that would impose restrictions on the detention and interrogation of terror suspects, more allegations have been made of detainee mistreatment [JURIST news archive] at US facilities in Guantanamo Bay and Iraq. Army Capt. James Yee [advocacy website], former Muslim chaplain at Guantanamo [read more]

10:10 EDT

[JURIST] In an interview [transcript] Tuesday with CNN's Lou Dobbs, New York Times reporter Judith Miller [JURIST news archive] called the 85 days she spent in Virginia's Alexandria Detention Facility [official website] demeaning and lonely, and defended her decision to refuse to reveal her source to federal investigators, despite reports [read more]

09:10 EDT

[JURIST] French President Jacques Chirac [official website] said Tuesday at a Paris news conference [full transcript, in French] that Turkey [JURIST news archive] would need to make deep reforms in order to conform to fundamental European cultural standards - what he called "the totality of our values, our principles" - [read more]

09:10 EDT

[JURIST] US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) [official website] has resurrected proposed legislation [IPS report] that would impose restrictions on the detention, interrogation and prosecution of terror suspects. McCain's proposal, to be added as an amendment to the military spending bill up for a vote in the Senate by Friday, would [read more]

07:10 EDT

[JURIST] A Bosnian government [official website] panel said Tuesday that over 19,000 Bosnian Serbs, including policemen, army officials and civilians, participated in the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre [BBC backgrounder]. The report is based on information gained from the Serb Republic's Interior and Defense [official websites] Ministries, army headquarters and state [read more]

06:10 EDT

[JURIST] Britain's Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) [official website] made the first compensation payments to victims of July 7 London bombings [JURIST news archive] Tuesday. CICA has so far sent out two checks and offered interim payments totaling £400,000 ($700,000 US) to bereaved relatives and to injured survivors. According to [read more]

06:10 EDT

[JURIST] BBC News is reporting that Iraq's National Assembly has voted to reverse its recent changes to the rules of the country's constitutional referendum scheduled for October 15. The changes, adopted by the Shiite- and Kurd-dominated body over the weekend, would have shifted the criterion of defeat for the proposed [read more]

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