Legal news from Friday, January 13, 2006
20:01 EDT

[JURIST] A source close to Rizgar Amin [Wikipedia profile], the chief judge of the Iraqi High Criminal Court presiding at the Saddam Hussein trial [JURIST news archive], said Friday that Amin would "withdraw" from his position, announcing his reasons at the end of the next trial sitting scheduled for January [read more]

16:01 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] refused to grant immunity Friday to two police officials named in a lawsuit filed on behalf of 386 people who were roped off at Pershing Park and arrested during protests [DC Watch report] at the World [read more]

16:01 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Friday granted certiorari [order, PDF] in the case of Dixon v. United States, where the Court will clarify how criminal defendants can use evidence of domestic battery at their trials. Cherie Ashford Dixon contends that her constitutional right to a fair trial [read more]

15:01 EDT

[JURIST] US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) [official website] announced Friday that he will vote to confirm [Reuters report] US Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito [official profile], while most, if not all, of the eight Democrats on the Judiciary Committee are expected to vote against [read more]

14:01 EDT

[JURIST] Turkey's Minister of Justice Cemil Cicek said Friday that Mehmet Ali Agca [Wikipedia profile], the Turkish gunman who shot Pope John Paul II [official website] in 1981, may have mistakenly been released from prison eleven months early for the murder of Turkish journalist Abdi Ipekci [profile]. Agca shot the [read more]

14:01 EDT

[JURIST] US President George Bush on Friday defended the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], calling it "a necessary part of protecting the American people". Bush's comments came during a White House press conference [transcript] with German Chancellor Angela Merkel [BBC profile], who urged Bush to shut down [read more]

14:01 EDT

[JURIST] A US Department of Justice spokesperson on Friday confirmed that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] on the NSA domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive] at the request [JURIST report] of committee chairman Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) [official website]. Gonzales, [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] New Jersey Gov. Richard J. Codey [official website] on Thursday signed several bills, including one which creates a special commission on the death penalty [JURIST news archive] and places a moratorium on capital punishment until at least 60 days after the task force releases its findings. The New Jersey [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] Canada has deported Samir Ait Mohamed, an Algerian terror suspect accused of plotting to blow up the largely Jewish Montreal neighborhood of Outremont, to an undisclosed location Wednesday. Canadian authorities detained Mohamed when he attempted to enter the US in 2001, three weeks after "Millennium bomber" Ahmed Ressam [PBS [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] Witness testimony at the confirmation hearings for Judge Samuel Alito [official profile; JURIST news archive] before the US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] concluded Friday with experts both supporting and opposing the Supreme Court nominee. Duke Law School professor Erwin Chemerinsky [faculty profile] and former NARAL Pro-Choice America [official [read more]

11:01 EDT

[JURIST] Pentagon records [PDF] made public Thursday by the ACLU [press release] through ongoing FOIA requests [ACLU materials] show that the US Army closed a criminal investigation of abuse allegations by an Iraqi detainee [JURIST news archive] last year without questioning any Americans involved in the case, ultimately finding no [read more]

11:01 EDT

[JURIST] A study commissioned by the Canadian Justice Department [official website] and obtained by Canadian Press has urged the Canadian federal government to legalize polygamy to help protect women and children in those relationships. Section 293 of the Canadian Criminal Code [text] currently bans polygamy, although a few Canadian provinces [read more]

11:01 EDT

[JURIST] US military prosecutors have dropped murder charges against Chief Warrant Officer Jefferson Williams in connection with the 2003 suffocation [JURIST report] of Iraqi Major General Abed Hamed Mowhoush. In a plea deal with prosecutors Williams, one of three soldiers originally charged [JURIST report], agreed to testify against fellow accused [read more]

11:01 EDT

[JURIST] Former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz [BBC profile] is ailing and may have only weeks to live, lawyer Badia Aref said Thursday, claiming his client is suffering from high blood pressure, cannot walk properly, and is being given 13 pills a day for heart problems, diabetes and other [read more]

10:01 EDT

[JURIST] Singapore's national association of lawyers, the Law Society [website], is to conduct a review of the nation's death penalty laws and make recommendations to the national government in nine months. Singapore has one of the world's highest per capita execution rates - possibly the highest [Amnesty International backgrounder] - [read more]

10:01 EDT

[JURIST] Iran on Friday threatened to block inspections [IRNA report] of its nuclear facilities if the UN Security Council [official website] confronts it over its nuclear activities. Iran has been voluntarily allowing short-notice International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) [official website] inspections since 2003 but last year adopted a law requiring [read more]

10:01 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Sim Lake ruled Thursday that prosecutors in the trials of Enron [JURIST news archive] founder Kenneth Lay [Chronicle profile] and former CEO Jeffrey Skilling [Chronicle profile] cannot use recorded audio tapes [JURIST report] of Enron employees discussing strategies to manipulate electricity prices because of their inflammatory [read more]

10:01 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Alvin Hellerstein on Thursday dismissed the final remaining property damage claim against New York City stemming from the Sept. 11 attacks [JURIST news archive]. Associated Electric & Gas Insurance Services Ltd. and five other insurers for the utility Consolidated Edison Company of New York [corporate website] [read more]

08:01 EDT

[JURIST] In the second day of pre-trial hearings [JURIST report] for Canadian teenager Omar Khadr [JURIST news archive] before a Guantanamo Bay military commission Thursday, presiding officer Col. Robert Chester said that Khadr's civilian lawyers could begin "making preliminary inquiries" about the possibility of a Canadian lawyer joining the defense [read more]

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