Legal news from Wednesday, January 25, 2006
21:01 EDT

[JURIST] Lucia Pinochet Hiriart, eldest daughter of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], requested political asylum in the US Wednesday after being detained [JURIST report] at Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC. US Ambassador to Chile Craig Kelly [official profile] informed Chilean Interior Minister Francisco Vidal [read more]

20:01 EDT

[JURIST] Shaaban Hafiz Ahmad Ali Shaaban, an Indiana truck driver accused of offering to sell names of US covert operatives to Saddam Hussein's Iraqi government, was convicted Wednesday on six of seven criminal counts [JURIST report], including acting as an unregistered foreign agent, violating sanctions against Iraq, conspiracy and witness [read more]

20:01 EDT

[JURIST] US President George W. Bush on Wednesday defended his authorization of the National Security Agency (NSA) [official website] warrantless domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive] in a visit to the agency’s headquarters, saying that “the work they do is vital and necessary, and I support them a hundred percent.” [read more]

20:01 EDT

[JURIST] Enron [JURIST news archive] founder Kenneth Lay [Houston Chronicle profile] and ex-CEO Jeffrey Skilling [Houston Chronicle profile] on Wednesday asked the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals [official website] to reverse its rejection of their motion to change the venue of their trial for fraud and conspiracy and to [read more]

18:01 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's environmental law news, Judge John Suddock of the Alaska Superior Court [official website] has ruled that owners of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline [corporate website] have been overcharging in-state refineries for crude oil transport. The ruling upholds a 2002 decision by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska [official website] [read more]

16:01 EDT

[JURIST] The state that was once known as being "For Lovers" has come one step closer to formally banning same-sex marriage. The Virginia Senate [official website] Wednesday overwhemingly approved a bill [text] that would allow voters to endorse a constitutional amendment against it on the upcoming November ballot. Bill sponsor [read more]

15:01 EDT

[JURIST] The Republican majority in the Georgia legislature has pushed through a revised voter ID bill [SB 84 text] which would require all voters to show either a driver's license, military ID or state-issued identification card with a photo prior to voting. Hailed by Democrats as a regurgitation of the [read more]

15:01 EDT

[JURIST] In a US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs [official website] hearing on lobbying reform [hearing materials] Wednesday, trade group lobbyists questioned the need for the new ethics reform proposal [JURIST report] that would place stricter regulations on lobbyists and lawmakers. The new regulations were proposed shortly [read more]

15:01 EDT

[JURIST] Recent delays in the Saddam Hussein trial [JURIST news archive] have created a "dysfunctional court" that is incapable of conducting a fair hearing, members of Saddam Hussein's legal team, including former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark [JURIST news archive], asserted Wednesday. Clark added that a trial that is seen [read more]

14:01 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Wednesday agreed to hear [cert. grant, PDF] the appeal of a Florida death row inmate who is challenging the lethal injection method that is to be used in his execution. Justice Kennedy granted a last minute temporary stay of execution [JURIST report] [read more]

14:01 EDT

[JURIST] The African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights [official website], the human rights arm of the African Union (AU) [official website], has cited Sudan, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo for rights violations in a unusually-critical report leaked to the press but not yet formally [read more]

14:01 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate Wednesday began a heated debate over the confirmation of US Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito [JURIST news archive], but Senate Democrats gave no hint of a potential filibuster to block his nomination. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) [official website] opened the floor debate [prepared [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] A jailed Venezuelan terrorist Wednesday appealed [ECHR press release] to the European Court of Human Rights [official website], arguing that the eight years he spent in solitary confinement in a French prison was a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights [PDF text]. Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, otherwise known [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union [official website] on Wednesday filed a lawsuit [PDF complaint; press release] against the US government for denying Swiss Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan [ACLU profile] entry into the United States under the ideological exclusion provision [ACLU backgrounder; CIS report] of the USA Patriot Act. Ramadan [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] Microsoft [corporate website; JURIST news archive] announced [press conference transcript; recorded audio] Wednesday that it will comply with a European Union [official website] antitrust ruling [PDF text] by licensing its Windows source code in order to allow competitors to develop products compatible with Windows. In March 2004, the European [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe [official website] on Wednesday adopted a resolution [text] condemning the human rights situation in Chechnya [JURIST news archive], citing numerous cases of murder, disappearances, torture, and other human rights abuses [JURIST report]. A report [text] accompanying the resolution blames the abuses [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] A British appeals court on Wednesday upheld a lower court's order [judgment text] that the Daily Telegraph [media website] pay damages and legal costs to British MP George Galloway [BBC profile] after it found the newspaper had libeled Galloway by alleging that he took money from former Iraqi dictator [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] Lucia Pinochet Hiriart, the eldest daughter of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] was detained [Reuters report] Wednesday at Dulles International Airport in Washington DC, according to a spokesperson from the Chilean government. Earlier this week, prosecutors in Chile brought tax evasion charges against her [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] Two US agencies, the Federal Bureau of Investigation [official website] and the Transportation Security Administration [official website], have agreed to pay the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] $200,000 in attorneys fees to settle a case brought by the civil rights organization in 2003 challenging the government's no-fly [read more]

11:01 EDT

[JURIST] Defense attorneys for admitted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui [JURIST news archive] on Tuesday notified the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia of their plans to call expert witnesses to support their argument that Moussaoui should be spared from the death penalty because he suffers from severe mental [read more]

09:01 EDT

[JURIST] Efforts to reach an agreement on a long-term renewal of the USA Patriot Act [PDF text; JURIST news archive] appear stalled as House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. James Sensenbrenner [official website], the House's chief negotiator, has said his chamber is finished negotiating. Sixteen key provisions [DOJ report, PDF] of [read more]

08:01 EDT

[JURIST] UK rights group Liberty [advocacy website] will launch a challenge to the UK Terrorism Act 2000 [text] in the House of Lords Wednesday, arguing that the law violates fundamental human rights. According to a new report [PDF text] from the UK Home Office [official website], almost 36,000 people were [read more]

08:01 EDT

[JURIST] An Iraqi Justice Ministry [Global Security backgrounder] official said Wednesday that 424 prisoners, including five women detainees, have "completed their legal procedures" and will be released from US custody. The US has confirmed [JURIST report] that eight women are being held in Abu Ghraib prison [JURIST news archive] and [read more]

05:01 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's international brief, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres [official profile] has called on the UN Security Council [official website] to create a UN peacekeeping force for the Darfur region [JURIST news archive] of Sudan [government website]. Guterres said that while the 7,000 troop African Union [official [read more]

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