Legal news from Wednesday, March 29, 2006
18:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate voted 90-8 [roll call] late Wednesday to approve a lobbying reform bill pushed through in the wake of a corruption scandal [Wikipedia backgrounder] centering on former Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff [JURIST news archive], who was sentenced to a prison term [JURIST report] Wednesday in an unrelated [read more]

16:03 EDT

[JURIST] The UN Security Council [official website] Wednesday agreed on a statement demanding that Iran immediately suspend its nuclear enrichment program. The statement, which is not legally binding, seeks a report on the extent of Iran's compliance from the International Atomic Energy Agency [official website; JURIST news archive] within 30 [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that Ahmed Omar Abu Ali [JURIST news archive] has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for joining al Qaeda and plotting to assassinate President Bush [PDF indictment]. Abu Ali faced a possible life sentence following his conviction [JURIST report] last November. Abu Ali's sentencing had [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] The UN Security Council [official website] voted unanimously Wednesday to allow UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to open formal negotiations on the establishment of a tribunal to try suspects in the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive]. The UK- and US-sponsored Resolution 1664 [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] A Maryland judge ruled Wednesday that DC sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad [Wikipedia profile] can represent himself during his upcoming trial on six counts of first degree murder related to the three-week series of shootings in the Washington, DC area in October 2002. Earlier this week, Muhammad sent a [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments Wednesday in Bustillo v. Johnson and Sanchez-Llamas v. Oregon [Duke Law case backgrounder], a pair of consolidated cases that could expand the Miranda rights [ABA backgrounder] of foreign nationals. The cases involve two convicted foreign nationals - [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] Former Assistant US Attorney Richard Convertino [Wikipedia profile] and US State Department Regional Secretary Officer Harry Raymond Smith III were indicted before a Detroit federal grand jury Wednesday on charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and making false declarations in connection with a botched 2003 terrorism trial. Convertino was [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] Serbian officials Wednesday asked Carla del Ponte [official profile], chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia [official website] to bear in mind the country's "complex political situation" as she arrived in Belgrade for talks two days before issuing a report to the European Union on [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] United Nations [official website] officials and armed peacekeepers took former Liberian President Charles Taylor [JURIST news archive] into custody Wednesday in Monrovia after he was transported to Liberia following his capture [JURIST report] by Nigerian officials in an attempt to flee the country. Taylor disappeared from his villa [JURIST [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] Wire services are reporting that a federal judge in Florida has sentenced former Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff [JURIST news archive] to five years and 10 months in prison on two conspiracy and fraud charges stemming from falsification of documents to procure a loan for the 2000 purchase of SunCruz [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] Johannesburg High Court Judge Willem van der Merwe on Wednesday refused to dismiss rape charges [JURIST report] against former South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma [party profile]. The defense filed a motion for dismissal citing a lack of evidence proving Zuma's guilt in the rape of a longtime family [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Law Lords [official website], the judicial panel of the UK House of Lords that is Britain's highest court, Wednesday dismissed [opinion text] appeals brought by anti-war protesters who argued [JURIST report] that under the Criminal Law Act 1967 they were allowed to break British law in an attempt [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] A female Saudi lawyer, Reem al-Habib, received preliminary approval on Wednesday to join the team of lawyers defending Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive]. Habib, who graduated from Harvard Law School and works in western Saudi Arabia as a corporate lawyer, cites personal reasons for joining Hussein's defense team that [read more]

11:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Fukuoka district court in Japan on Wednesday dismissed [Kyodo News report] a case brought by 45 Chinese men accusing the Japanese government and two Japanese mining companies of forcing them to work in Japanese coal mines during World War II. The men asserted that they were taken from [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's environmental law news, Norman Mineta, secretary of the US Department of Transportation [official website] has announced the final rule changes to the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) [backgrounder] system, which governs the minimum fuel economy averages for vehicles sold in the US. The final rule [press release] [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for two long-time British residents seized by the US and detained at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] claim to have documents that indicate British officials prompted their arrests while withholding information that would have aided the two men. Bisher al-Rawi [Cageprisoners profile], an Iraqi who had lived in [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen [official profile] said Wednesday that UN human rights envoy Yash Ghai should be removed from his position as special envoy after Ghai publicly criticized Cambodia's intolerance to dissent [AP report]. The comments come one day after Ghai said that Hun Sen's rule has meant [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] Afghanistan's parliament on Wednesday demanded that government officials block Abdul Rahman [Wikipedia profile], the Afghan man who faced the death penalty [JURIST report] for converting from Islam to Christianity, from seeking asylum in another country. Parliamentary speaker Yunus Qanooni told reporters that a letter was sent to the Interior [read more]

06:03 EDT

[JURIST] Fugitive war crimes indictee Charles Taylor [JURIST news archive], who disappeared from his villa [JURIST report] in the south of Nigeria where he had been living in exile since 2003, has been recaptured, according to a Nigerian police spokesman. The Liberian ex-president was reportedly detained while going through immigration [read more]

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