Legal news from Thursday, April 20, 2006
21:04 EDT

[JURIST] A group of UN human rights experts on Thursday voiced grave concern [statement] "at the escalating wave of violence surrounding the pro-democracy demonstrations throughout Nepal in recent days," noting in particular several incidents where Nepalese police have fired on protesters [JURIST report] during ongoing demonstrations against the rule of [read more]

18:04 EDT

[JURIST] During the final day of defense arguments in the sentencing trial [case docket] of Zacarias Moussaoui [JURIST news archive], Moussaoui's defense lawyers submitted to the jury a government-approved statement that the government had no evidence that "shoe-bomber" Richard Reid [BBC profile] worked with Moussaoui as a potential 9/11 hijacker. [read more]

17:04 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's environmental law news, Louisville, Kentucky Mayor Jerry Abramson directed [press release] an advisory group to review and recommend changes to the area's air pollution program. The Strategic Toxic Air Reduction [official website] program was enacted in 2005 after a US Environmental Protection Agency study concluded that local [read more]

15:04 EDT

[JURIST] US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts [OYEZ profile; JURIST news archive] on Thursday selected [press release, PDF] James Duff [firm profile], a former aide to Chief Justice Rehnquist, as the next director of the Administrative Office of the US Courts [official website], where he will represent the federal [read more]

15:04 EDT

[JURIST] Spanish lawmakers have drafted legislation that will provide financial compensation to the victims of terrorist attacks on Spanish soil, as well as funding for programs to assist victims with finding new jobs and homes. The bill is expected to be submitted to the parliament this summer, when the Spanish [read more]

14:04 EDT

[JURIST] A lawsuit filed by the Russian Justice Ministry's Federal Registration Service [official website, in Russian] against the Union of Soldiers' Mothers Committees [advocacy website], a local NGO representing the rights of soldiers, was dropped Wednesday after the group publicized the fact that they had received a summons to appear [read more]

12:04 EDT

[JURIST] Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, and Ohio have joined California and New Jersey [JURIST report] in suing tobacco companies for money they say is owed under the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) [text]. The Illinois attorney general says the state is owed almost $40 million [press release] and is suing to [read more]

12:04 EDT

[JURIST] China responded Thursday to criticism [press release, DOC] from the British Transplantation Society [organization website], which accused the country of harvesting and selling the organs of executed Chinese prisoners, by saying that similar practices had been used on patients in Great Britain a few years ago. The British group [read more]

12:04 EDT

[JURIST] The National Security Archive [official website], a research institute at George Washington University, won partial summary judgment on Wednesday in its lawsuit [case documents] against the US Air Force, as the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] ruled [PDF text; press release] that the Air [read more]

11:04 EDT

[JURIST] Afghanistan's peace and reconciliation commission Thursday praised the release [JURIST report] of a list of detainees [text, PDF] held at the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], which was made available as the result of a Freedom of Information Act [text; summary] lawsuit [JURIST report] filed [read more]

11:04 EDT

[JURIST] A panel from the US House Committee on International Relations [official website] sharply criticized China's human rights record on Wednesday, ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao's Thursday visit to the White House [arrival ceremony transcript; CNN report]. At a Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations [official [read more]

11:04 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of the Philippines [official website] Thursday ruled [opinion text] unconstitutional a 2005 executive order [text] from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo [official website; JURIST news archive] which prevented government officials from being questioned in investigations against her regarding vote-rigging and election fraud [JURIST report] in 2004. Arroyo escaped [read more]

11:04 EDT

[JURIST] The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps [advocacy website], a private organization of volunteers who patrol US borders, said Thursday that they would begin building a security fence [press release] on land owned by supporters along the US-Mexico border if President Bush doesn't direct the government to do so. The debate [read more]

09:04 EDT

[JURIST] A travel ban on Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu [BBC profile] has been extended for another year, Vanunu's lawyer said Thursday. Israel's Ministry of Justice [official website] has rejected Vanunu's appeal, saying that he could reveal more military secrets. Vanunu has said he had no more secrets to tell [read more]

09:04 EDT

[JURIST] Svetlana Bakhmina [advocacy website], a lawyer for the Russian oil company Yukos [corporate website; JURIST news archive], was convicted Wednesday of tax evasion and embezzlement for her part in a scheme to strip assets worth over $300 million from a Yukos subsidiary. Bakhmina was sentenced to seven years at [read more]

08:04 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's international brief, at least three protestors were killed in Kathmandu as hundreds violated a day-long curfew in the capital city ordered by the Nepalese government aimed at breaking the continued pro-democracy protests [JURIST news archive] staged against the rule of King Gyanendra [official profile, BBC profile]. The [read more]

08:04 EDT

[JURIST] According to figures compiled by Amnesty International [advocacy website], 2,148 people were executed around the world in 2005, with the most executions being performed in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the US. In its report [text] released Thursday, Amnesty noted that China executed 94 percent of the total number, [read more]

07:04 EDT

[JURIST] A Bosnian immigrant admitted in a US district court Wednesday that he lied to US immigration officers [JURIST report] about his participation in ethnic cleansing during the Bosnian War when he allegedly participated in the 1995 killings of 1,200 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica. Marko Boskic currently lives [read more]

07:04 EDT

[JURIST] Efforts to identify a country willing to take in former Liberian President Charles Taylor [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] after his war crimes trial at The Hague are now focused on Denmark, according to diplomats speaking on the condition of anonymity. A request has been made informally by US [read more]

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