Legal news from Thursday, May 25, 2006
20:05 EDT

[JURIST] As many as 300 reformist judges in Egypt who have called for more judicial independence [JURIST report] from the government led by President Hosni Mubarak [official profile] staged a silent protest in front of the High Court Thursday as hundreds of protesters cheered. Though protesters were greatly outnumbered by [read more]

20:05 EDT

[JURIST] In a reversal of his position from only a day earlier, Bosnian Prime Minister Adnan Terzic [BBC profile] announced Thursday that he would form a commission to probe war crimes carried out in the current capital city of Sarajevo [official website] during the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s. Terzic, [read more]

18:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate [official website] has approved the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 [S 2611 summary] by a vote of 62-36 [roll call]. The bill would set millions of illegal immigrants on a path to potential citizenship and would authorize a temporary worker program. Thirty-two of the thirty-six [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] A three-judge panel of the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals [official website] heard defense arguments in the appeal of three guilty bench verdicts handed down in 2004 to three US Muslims in the 'Virginia Jihad network' case [JURIST report]. Masoud Khan was convicted of conspiracy to levy war [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] Following an order from the British Information Commissioner, UK Attorney General Lord Goldsmith [official profile] on Thursday made public additional details [disclosure statement text] concerning the process surrounding the release of his March 7, 2003 memorandum [text] expressing some reservations about the legality of the pending war against Iraq [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US House Judiciary Committee [official website] on Thursday voted 20-13 to approve the full committee markup of the Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act of 2006 [HR 5417 text], the 'net neutrality' bill sponsored by Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI). The bill applies federal antitrust law to alleged breaches [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Treasury Department [official website] announced on Thursday that it will no longer defend [press release] in court the federal excise tax on long-distance telephone calls [Tax Foundation backgrounder], and will issue refunds to taxpayers of all monies paid on the tax since litigation began three years ago. [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for former Russian nuclear minister Yevgeny Adamov [Kommersant profile; JURIST news archive] announced Thursday their intention to appeal to the Russian Supreme Court a Moscow City Court decision [RIA Novosti report] to extend Adamov's detention until June 8. The defense lawyers said the extension was "groundless," and argued [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] Sameeh Hammoudeh, a co-defendant in a Florida terrorism case with former University of South Florida computer science professor Sami Al-Arian [advocacy website; JURIST report], was deported earlier this week, according to Hammoudeh's attorney. Federal officials took Hammoudeh to his home state of Jordan on Tuesday, where he crossed the [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] US House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) has said that his committee will hold an oversight hearing [press release] into the constitutionality of the FBI's 18-hour raid [JURIST report] last Saturday night of the congressional offices of Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) [official website]. The FBI says it videotaped [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] CNN is reporting that the jury in the 16-week criminal fraud and conspiracy case against Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling [Houston Chronicle profiles] has found both defendants guilty. Lay and Skilling were charged [final redacted indictment, PDF] with multiple counts of fraud and criminal conspiracy for providing investors with [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] A US bankruptcy judge in New York City on Thursday declined to extend an order to block the sale of the controlling stake of Mazeikiu Nafta [corporate website], the largest oil refinery owned by crippled oil company Yukos [corporate website; JURIST news archive]. As a result, Yukos is expected [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] A panel of federal judges headed by US District Judge D. Brock Hornby [official profile] of Maine has begun considering whether members of the federal bench should have their way paid to private seminars. Federal judges are currently allowed to go on expense-paid trips as long as they report [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] Belarus [JURIST news archive] plans to appeal decisions by the European Union and the United States to ban Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko [official website; BBC profile] and other top government officials from entering their jurisdictions, according to a Lukashenko spokesman. Lukashenko on Tuesday instructed his government to prepare appeals [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] Congress has approved and sent to President Bush for his signature a measure designed to prevent demonstrators from getting close to military funerals at national cemeteries. The US Senate approved the final version of the Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act [HR 5037 summary; PDF text] by unanimous consent [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker [official profile], whose country held the EU presidency when France and the Netherlands [JURIST reports] voted against the European constitution, said Thursday that Germany's push to ratify the European Constitution [official website, text; JURIST news archive] will not be easy. German Chancellor Angela Merkel [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice [official website] argued Wednesday in a court filing that the US courts have traditionally been "ill-equipped" to judge harm to national security and that the executive branch should therefore decide whether information surrounding the US National Security Agency (NSA) [official website] domestic surveillance program [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] A Tokyo District Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by South Korean families seeking damages for affronting the dignity of South Korean soldiers by recording their names in the Yasukuni Shrine [official website; BBC backgrounder], which commemorates the 2.5 million casualties of Japanese conflicts since 1869. The soldiers, [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] A judge from the Iraqi town that is the focus of the ongoing Saddam Hussein trial [JURIST news archive] was abducted by gunmen Wednesday. Dujail Judge Walid Ahmed was kidnapped from his car on the highway between Tikrit and Samarra, according to an Interior Ministry source. It is unclear [read more]

08:05 EDT

[JURIST] US Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald [official website] suggested Wednesday that Vice President Dick Cheney may be a witness in the government's case against former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [defense profile; JURIST news archive], who is being prosecuted in connection to the leak of CIA operative Valerie [read more]

08:05 EDT

[JURIST] A high-ranking US Army officer testified Wednesday in the court-martial [JURIST report] of Sgt. Santos Cardona, the second of two soldiers accused of using unmuzzled dogs [JURIST report] to terrify detainees during interrogations at the Abu Ghraib [JURIST news archive] detention center in Iraq. Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller [read more]

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