Legal news from Tuesday, May 30, 2006
20:05 EDT

[JURIST] A Jordanian court on Tuesday convicted the editors of two national newspapers and sentenced them to two months' imprisonment for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad [JURIST news archive] that incited protests and violence across the Muslim world earlier this year after first appearing last September in Danish newspaper [read more]

19:05 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for the US Department of Justice [official website] argued in a federal court filing Tuesday that the government has no legal obligation to return documents seized by the FBI [JURIST report] from the office of Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) [official website], who is under investigation in connection with [read more]

19:05 EDT

[JURIST] Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki [BBC profile] said Tuesday that the Iraqi government will launch its own probe into the allegations that US Marines killed two dozen Iraqi civilians and militants in the city of Haditha in November 2005. Reports that the killings were carried out by the Marines [read more]

16:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Georgia Supreme Court [official website] on Tuesday agreed to fast-track the state's appeal of a lower court ruling [order, PDF] striking down a state constitutional amendment [text] banning same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] as unconstitutional. Oral arguments are scheduled for June 27. Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) [official website] [read more]

15:05 EDT

[JURIST] An appeals court in Uzbekistan [JURIST news archive] on Tuesday upheld an eight-year prison term for human rights activist Mutabar Tojiboyeva [RFE/RL report], even though prosecutors had recommended a more lenient sentence. Tojiboyeva, a prominent critic of Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov [official profile; HRW profile] and head of the [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] Ireland broke European law by asking the United Nations [official website] to arbitrate its claim against the United Kingdom in respect of the Sellafield nuclear power plant [BNG backgrounder; BBC backgrounder], an EU court ruled [press release, PDF] Tuesday. Ireland sought arbitration from a UN tribunal in 2001, claiming [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that a jury in Rockville, Md. has convicted Washington, D.C.-area sniper John Allen Muhammad [BBC profile] of six counts of murder. The jurors heard four weeks of testimony [JURIST report] in the trial, in which Muhammad represented himself [JURIST report]. Muhammad has already been convicted and [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] The criminal justice system in Kosovo [JURIST news archive] is failing, Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] said Tuesday in a report [text; press release] focusing on the criminal justice response to renewed violence between Serbs and ethnic Albanians [BBC Q/A] that broke out in March 2004 in the [read more]

14:05 EDT

[JURIST] Thailand's Cabinet on Tuesday approved October 15 as the date for new elections just three weeks after the country's Constitutional Court annulled [JURIST report] last month's parliamentary elections [BBC report], finding that the Election Commission [official website] unconstitutionally organized the vote too soon after Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [official [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Tuesday granted certiorari in Philip Morris USA v. Williams [cert. petition and reply brief, PDF], 05-1256, a case involving the damages awarded in a wrongful death action against Philip Morris [corporate website] brought by the relatives of a longtime [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] A group that opposes South Dakota's abortion ban [text, PDF] announced Tuesday that it has gathered more than enough signatures to prevent the July 1 enactment of the law and place it on the ballot in November. The South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families [advocacy website and press release] [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] US Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) [official website], chairman of the US House Judiciary Committee [official website], said Tuesday that he intends to draft legislation that would shield congressional documents and materials from being seized in searches similar to the FBI raid [JURIST report] on the congressional office of Rep. [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] Australian Attorney-General Philip Ruddock [official website] said Tuesday that he is willing to revise [ABC World Today transcript] Australia's new sedition laws [summary], particularly the use of the word "sedition," after the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) [official website] released a discussion paper [text] Monday arguing that "sedition" implies [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] East Timor President Xanana Gusmao [official profile; BBC profile] said Tuesday that he is taking control of national security and defense in response to the increasing and often violent unrest [BBC report; UNOTIL updates] related to the March firing of 600 troops that went on strike [BBC report]. By [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] Saudi Arabia has freed three former Guantanamo Bay detainees who were repatriated [JURIST report] there last year. According to an Interior Ministry source, the three "admitted to have been present in troubled areas without obtaining the consent of their parents or permission from the country's authority in addition to [read more]

10:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Monday held that First Amendment protections do not extend to government employees for comments made while performing their official duties, even when the employee is acting to expose alleged government wrongdoing. In a 5-4 decision in Garcetti v. Ceballos [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] The European Court of Justice [official website] ruled [text; press release, PDF] Tuesday that an agreement [PDF text] between the European Union [JURIST news archive] and the US that compels European airlines to disclose information about passengers flying from Europe to the US is illegal. The so-called passenger name [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] President Bush on Memorial Day signed into law [White House statement] the Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act [HR 5037 summary; PDF text], legislation barring protests near military funerals originally passed in the US House of Representatives [JURIST report] and approved last week by the Senate [JURIST report]. The [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] complained Tuesday that chief judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman [BBC profile] of the Iraqi High Criminal Court is not giving the defense in Hussein's trial [JURIST news archive] the same consideration the prosecution was given while presenting its case. Abdel-Rahman has decreased his tolerance for a [read more]

08:05 EDT

[JURIST] A court in South Korea [JURIST news archive] on Tuesday sentenced Kim Woo-choong [Wikipedia profile], founder of collapsed conglomerate Daewoo Group [corporate website], to ten years in prison and ordered him to pay a fine of over $10,000 while forfeiting $22 billion gained through embezzlement and accounting fraud. Kim [read more]

08:05 EDT

[JURIST] A Belarus court on Monday sentenced Sergei Lyashkevich, an official who helped run the campaign of opposition presidential candidate Alexander Milinkevich [campaign website; Wikipedia profile], to five months in jail for training and paying people to riot during the protests that ensued after the March presidential election [JURIST report]. [read more]

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