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Legal news from Tuesday, June 13, 2006

[JURIST] The US Department of Defense [official website] has rejected a demand by Amnesty International [advocacy website] for an independent investigation into last weekend's three detainee suicides [JURIST report] at the Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detention center. A Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday that no independent probe was needed and … [read more]

[JURIST] The new US Army Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogation [current text] will not contain a classified section, despite warnings from some in the Department of Defense [official website] that disclosing certain techniques would undermine the ability of interrogators to extract information, military officials said Tuesday. Interrogation techniques originally slated … [read more]

[JURIST] Former Atlanta mayor Bill Campbell [Wikipedia profile] was sentenced to 2 1/2 years imprisonment Tuesday for three tax evasion charges on which he was convicted in March [JURIST report]. Judge Richard Story of the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia [official website] also ordered Campbell to … [read more]

[JURIST] A former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration [official website] testified in a deposition [text, PDF] that the agency postponed a decision to allow over-the-counter sales of Plan B emergency contraceptives [product backgrounder] while it considered how to restrict nonprescription access only to females 17 and older. … [read more]

[JURIST] Lawyers for three men Arab Muslim men argued before the Supreme Court of Canada [official website] Tuesday that a program allowing the government to indefinitely detain and deport foreigners with suspected ties to terrorism is unconstitutional. The three men - Adil Charkaoui, Hassan Almrei and Mohamed Harkat [case summaries] … [read more]

[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan [official website] told the UN Security Council [official website] Tuesday that he has asked the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights [official website] to establish an independent commission that will investigate the recent surge in violence [JURIST report] in East Timor [JURIST news archive]. "The … [read more]

[JURIST] The Egyptian Parliament [official website] has sent an anticipated judicial reform bill prepared by the Ministry of Justice back to Egypt's Cabinet to iron out controversial points, including the Justice Ministry's right to assess the performance of judges, the role of the Supreme Judiciary Council (SJC) in supervising judges, … [read more]

[JURIST] A federal judge has granted a defense request to dismiss a criminal charge [indictment, PDF] that W.R. Grace & Co. [corporate website] and its executives knowingly endangered miners and residents of Libby, Montana [city website] by concealing health risks from asbestos contained in vermiculite [EPA backgrounder]. Chief US District … [read more]

[JURIST] The American Medical Association [official website] has passed a measure clarifying its ethical guidelines [press release], which prohibit doctors from participating in torture or coercive interrogations. The AMA on Monday reiterated its contention that a doctor's duty is to heal a patient, and cannot take any part in prisoner … [read more]

[JURIST] As expected [JURIST report], the new government of Nepal [official website; JURIST news archive] dropped terrorism charges against 190 Maoist rebels on Tuesday and freed them from jails in nine cities, a Home Ministry spokesman said. About 160 rebels are still incarcerated but will be released once courts issue … [read more]

[JURIST] The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) [advocacy website] will visit the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] in the coming days, in an effort to assess the overall mood of the camp in the wake of three detainee suicides [JURIST report] last weekend. Though … [read more]

[JURIST] The Libyan retrial of five Bulgarian nurses [JURIST report] and one Palestinian doctor accused of infecting over 400 patients, primarily children, with the HIV virus, resumed Tuesday before presiding judge Mahmoud Haouissa adjourned until June 20, stating that the prosecution and defense both need additional time to prepare evidence … [read more]

[JURIST] US District Judge Frank Damrell of the US District Court for the Eastern District of California [official website] dismissed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] brought by atheist Michael Newdow [case website] against the US government, arguing that the words "In God We Trust" on US currency violate Newdow's rights under … [read more]

[JURIST] Australian Attorney General Philip Ruddock [official website] said on Tuesday that Australia's national government has overturned [press release] the recent Civil Unions Bill 2006 [legislative materials] enacted by the legislature in the Australian Capital Territory [official website], the federal district that includes the capital city Canberra. The government of … [read more]

[JURIST] Judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman [BBC profile], the chief judge in the Saddam Hussein trial [JURIST news archive], told the courtroom Tuesday that this would be the last day the court would hear defense witnesses, fostering speculation that the trial will end soon. Abdel-Rahman cut off defense witnesses despite complaints by … [read more]

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union [advocacy website] on Monday asked the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] to force the US Central Intelligence Agency [official website] to turn over two documents relating to the CIA's overseas interrogation practices under the ACLU's Freedom of Information Act … [read more]

[JURIST] Karl Rove [official profile], President Bush's top political advisor, will not face criminal charges in the three-year investigation into the leak of a CIA operative's name [JURIST news archive], according to a letter Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald [official profile; investigation website] sent to Rove's attorney Robert Luskin on Monday. … [read more]

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