Legal news from Thursday, July 6, 2006
20:07 EDT

[JURIST] Former US Army soldier Steven Green pleaded not guilty Thursday in US District Court to rape and murder charges [JURIST report; criminal complaint via FindLaw] in connection with the death of an Iraqi woman and three of her relatives in Mahmudiya [JURIST news archive] in March. Green also agreed [read more]

19:07 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] turned to the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Thursday, asking it to investigate alleged violations of law regarding his treatment and that of defense witnesses by US personnel. A copy of the application obtained by AFP argued that the Iraqi trial [read more]

19:07 EDT

[JURIST] Five special rapporteurs making up the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention [official website] in the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights [official website] on Thursday called on the US [press release] to set a date for closing its detention facility at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. [read more]

16:07 EDT

[JURIST] Mexican ruling party candidate Felipe Calderon [campaign website, in Spanish; Wikipedia profile] narrowly won Sunday's presidential election [JURIST report] with some 220,000 votes more than leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador [campaign website, in Spanish; Wikipedia profile], according to official results released Thursday by Mexico's Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) [read more]

15:07 EDT

[JURIST] The European Parliament adopted an interim report [press release] Thursday that agrees with earlier findings by the Council of Europe (COE) that European states were complicit in alleged incidents of CIA extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive]. The report [EP materials] criticizes European nations for failing to act or complying [read more]

14:07 EDT

[JURIST] Iraqi officials and local leaders have stepped up pressure on the US military to take swift corrective action in the face of allegations that troops raped an Iraqi woman and murdered her and her family near the town of Mahmudiya in March. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Thursday "We [read more]

14:07 EDT

[JURIST] Work on the new interim constitution of strife-torn Nepal [JURIST news archive] formally began Thursday, the six-person Interim Constitution Drafting Committee (ICDC) announced at a press conference. The ICDC, formed three weeks ago in a historic contract [text; JURIST report] between the interim government and Maoist rebels, expects to [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] Iraqi President Jalal Talabani [official website, in Arabic; BBC profile] has criticized Iraq's recently-announced most-wanted list [JURIST report; AP translation], implicitly taking National Security Adviser Mowafaq al-Rubai'i to task for including two women, Saddam Hussein's eldest daughter Raghad and first wife Sajida [Wikipedia profiles]. On Thursday Talabani also expressed [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] Hollinger Inc. [corporate website], the Canadian holding company with an interest in the newspaper publisher Hollinger International [corporate website], filed a lawsuit Thursday in an Ontario court against former CEO Conrad Black [CBC profile; JURIST news archive] and other former Hollinger associates requesting damages in excess of $700 million. [read more]

12:07 EDT

[JURIST] The Florida Supreme Court [official website] on Thursday rejected [opinion, PDF] a record-setting jury verdict that had awarded $145 billion in punitive damages in a class action challenge brought by smokers [JURIST report] against tobacco companies. The Court vacated the punitive damages award, unanimously concluding it was "excessive as [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] An Israeli military tribunal Wednesday extended the detentions of five Palestinian Hamas lawmakers for an additional five days. The five - four MPs and one cabinet member - challenged the authority of the Israel Defense Forces [official website] court at the Ofer military base in the West Bank to [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that the Georgia Supreme Court [official website] has upheld the state's ban on same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] contained in a 2004 constitutional amendment [text]. In May, a lower court judge ruled the ban unconstitutional [order, PDF; JURIST report] because the amendment violated the single-subject rule, [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] North Korea [JURIST news archive] on Thursday claimed it has a "legal right" to build and test missiles in an effort to strengthen self-defense, in a statement from the foreign ministry which also confirmed that the country test-launched seven missiles [VOA report] earlier this week. North Korea also promised [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] Google is prepared to file antitrust complaints against Internet broadband providers if Congress fails to pass effective net neutrality legislation, Google Vice President Vinton Cerf [official profile] has told a press conference in Bulgaria. Cerf suggested that the claims could be based on service providers exploiting their control over [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] France has responded to reports [JURIST report] that its intelligence agents interviewed six former Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees now on trial [JURIST report] in Paris while they were detained at the US prison, saying that the agents visited the detainees for the administrative purposes of identifying the [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] Gunmen ambushed and killed a former Iraqi judge on Thursday in western Baghdad, also wounding his son and driver, according to Iraqi police. Saleh Hassan Yass al-Awsi, a Sunni, was among those removed from office by the Iraqi government's Debaathification Commission [official website, in Arabic] and was a strong [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] The sudden death of former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay [JURIST report] on Wednesday presents the legal system, Lay's family and Lay's own legacy with major challenges, according to a University of Houston law professor who closely followed the trial that led to Lay's conviction this spring. In a Thursday [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] The US House Committee on Government Reform [official website] is waiting for the US Defense Department and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to comply with a subpoena [press release] seeking to compel the Pentagon to turn over several documents, including all drafts of a key report in the Abu Ghraib [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] The New York Court of Appeals [official website], the state's highest court, ruled Thursday morning that New York's ban on same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] is not unconstitutional. The ruling [PDF] comes in four consolidated cases [JURIST report] where attorneys representing 48 gay and lesbian couples argued [recorded video] [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] Georgia's latest attempt to implement photo identification cards for voters was challenged Wednesday by the ACLU and other voting rights advocates, who filed a motion [PDF text] in federal district court seeking a preliminary injunction, arguing that the bill [SB 84 materials] authorizing the cards violates the Equal Protection [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony [BBC profile] must be arrested, a spokesman for the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] said Wednesday, a day after Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni [official website; BBC profile] promised Kony conditional amnesty [JURIST report]. The ICC spokesman told the Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] The Russian Duma [official website, in Russian], the lower house of parliament, overwhelmingly passed a draft law Wednesday that would give Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website, English version] the right to use Russia's armed forces and secret services abroad for counterterrorism measures. Putin asked parliament for greater counterterrorism [read more]

07:07 EDT

[JURIST] US Army prosecutors charged [charge sheet, PDF; Army press release, PDF] 1st Lt. Ehren Watada [advocacy website; Wikipedia profile] late Wednesday in connection with his refusal to deploy to Iraq with the rest of his unit last week. Watada announced in early June that he would not deploy because [read more]

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