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Legal news from Thursday, December 21, 2006

[JURIST] Advocacy groups must be allowed to run issue ads in the two-month period immediately prior to elections, a three-judge panel from the US District Court for the District of Columbia held [opinion, PDF] Thursday. The ruling was based on the US Supreme Court's January remand of Wisconsin Right to … [read more]

[JURIST] Former Tyco [corporate website; JURIST news archive] executive Richard "Skip" Heger reached a $450,000 settlement on financial reporting and record-keeping charges, the US Securities and Exchange Commission announced [press release] Thursday. The charges are connected to a fraud case in which Tyco agreed to pay a $50 million civil … [read more]

US Marines Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich was charged Thursday with 13 counts of murder in connection with the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha [JURIST report] last November, according to Wuterich's lawyer. Officials at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton [official website] are expected to announce charges against several … [read more]

[JURIST] The Zambian government will hold a national referendum on its proposed new constitution [draft constitution, PDF], Justice Minister George Kunda said Thursday. Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa [official profile] has to date voiced objections to the draft constitution proposed by the Constitution Review Process Implementation Committee, but has now agreed … [read more]

[JURIST] New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine signed into law Thursday legislation [PDF text] providing legal recognition to same-sex civil unions [JURIST news archive]. The New Jersey Legislature passed the civil unions bill last week in response to an October New Jersey Supreme Court ruling [PDF text; JURIST report] that same-sex … [read more]

[JURIST] Sandy Berger [Wikipedia profile], President Clinton's National Security Adviser from 1997 to 2001, hid classified documents from the National Archives [official website] under a construction trailer while preparing himself, Clinton administration witnesses and documents for testimony before the 9/11 Commission, according to a report [PDF] released Wednesday. Berger later … [read more]

[JURIST] The California Supreme Court [official website] agreed Wednesday to hear a case challenging California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive], after California Attorney General Bill Lockyer [official website] requested [JURIST report] that the Court review an intermediate appellate court's decision to uphold [JURIST report] the same-sex marriage … [read more]

[JURIST] The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) [official website] on Wednesday approved new rules [press release, PDF] to prevent local governments from blocking the entrance of companies in the cable television market, highlighting a sharp partisan divide in the five-person panel. The new rules will require local cable franchising authorities to … [read more]

[JURIST] Former US Attorney General and Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] defense lawyer Ramsey Clark [JURIST news archive] on Wednesday urged President Bush to keep Hussein and his Dujail trial [BBC trial timeline] co-defendants in US custody, expressing concern that Iraqi officials will torture the convicted defendants. Hussein and two … [read more]

[JURIST] Spain's High Court ruled Wednesday that it does not have jurisdiction to try former Argentinean naval officer Ricardo Miguel Cavallo [TrialWatch profile] for crimes committed during Argentina's "dirty war" [GlobalSecurity backgrounder]. Cavallo has been in Spanish custody since 2003 and early this year was charged with genocide [JURIST report], … [read more]

[JURIST] The Indonesian Supreme Court overturned the conviction of militant cleric Abu Bakar Bashir [BBC profile] Thursday, saying only that the decision was based on the testimony of some 30 witnesses. A written decision has not yet been released. Bashir was convicted on conspiracy charges [JURIST report] in early 2005 … [read more]

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