Legal news from Wednesday, January 24, 2007
19:01 EDT

[JURIST] Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert urged Israeli President Moshe Katsav [official profile] to step down Wednesday in the face of possible charges of rape and sexual harassment [JURIST report]. Haaretz quoted Olmert as saying that "In these circumstances there is no doubt in my heart that the president cannot [read more]

18:01 EDT

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives [official website] Wednesday passed a resolution [text] which would amend House rules to grant limited voting rights to federal lawmakers from five US nonstate territories. The resolution, introduced January 19, would extend certain Congressional voting rights to delegates from the District of Columbia, Puerto [read more]

18:01 EDT

[JURIST] The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website; JURIST news archive] will rule January 29 [ICC press release] on whether war crimes charges [indictment, PDF; additional case materials] will be confirmed against Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga [JURIST news archive; TrialWatch backgrounder], a move that would make Lubanga the first [read more]

18:01 EDT

[JURIST] Turkish prosecutors have charged five people in connection with the murder of Hrant Dink [BBC profile], the Turkish-Armenian journalist who was shot and killed [JURIST report] last week. The five are accused of belonging to an armed gang, and prosecutors are investigating whether other political or illegal organizations are [read more]

17:01 EDT

[JURIST] Ex-Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega [Wikipedia backgrounder], who has spent the last 17 years in US custody, including 15 years in federal prison on drug trafficking and racketeering charges, is to be released on September 9, 2007 [official release date], according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons [official website]. Noriega, [read more]

15:01 EDT

[JURIST] The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals [court website] heard oral arguments Wednesday on whether criminal conspiracy charges brought against former US Rep. Tom Delay [JURIST news archive] were properly dismissed at trial. Charges of conspiracy to violate election law and conspiracy to commit money laundering were dismissed [JURIST report] [read more]

14:01 EDT

[JURIST] Ukraine political leaders have reached a compromise in a dispute over recently passed legislation that Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko [official website; BBC profile] threatened to challenge in court after claiming that it would illegally expand the cabinet's power at the expense of the presidency. Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych [BBC [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon [official website] said Wednesday in response to a press question about Italy's recent push for an international death penalty moratorium [IPS report] that he supports the international trend towards abolishing the death penalty. Ban came under fire from human rights groups earlier this month [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] Sri Lanka is "complicit or willfully blind" to the child conscription efforts of the rebel group Karuna [Wikipedia backgrounder], according to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report [text; press release] published Wednesday that alleges the government has helped Karuna abduct children to fight against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] The Russian Constitutional Court [RIN backgrounder] will now hold its sessions in St. Petersburg, rather than its current Moscow location, after Russia's Federation Council [official website; MosNews backgounder] voted 147-2 to approve the authorizing bill. The bill, which was approved by the Russian State Duma [JURIST report] in December, [read more]

11:01 EDT

[JURIST] Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen [official profile; BBC profile] on Tuesday called for the European constitution [official website; JURIST news archive] to be in place before the 2009 European parliamentary elections. Rasmussen acknowledged that some changes to the current draft constitution [text] may be necessary after voters in [read more]

10:01 EDT

[JURIST] Over 450 illegal immigrants out of over 750 taken into custody have already been deported by US immigration authorities after a week-long crackdown in five counties in southern California, officials at the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) [official website] announced Tuesday. Of those taken into custody, 338 were [read more]

09:01 EDT

[JURIST] UK Home Secretary John Reid, Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer and Attorney General Lord Goldsmith [official profiles] wrote to British judges [HO press release] on Wednesday urging them to limit imposition of prison sentences to only the most dangerous criminals in order to help the government deal with prison overcrowding [read more]

07:01 EDT

[JURIST] The trial of 29 people suspected of involvement in the 2004 Madrid train bombings [JURIST news archive] will begin on February 15, according to an announcement from the Spanish National Court Tuesday. At least three of the 29 suspects [JURIST report] are expected to take the stand as a [read more]

07:01 EDT

[JURIST] UK Director of Public Prosecutions Ken Macdonald [official profile] said Tuesday that there is no "war on terror" in Britain and warned that inappropriate measures driven by fear threaten an accused's right to a fair trial. In a speech [excerpts, via the Guardian] delivered to the UK Criminal Bar [read more]

06:01 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge in Chicago has dismissed [NHLPA press release] a lawsuit [complaint, PDF; JURIST report] filed by a group of NHL players against Ted Saskin, head of the National Hockey League Players' Association [organization website]. Judge Suzanne B. Conlon of the US District Court for the Northern District [read more]

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