Legal news from Wednesday, March 21, 2007
20:03 EDT

[JURIST] A third US soldier pleaded guilty Wednesday for his role in the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl [JURIST news archive] and the murder of her family in the Mahmudiya area last March. Pfc. Bryan Howard pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit rape and premeditated murder and [read more]

19:03 EDT

[JURIST] Banned Egyptian opposition group the Muslim Brotherhood [party website, JURIST news archive] announced Wednesday that it plans to boycott [official statement] next week's referendum on controversial constitutional amendments [JURIST report] proposed last year by President Hosni Mubarak [official profile; JURIST news archive] and recently approved by lawmakers. The Brotherhood, [read more]

17:03 EDT

[JURIST] Former Vice President Al Gore [personal website] testified before US congressional committees Wednesday that global warming [EPA materials] is "a crisis that threatens the survival of our civilization and the habitability of the Earth." In his opening statement [prepared text, PDF; recorded video] to a joint session [hearing materials] [read more]

16:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Sex Professionals of Canada [advocacy website] (SPOC) announced Wednesday they will initiate an application with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice [website] alleging that three Canadian criminal offenses are unconstitutional under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms [text]. Prostitution is legal in Canada, but the advocacy group [read more]

16:03 EDT

[JURIST] Two independent UN rights experts voiced concern Wednesday over Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's recent suspension [JURIST report] of Pakistan Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry [official profile] for "misuse of office" and ensuing protests across the country. In a joint statement [press release], UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] Serge Brammertz [official profile], the deputy prosecutor of the International Criminal Court who is leading the UN's independent investigation [UN materials] into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive] told [video briefing] the UN Security Council Wednesday that he has made progress in [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit [official website] on Wednesday denied a petition for review [opinion text, PDF] of a 2004 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) order [FCC press release,PDF] preempting state regulation over Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) [FCC backgrounder] technology, such as Vonage and other [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Canadian government opened an official inquiry Wednesday into allegations by three Canadian citizens that Canadian security forces played a role in their arrest and alleged torture in Syria [JURIST news archive] between 2001 and 2004. Kuwaiti-born Ahmed Al Maati, Syrian-born Abdullah Almalki and Iraqi-born Muayyed Nureddin each claim [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal [official website] on Wednesday overturned [opinion text, PDF ] a $1.58 billion 2005 jury verdict awarded to billionaire financier and Revlon [corporate website] chairman Ron Perelman [corporate profile], finding that the plaintiffs failed to prove compensatory damages. Coleman Parent Holdings, Inc., of [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] A Nigerian senate committee indicted President Olusegun Obasanjo [official profile] and Vice President Atiku Abubakar [official profile; JURIST news archive] Wednesday on corruption charges for diverting public money to private interests. In February, a senate panel indicted Abubakar on corruption charges [JURIST report] for the alleged diversion of $145 [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [transcript, PDF] Wednesday in the case of Roper v. Weaver [Duke Law case backgrounder; merit briefs], 06-313, a case in which the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit overturned [PDF opinion] a capital sentence on [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Bush administration on Tuesday indicated it would veto HR 1433 [policy statement, PDF; HR 1433 text, PDF], a bill that would treat the Washington DC as its own Congressional district with voting rights. The policy statement said the bill would be unconstitutional, as the District of Columbia is [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] The upper house of the Jordanian parliament [official website] on Wednesday approved a bill that imposes stiff fines for journalists who defame any religion protected under the country's constitution [text] - i.e. Islam, Christianity or Judaism - or "offending the prophets" by writing or cartoons. The upper house dropped [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] Ecuador swore in 21 replacement legislators on Tuesday night, thus establishing a quorum for future legislative sessions after the Supreme Electoral Tribunal [official website, in Spanish] dismissed 57 of 100 lawmakers [JURIST report] in early March. The controversy began when Ecuador's unicameral Congress [official website, in Spanish] and President [read more]

11:03 EDT

[JURIST] A Russian judge has ordered imprisoned former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky [advocacy website; JURIST news archive] moved to a detention center in Moscow during an investigation into new embezzlement and money laundering charges [JURIST report], according to one of Khodorkovsky's defense lawyers. The court rejected the demands of prosecutors [read more]

11:03 EDT

[JURIST] A House Judiciary Committee panel on Wednesday authorized the committee chairman to subpoena former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove, former DOJ Chief of Staff Kyle Sampson [official profiles], who resigned two weeks ago [DOJ press release], and two DOJ aides to [read more]

07:03 EDT

[JURIST] Detainees held in secret prisons operated by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] throughout the globe were subject to abuse and sleep deprivation, according to a confidential report prepared by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) [official website]. In interviews with former detainees, the ICRC [read more]

07:03 EDT

[JURIST] Pakistani Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry [official profile] is accused of misusing his influence to get his son jobs and promotions, according to details released for the first time Wednesday. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf suspended [JURIST report] Chaudhry on March 9, but no details of the charges [read more]

07:03 EDT

[JURIST] US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) [official website] Stuart Bowen told the US Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that investigators will be employing stricter standards when dealing with companies performing contract work in Iraq that engage in war profiteering. During the committee hearing [materials], Bowen testified [prepared [read more]

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