Legal news from Friday, March 30, 2007
17:03 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] defended his role in the firings of federal prosecutors [JURIST news archive] Friday, admitting that there has been some confusion but that his involvement in the matter was limited to signing off on recommendations made by his former chief of staff Kyle [read more]

16:03 EDT

[JURIST] Judge Arthur Hunter [JURIST news archive] of the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court [official website] issued a delayed order for the release and suspension of prosecution for as many as 42 criminal defendants Friday in light of the fact that the city's public defender's office [official website] does not [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri [DOD profile, PDF page 7; JURIST news archive], the suspected mastermind of the 2000 USS Cole bombing [DOD inquiry report; JURIST news archive] and a Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee, said his confession to the attacks was coerced through five years of torture, according to [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks violated federal rules against sharing non-public endangered species information with private industry groups, according to an investigative report released Thursday. Julie MacDonald, who joined the Bush administration in 2002, admitted that she gave internal US Interior Department [official website] [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] A ground-breaking UN disabilities rights treaty [JURIST news archive] opened for signature [UN press release] Friday. The treaty would protect the 650 million persons living with disabilities worldwide [UN fact sheet] and is expected to be signed by more than 70 countries. The Convention on the Rights of Persons [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (D) [official profile] said Friday he plans to reverse the restrictions placed on stem cell research by former governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney [official profile; JURIST news archive]. Patrick emphasized during a meeting with the state Life Sciences Collaborative that "life sciences should [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] The UN Human Rights Council [official website] passed a resolution Friday calling on Sudan [JURIST news archive] to allow a group of rights experts to visit the region of Darfur [JURIST news archive], but did not actually criticize the Sudanese government for the atrocities occurring there. The resolution passed [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] New US Defense Secretary Robert Gates [official profile] said Thursday that the White House and Congress should collaborate to close the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] by transferring the more dangerous detainees elsewhere. Gates told the US House Defense Appropriations Committee [official website] that less [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] The judge presiding over the military commission [JURIST news archive] for Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks [JURIST news archive] said Friday that Hicks would be be subject to a maximum seven-year prison sentence under the terms of his plea bargain. The judge's comments came the day after the [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] Thailand Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont [BBC profile; official website] declined a request to declare a state of emergency in Bangkok Friday, although he said he had not ruled out the possibility of doing so in the future. Military officials had sought the declaration to crack down on critics of [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] Bangladesh [JURIST news archive] on Friday executed six Islamic militants convicted in the 2005 murders of two judges [JURIST report]. Authorities previously stated that the executions were scheduled to occur in April [JURIST report]. The six militants, members of the banned Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh and the Jagrata Muslim Janata [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Thua Thien Hue Provincial People's Court in Vietnam [JURIST news archive] sentenced dissident Catholic priest Father Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly [Amnesty backgrounder] to eight years' imprisonment Friday for distributing anti-government documents and communicating with foreign pro-democracy activists. Ly had been accused of "harming national security" by advocating boycotts [read more]

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