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Legal news from Friday, June 1, 2007

[JURIST] Gen. Sonthi Boonyaratglin [BBC profile], the leader of Thailand's 2006 bloodless coup [JURIST report], said Friday on state television that he backs amnesty for ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC profile] and his party leaders. The remarks follow Wednesday's Constitutional Court [official website, in Thai] ruling that banned Shinawatra … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia [official website] Friday ruled against [decision, PDF] Internet telephone (VoIP - Voice over Internet Protocol) provider Vonage [corporate website] in its challenge to 2006 FCC rules [PDF text; press release, PDF] requiring VoIP providers to contribute to the Universal … [read more]

[JURIST] Dennis Edney, a Canadian civilian lawyer for Canadian Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Omar Khadr [Trial Watch profile; JURIST news archive], said Friday that his client would not work out a plea deal with the US military because it would require Khadr to serve 30 years in prison … [read more]

[JURIST] Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) [party website, in Turkish; Wikipedia backgrounder] Friday announced plans to hold a national referendum to decide whether the country's president will be elected by popular vote instead of by parliament. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan [BBC profile] said the referendum could be … [read more]

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of the Philippines [official website] ruled Friday that there was insufficient evidence [opinion text] to support charges of rebellion against six leftist congressional representatives alleged to have plotted a coup [JURIST report] to oust President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo [official website; BBC profile] in 2006. The court held … [read more]

[JURIST] President George W. Bush strongly condemned the Iran's detention of four Iran-Americans Friday, saying in a statement [text] that "they should be freed immediately and unconditionally." Bush named Dr. Haleh Esfandiari [WWC profile], Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh [OSI press release], Ali Shakeri [academic profile] and Radio Farda [media website] correspondent … [read more]

[JURIST] The government of Pakistan [official website; JURIST news archive] Friday instituted a two-month ban on unauthorized rallies of more than five people in the capital city of Islamabad. The move came only one day before a planned march from Islamabad to the city of Abbotabad to protest the dismissal … [read more]

[JURIST] Ethiopian special prosecutor Joseph Kiros told Reuters Friday that the Ethiopian government will seek to raise the sentence of convicted former dictator Mengistu Haile Miriam [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] from a life in prison to the death penalty when an appeal commences June 12. Dozens of former officials … [read more]

[JURIST] Approximately a thousand demonstrators gathered in Bangkok Thursday to protest a Wednesday order [JURIST report] by the Constitutional Court [official website, in Thai] of Thailand banning former Prime Minister Thaksin Sinawatra [BBC profile] and 110 other Thai Rak Thai (TRT) [party website] officials from holding political offices for five … [read more]

[JURIST] China's new "Enterprise Bankruptcy" law came into effect Friday, officially introducing broad sweeping regulations governing the resolution of outstanding business debts for the first time in China [JURIST news archive], which is gradually amending its laws to address the changing conditions brought about by China's quick transition to a … [read more]

[JURIST] Jack Kevorkian [BBC profile], a former doctor convicted of second degree murder for assisting the suicide of a patient with Lou Gehrig's disease, was released from prison in Michigan Friday after serving 8 years. Kevorkian, who will remain on parole for two more years, has pledged that he will … [read more]

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] Friday confirmed [press release] the transfer to The Hague of newly arrested [JURIST report] Bosnian Serb war crimes indictee Zdravko Tolimir [ICTY case backgrounder, PDF]. Tolimir, a former Assistant Commander for Intelligence and Security of the Main Staff … [read more]

[JURIST] The US District Court for the District of Colombia Thursday dismissed [opinion, PDF] a derivative lawsuit filed by shareholders of home financial services corporation Fannie Mae [corporate website] to force former CEO Franklin D. Raines, former CFO J. Timothy Howard, and other former board members and executives involved in … [read more]

[JURIST] Myanmar's extended detention of democracy advocate and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi [advocacy website; BBC profile] violates the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights [texts], the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention [official website] ruled in an … [read more]

[JURIST] A Polish court Thursday sentenced 15 riot police officers involved in the 1981 shooting deaths of nine coal miners, handing down sentences ranging from eleven years to at least two and half years in prison. The coal miners were protesting a martial law [Polish government backgrounder; JURIST report] crackdown … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence [official website] questioned whether the secret CIA detention and interrogation program "is the best means to obtain a full and reliable intelligence debriefing of a detainee" in a report [PDF text] published Thursday to accompany the 2008 intelligence appropriations bill [S 1538, … [read more]

[JURIST] US military officials Thursday identified [press release, PDF] a deceased Saudi Arabian detainee who apparently committed suicide [JURIST report] at the military prison Wednesday as Abdul Rahman Ma'ath Thafir al-Amri. Joint Task Force-Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO)[official website] said in press release that al-Amri, a 34-year-old Saudi military veteran held at Guantanamo … [read more]

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