Legal news from Friday, July 6, 2007
20:07 EDT

[JURIST] Investigators searched the offices of former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin [official profile, in French; JURIST news archive] on Friday as part of a probe into an alleged smear campaign conducted against Villepin political rival and now French President Nicolas Sarkozy [official profile; BBC profile]. In 2004, a [read more]

19:07 EDT

[JURIST] The Duma [official website, in Russian], the lower house of the Russian parliament, Friday approved legislative amendments to change the prevailing definition of extremist crime in Russian law to include activities taken for "political or ideological hatred." Opponents of the legislation criticized the amendments as an attempt to curtail [read more]

18:07 EDT

[JURIST] Serbia will arrest wanted war crimes fugitive Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic [ICTY case backgrounder; JURIST news archive] and transfer him to the UN war crimes tribunal at The Hague within the year, President Boris Tadic [official website] said Friday. Tadic told reporters that he considered the capture [read more]

18:07 EDT

[JURIST] Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash) [official website] announced Friday he will ask the US Supreme Court [official website] to rule on whether he had a First Amendment right to turn over an illegally taped telephone call conversation to the media that involved House Republican leaders. In 1996, McDermott leaked a [read more]

16:07 EDT

[JURIST] The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) [official website; JURIST news archive] has increased to approximately $100,000 a month the funds available for former Liberian president Charles Taylor [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] to defend himself in his ongoing war crimes trial. The allocation includes money for a legal [read more]

16:07 EDT

[JURIST] US military prosecutors have filed an appeal against a military judge's decision to dismiss charges against Guantanamo detainee Omar Ahmed Khadr [TrialWatch profile; JURIST news archive], according to the Department of Defense (DOD) Friday. In late June, Judge Peter E. Brownback III reiterated his earlier ruling [order, PDF] dismissing [read more]

15:07 EDT

[JURIST] A Bangladeshi court jailed UN human rights expert Sigma Huda [official profile, DOC] Thursday, pending a trial over allegations connecting her to a government corruption case [JURIST news archive]. Prosecutors allege Huda assisted her husband, former Bangladeshi communications minister Nazmul Huda, in extorting almost $300,000 USD from a construction [read more]

14:07 EDT

[JURIST] Russia expressed displeasure with the UK Friday over British refusal [press release] to prosecute exiled business tycoon Boris Berezovsky [Wikipedia profile] for his calls to overthrow Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website]. Berezovsky, who has been living in the UK since 2001 as a refugee, called for a regime [read more]

14:07 EDT

[JURIST] The Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court on Friday convicted former Pharmaceutical Registration Department Director Cao Wenzhuan of corruption and dereliction of duty [JURIST report] for receiving approximately $316,000 in bribes from two pharmaceutical companies in exchange for certifying substandard drugs at the State Food and Drug Administration [official [read more]

14:07 EDT

[JURIST] South Dakota is preparing to hold its first execution in 60 years next week, AP reported Friday. The execution was halted [JURIST report] last year by Governor Mike Rounds [official website], but the passage of new lethal injection protocols [text] in February cleared up the legal concerns that led [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] Italy's Superior Council of the Magistracy (CSM) [official website, in Italian], the country's top self-governing judiciary body, has accused the Italian Intelligence and Security Service (SISMI) under the government of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] of spying on approximately 200 judges and magistrates that [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] has denied [order, PDF] a prosecution motion [PDF text] which sought to move the trial of former Bosnian army commander Rasim Delic [ICTY case backgrounder, PDF; Trial Watch profile] out of the international court at The Hague. Prosecutors [read more]

12:07 EDT

[JURIST] Mizanur Rahman was convicted Thursday in a UK court of inciting murder during a February 2006 protest [BBC report] against the publication of cartoons of the prophet Muhammad [JURIST news archive]. Rahman, who has already been convicted for inciting racial hatred [JURIST report] during the rally at the Danish [read more]

12:07 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Cecilia Altonaga upheld torture charges [indictment, PDF; JURIST report] Thursday against the son of former Liberian President Charles Taylor, Charles McArthur Emmanuel [JURIST news archive], rejecting Emmanuel's argument that a federal anti-torture statute [18 USC 2340A text] exceeds Congressional authority because it criminalizes behavior of foreign [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has rejected [PDF text] a lawsuit challenging the government's domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive], ruling Friday that the lawsuit should be dismissed because the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the suit. The ACLU filed the lawsuit [complaint, PDF; ACLU [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyer Kenneth R. Feinberg [corporate profile] was appointed Thursday to head the distribution effort [press release] of the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund [academic website] established to aid victims and families of the April 16 massacre at Virginia Tech [JURIST news archive] that left 33 people dead and 25 wounded [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] A US Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) [official website] spokesperson has confirmed that up to 10 US Marines are currently under investigation for the alleged killing of at least eight Iraqi detainees during the Multinational National Force-Iraq's November 2004 offensive in Fallujah [GlobalSecurity backgrounder]. The latest allegations surfaced when [read more]

08:07 EDT

[JURIST] Thailand's Constitution Drafting Assembly approved a final draft of a new constitution Friday, paving the way for an August 19 constitutional referendum and possible general elections in December. The 100-member body, appointed by the military, unanimously approved the 309-article draft presented [JURIST report] by the 35-member Constitutional Drafting Committee [read more]

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