Legal news from Thursday, August 16, 2007
21:08 EDT

[JURIST] US Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) [official website] on Thursday asked [press release; PDF text] Department of Justice Inspector General Glenn Fine to investigate potentially misleading or dishonest testimony given in previous hearings by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Specifically, Leahy urged Fine to [read more]

20:08 EDT

[JURIST] A former Marine sergeant has been charged with two counts of voluntary manslaughter for killing two Iraqi insurgents during the Multinational National Force-Iraq's November 2004 offensive in Fallujah [GlobalSecurity backgrounder], his lawyers said Thursday. Jose Nazario will be arraigned at the US District Court for the Central District of [read more]

19:08 EDT

[JURIST] Personal notes [PDF text] by FBI Director Robert Mueller released Thursday reveal that former US Attorney General John Ashcroft [official profile] was "feeble, barely articulate, [and] clearly stressed" when current Attorney General and then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales confronted him in his hospital room in March 2004 to obtain [read more]

14:08 EDT

[JURIST] A federal jury found Jose Padilla [JURIST news archive] and his two co-defendants guilty Thursday on all charges against them. Padilla, Adham Amin Hassoun, and Kifah Wael Jayyousi [GlobalSecurity profiles] were convicted of conspiracy to commit illegal violent acts outside the US, conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, [read more]

13:08 EDT

[JURIST] The lead counsel for former Liberian president Charles Taylor [BBC profile; SCSL case materials] Wednesday urged the UN Security Council to lift its travel ban [Resolution 1521, PDF; backgrounder] against individuals [list] deemed to be threats to the peace process in Liberia, saying that the defense team needs to [read more]

12:08 EDT

[JURIST] The government of the Netherlands is close to reaching an agreement with the United Nations to host the ad hoc tribunal that will investigate and try suspects involved in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri [JURIST news archive], Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Bart [read more]

11:08 EDT

[JURIST] Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and President Jalal Talabani [BBC profiles] announced the formation of a new coalition government Thursday, formally signing an agreement with Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council leader Adil Abdul-Mahdi [CBS profile] and Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iraq leader Massoud Barzani [Wikipedia profile]. The agreement between the [read more]

11:08 EDT

[JURIST] Hamas spokesperson Islam Shahwan said Thursday that Hamas security forces have arrested Palestinian Authority-appointed Attorney General Ahmed al-Mghani after al-Mghani ignored an order of dismissal from the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip [BBC backgrounder]. According to Shahwan, al-Mghani entered the office of the attorney general after he was [read more]

11:08 EDT

[JURIST] Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) [official website] Wednesday announced he would indefinitely block the confirmation process of CIA general counsel nominee John Rizzo [official profile], saying he had reservations due to Rizzo's failure to object to the controversial 2002 "Bybee Memo" [PDF text; PBS backgrounder] and the continued lack of [read more]

10:08 EDT

[JURIST] The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled [PDF text] Wednesday that the state can execute a defendant who begins to exhibit symptoms comparable with mental retardation after the age of 18. Under Tennessee's criminal code [Sec. 39-13-203 text], mental retardation is defined as a condition where an individual scores 70 or [read more]

09:08 EDT

[JURIST] The Canadian government under former Prime Minister Paul Martin and current Prime Minister Stephen Harper [BBC profiles] has repeatedly refused asylum requests [JURIST report] from US officials on behalf of Chinese detainees held at detention facilities in Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], according to Canadian government documents obtained Wednesday [read more]

08:08 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers representing the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] argued in federal court Wednesday that national security letters (NSL) [CRS backgrounder, PDF; FBI backgrounder] authorized under the USA Patriot Act [JURIST news archive] are unconstitutional because they act as a gag order without any judicial check [press release]. [read more]

08:08 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers representing the Bush administration argued for the dismissal of a class action lawsuit [EFF case backgrounder; JURIST report] challenging the legality of the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program Wednesday, urging the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to give the executive branch's assertion of the [read more]

07:08 EDT

[JURIST] Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] proposed comprehensive constitutional reforms Wednesday, asking the National Assembly [official website, in Spanish] to debate measures that will extend the presidential term from six to seven years, eliminate the limit on the number of terms a president may serve, bring [read more]

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