Legal news from Tuesday, August 21, 2007
18:08 EDT

[JURIST] The Venezuelan National Assembly [official website, in Spanish] gave preliminary approval Tuesday to comprehensive constitutional reforms introduced by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] last week. No word was available on how many legislators voted for the reforms, but National Assembly president Cilia Flores said they [read more]

15:08 EDT

[JURIST] The European Union (EU) [official website] on Tuesday urged Texas Gov. Rick Perry [official website] to halt all executions in the state [statement], and to consider introducing a moratorium on death sentences in Texas. According to the statement from Portugal, acting as current Presidency of the EU:The European Union [read more]

14:08 EDT

[JURIST] The US Defense Department's controversial Threat and Local Observation Notice system, or TALON database [Wired report; JURIST news archive], will be discontinued on September 17 [press release; official report] but the data it has collected will be retained in accordance with intelligence oversight requirements, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Gary [read more]

14:08 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers in Kenya are now ranked as the ninth most corrupt group in the country, according to the Kenya Bribery Index 2007, a report released Tuesday by Transparency International (TI) [advocacy website]. The annual Kenya Bribery Index [TI materials] has never in its previous five years of publication listed [read more]

13:08 EDT

[JURIST] An Indonesian court Tuesday dismissed a class action lawsuit that sought to dismantle the Indonesian police's anti-terror unit, ruling that the allegations that the department violated human rights by targeting Muslims and torturing suspects were too vague to proceed. The lawsuit was brought by Abu Bakar Bashir [BBC profile], [read more]

12:08 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on Tuesday upheld [PDF text] the conviction of former Illinois Gov. George Ryan [defense website] on fraud and corruption charges, ruling that the district court judge acted properly when she replaced two jurors after it was discovered they had concealed [read more]

12:08 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for five Cubans jailed for spying in the United States urged a federal appeals court Monday to order a new trial in the case, arguing that the defendants were convicted on flimsy evidence. Lawyers representing the so-called Cuban Five [advocacy website] - Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez, [read more]

11:08 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme People's Court of China [official website] has determined that the death penalty can be ordered in cases where a defendant is convicted of sabotaging electricity supply in a manner which leads to serious injury of at least three people or the death of at least one person. [read more]

10:08 EDT

[JURIST] US Army Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan [CBS profile; JURIST news archive] has pleaded not guilty to cruelty and maltreatment and other charges stemming from the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal [JURIST news archive]. Jordan is the only commissioned officer charged in connection to the abuse that occurred at [read more]

10:08 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for detained Iranian-American scholar Haleh Esfandiari [WWC profile; JURIST news archive] have been informed that she will be released from custody once $320,000 in bail has been paid, an anonymous source from the Iranian judiciary said Tuesday. Though one of Esfandiari's lawyers told Reuters that he has not [read more]

09:08 EDT

[JURIST] The Federal Court of Australia ruled [text] Tuesday that Australian Immigration and Citizenship Minister Kevin Andrews improperly revoked the work visa of Mohammad Haneef [JURIST news archive], who was detained by Australian authorities last month in connection with the attempted UK car bomb terror attacks [JURIST report]. Andrews revoked [read more]

09:08 EDT

[JURIST] Fifteen former Iraqi officials went on trial Tuesday for crimes against humanity [JURIST report] for their role in attacks against the Iraqi civilian population following the 1991 Persian Gulf War. The defendants - including Saddam Hussein's cousin and former Iraqi defense minister Ali Hassan al-Majid [BBC profile; JURIST news [read more]

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