Legal news from Wednesday, February 6, 2008
18:02 EDT

[JURIST] Guantanamo Bay commander US Navy Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby [official profile] confirmed the existence of a secret camp at the detention facility for alleged al-Qaeda members classified as "high-value detainees" in an interview with AP Wednesday. Buzby said prisoners in so-called "Camp 7" are kept apart from other [read more]

18:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Grand National Assembly of Turkey [official website] Wednesday preliminarily approved a proposed amendment to the country's constitution [text] that would ease a current ban on Islamic headscarves [JURIST report] and allow women to wear headscarves in universities. The measure passed 401-99 in a secret ballot. A final vote [read more]

18:02 EDT

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak [official website; JURIST news archive] sharply criticized the White House Wednesday for defending the use of waterboarding [JURIST report], calling the practice "absolutely unacceptable under international human rights law." Nowak's comments, as well as the White House defense of the interrogation technique, [read more]

17:02 EDT

[JURIST] UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown [official website] Wednesday said he supports allowing UK courts to hear some evidence obtained through wiretap surveillance [statement], telling parliament that the long-time prohibition against wiretap evidence should be lifted in situations where "key conditions" are met. Brown said that admissible wiretap evidence would [read more]

17:02 EDT

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website; JURIST news archive] said Wednesday that the trial of former Croatian general Ante Gotovina [ICTY case backgrounder, PDF; BBC profile] and two other military commanders will begin March 11. Gotovina and commanders Ivan Cermak and Mladen Markac were [read more]

16:02 EDT

[JURIST] Peter Herby, head of the Arms Unit of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) [official website], expressed hope Wednesday that text of a treaty to ban the use of cluster bombs [ICRC materials; JURIST news archive] could be approved at a conference in Dublin in May and [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General Michael Mukasey [official profile] is expected to testify [hearing notice] before the House Judiciary Committee [official website] Thursday in opposition to a unanimous December 2007 decision by the US Sentencing Commission [official website] to retroactively reduce penalties for crack cocaine offenders [JURIST report]. That decision gives [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] Spanish National Court Judge Fernando Andreu Wednesday indicted 40 members of the Rwandan military on genocide and terrorism charges stemming from crimes allegedly committed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide [HRW backgrounder; BBC backgrounder] that claimed some 800,000 lives. Andreu reportedly began investigating the Rwandan case in 2005 and indicated [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] The White House Wednesday defended [press briefing transcript] the use of waterboarding [JURIST news archive], saying that the technique is legal. In response to questions as to whether waterboarding constituted torture, White House spokesman Tony Fratto reiterated that the US does not practice torture and "that the programs have [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] A Russian court Wednesday denied former Yukos executive and lawyer Vasily Aleksanian [defense website; statement] temporary release from jail to receive medical treatment, even as the trial was suspended to allow him to be treated for health issues. Aleksanian's lawyers had requested that he be admitted to a hospital [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge James Ware of the US District Court for the Northern District of California heard arguments Tuesday on the government's motion to dismiss [JURIST report] a lawsuit against Jeppesen Dataplan [corporate website] on state secrets grounds. The Justice Department argued that the lawsuit, brought by the American [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] The corruption trial of former Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed [party profile; JURIST news archive] was halted Wednesday when the Dhaka High Court ruled that she could not be tried by a special court established under state of emergency rules because the alleged crimes occurred before the national [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] Opponents of a new anti-immigration measure [Ordinance 2952, PDF] in Farmers Branch, Texas [official website; JURIST news archive] filed a lawsuit Tuesday arguing that the measure was not properly approved. The ordinance was passed [JURIST report] by the Dallas suburb's City Council last month, but the suit alleges that [read more]

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