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Legal news from Wednesday, February 13, 2008
18:02 EDT

[JURIST] A Turkish court sentenced a lawyer to life in prison Wednesday for the murder of Turkish Judge Mustafa Yucel Ozbilgin [JURIST report] in May 2006. Alparslan Arslan was accused of opening fire in Turkey's highest administrative court, the Council of State [official website], to protest a February 2006 ruling [read more]

17:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate voted 51-45 [roll call] Wednesday to approve the conference report for an intelligence funding bill [HR 2082 materials], which includes a provision that would restrict CIA interrogators to using only those interrogation techniques explicitly authorized by the 2006 Army Field Manual. Field Manual 2-22.3 [PDF text; [read more]

16:02 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General Michael Mukasey [official profile; JURIST news archive] discussed ongoing DOJ efforts to promote the rule of law in Iraq [press release; fact sheet, PDF] during his first official trip to Baghdad Wednesday. Mukasey met with three high ranking judiciary officials, including the head of Iraq's Higher [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website; JURIST news archive] plans to try as many as eight suspects on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for their roles in the Khmer Rouge [JURIST news archive] communist regime of the 1970s, according to an [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] EU Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security Franco Frattini [official profile] Wednesday unveiled a comprehensive new border management package [press release; news conference recorded audio] on behalf of the European Commission. The border security improvement initiative includes proposals for the creation of a European Border Surveillance System [press release] [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] A judge for the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] said Wednesday that the trial of former Union of Patriotic Congolese militia leader Thomas Lubanga [ICC materials; BBC profile] will likely be postponed for at least two months to allow defense lawyers sufficient time to prepare their case. In [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] A media and financial tycoon who was recently charged with a conspiracy to overthrow the government of the Georgian Republic [JURIST news archive] was found dead in his mansion near London Wednesday. A spokesman for Badri Patarkatsishvili [Reuters profile] said that Patarkatsishvili was believed to have died of heart [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] US President George W. Bush Wednesday urged [statement; fact sheet] the House of Representatives to immediately pass the version of the FISA Amendments Act [S 2248 materials] passed by the Senate this week. The US Senate voted 68-29 [JURIST report] Tuesday to pass the legislation, which is intended to [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] The UK will likely not have a written constitution for another 10 to 20 years, UK Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor Jack Straw [official profile] said in a BBC radio interview [recorded audio] Wednesday. Straw confirmed that the Labour Party government of Prime Minister Gordon Brown [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Iraqi Council of Representatives [official website, in Arabic] passed an amnesty law [JURIST report] as part of a package of legislation approved Wednesday, a day after speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani threatened to disband the legislature [JURIST report] when Shi'ite and Sunni lawmakers walked out on budget hearings. In addition [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] Real estate businesses have filed a lawsuit against the New York City Campaign Finance Board [official website] claiming that a new law that greatly restricts the amount that city businesses can donate to city campaigns violates the US Constitution. The suit, filed in the US District Court for the [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] Danish newspaper Jyllands-Poste [media website] reprinted a cartoon [image] Wednesday drawn by Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard one day after Danish police arrested three people [JURIST report] suspected in a plot to murder Westergaard for his characterization of Muhammad. Westergaard was one of 12 cartoonists who published cartoons [Le Monde [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] The National Parliament of East Timor [official website] voted Wednesday to extend the state of emergency [AP report] imposed this week after attacks against President Jose Ramos Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao [BBC profiles], during which Horta was critically wounded and rebel leader Alfredo Reinado was killed. The [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate on Tuesday voted 68-29 [roll call] in favor of the FISA Amendments Act [S 2248 materials], legislation intended to replace the temporary Protect America Act in modernizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The Protect America Act [S 1927 materials; JURIST report] is currently set to expire [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Guatemalan Congress [official website] voted to restore the death penalty Tuesday, passing a bill [press release, in Spanish] that ends a six-year moratorium on executions imposed by the Constitutional Court [official website] in 2002. Under the new law, Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom [official profile] will have to decide [read more]

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