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Legal news from Friday, March 7, 2008
17:03 EDT

[JURIST] Texas oil baron David Chalmers was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to forfeit $9 million Friday for paying millions in bribes to Iraqi officials in connection with the UN oil-for-food scandal [JURIST news archive]. Chalmers, the owner of Bayoil USA Inc and Bayoil Supply and Trading [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) [official website] is currently referring approximately 40 percent fewer criminal cases to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) for prosecution than it did 20 years ago, according to a study [text] released Friday by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) [official websites] [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] A Scottish court Friday rejected the latest appeal for disclosure by defense lawyers representing Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi [CNN profile], convicted in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 [BBC backgrounder] over Lockerbie, Scotland. Specifically, they were seeking access to a "missing document" [JURIST report] that allegedly contains [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination [official website] on Friday concluded its review [report, PDF; press release] of US compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) [text]. The committee praised the US for reauthorizing key laws, including the [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] Total payments in clergy abuse [JURIST news archive] settlements nearly doubled in 2007 to reach $526 million, the highest number ever, according to an annual report [PDF text; press release] by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops [religious website] released Friday. The number of new allegations of abuse fell [read more]

11:03 EDT

[JURIST] Two former Bosnian Serb police officers pleaded not guilty [press release; case summary] Friday to war crime charges before the War Crimes Chamber [HRW backgrounder] of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina [official website]. Krsto Savic is accused of involvement in the arrest and killing of 80 Muslims in [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] A bill [HR 5560 materials] that would overturn a decision by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to deny a greenhouse emissions waiver [rejection letter, PDF; JURIST report] to California was introduced in the US House of Representatives [official website] Thursday. The bill, which would allow states to introduce [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] Chinese rights activist Teng Biao has disappeared and is thought to have been detained by state authorities, rights group China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group [advocacy website] said Friday. Teng, a lawyer with close ties to civil rights activist Hu Jia [Radio Free Asia profile], did not return home [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official profile] said Friday that she will not seek a second term [press release; recorded video] when her commission ends on June 30. Arbour's decision not to seek a second term [JURIST report] was made public earlier this week, but Friday's [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] Chadian President Idriss Deby [official website, in French; BBC profile] said Thursday that he may pardon six French aid workers convicted in Chad in December of attempting to kidnap [JURIST reports] 103 African children within a month. In February, Deby said that he is prepared to pardon the French [read more]

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