Legal news from Thursday, October 16, 2008
23:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Moscow District Military Court opened closed preliminary hearings Wednesday on the killing of journalist Anna Politkovskaya [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive]. The hearings began without prominent human rights lawyer Karina Moskalenko, who is representing Politkovskaya's family, because the lawyer fell ill Wednesday, giving rise to suspicions that she [read more]

20:10 EDT

[JURIST] Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] Thursday ordered the exhumation of 19 mass graves in Spain, launching an investigation into the disappearances of tens of thousands of people beginning in the Spanish Civil War [BBC backgrounder], and continuing through the early years of Francisco Franco's dictatorship [read more]

19:10 EDT

[JURIST] The FBI is investigating allegations of voter registration fraud involving the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) [advocacy website] ahead of the November presidential election. According to senior law enforcement officials quoted by AP Thursday, the FBI is analyzing evidence gathered from recent raids of ACORN state [read more]

14:10 EDT

[JURIST] Vietnam's Hanoi People's Court on Wednesday sentenced journalist Nguyen Viet Chien of Thanh Nien news agency [media website] to two years in prison for "abusing democratic freedoms" to infringe state interests for his reporting on the so-called PMU 18 corruption scandal [JURIST report; Tuoi Tre news archive, in Vietnamese]. [read more]

12:10 EDT

[JURIST] US insurance giant American International Group (AIG) [corporate website] is lobbying state governments to relax strict, recently enacted rules designed to provide greater oversight of the mortgage lending industry, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The rules are contained in the S.A.F.E. Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 [text, PDF], [read more]

11:10 EDT

[JURIST] The Pakistani cabinet led by Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani [BBC profile] Wednesday approved changes to a statute governing the country's lawyers and endorsed a draft bill that would establish a new National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR). The changes to the Legal Practitioners Act of 1973 [text, [read more]

10:10 EDT

[JURIST] A commission established to investigate the political and ethnic violence that followed Kenya's disputed December 2007 presidential election [JURIST reports] released [press release] a report [PDF] on Wednesday recommending the establishment of an international tribunal to try suspected perpetrators. The Commission of Inquiry into Post-Election Violence cited “systematic attacks [read more]

09:10 EDT

[JURIST] US President George W. Bush on Tuesday signed a bill [HR 928 text, PDF] designed to further insulate federal inspectors general (IGs) from political interference. The Inspector General Reform Act of 2008 is the latest in a series of amendments to the Inspector General Act of 1978 [text], which [read more]

08:10 EDT

[JURIST] A judge on the Constitutional Court of Italy [official website, in Italian] on Wednesday suspended the trial of 26 Americans [JURIST news archive] and five former Italian intelligence officials for the 2003 abduction and rendition [JURIST news archive] of Egyptian cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr [JURIST news archive] to [read more]

08:10 EDT

[JURIST] An urgent effort by the Bush administration to transfer 17 Guantanamo detainees outside the US has stalled as a result of a bitter interagency dispute, according to a New York Times report on Wednesday. Last week, US District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina ordered [opinion, PDF] the 17 Chinese Muslim [read more]

00:10 EDT

[JURIST] US and Iraqi negotiators Wednesday agreed on a draft for a Status of Forces Agreement [CFR materials] that gives Iraqi courts limited jurisdiction over American military personnel. According to Iraqi officials quoted by AP Wednesday, the draft agreement requires US troops to face trial before Iraqi courts for major [read more]

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