Legal news from Friday, December 18, 2009
15:12 EDT

[JURIST] A French judge on Friday placed former French president Jacques Chirac [official profile; JURIST news archive] under preliminary investigation over allegations that he misused public funds while serving as mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995. Chirac is accused of financing the Rally for the Republic (RPR), now renamed [read more]

13:12 EDT

[JURIST] The number of executions that took place in the US in 2009 was down 47 percent from 10 years ago, according to the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) [advocacy website] annual report [text, PDF; press release, PDF] released Friday. There were 52 executions in 2009, compared to 98 in [read more]

12:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website] on Friday charged Khieu Samphan [Trial Watch profile; JURIST news archive], the former head of state during the Khmer Rouge [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] regime, with genocide for his involvement in the deaths of thousands of Vietnamese [read more]

12:12 EDT

[JURIST] A French court ruled Friday that Google [corporate website] violated French copyright law through its book-scanning initiative [Google Books website]. The Parisian court fined Google €300,000 euros (USD $430,000) for digitizing books and making excerpts available on the web. The challenge was brought in 2006 by French publishing group [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] The UK's 1.2 billion-pound e-Borders [official website] program initiated by Prime Minister Gordon Brown [official profile; JURIST news archive] will likely be found illegal under European Union (EU) law, the British House of Commons Home Affairs Committee [official website] reported [text, PDF; press release] Friday. The program was intended [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] Suspected Mumbai terror attack [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] gunman Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab [NDTV profile] withdrew his confession in an Indian court Friday, claiming he was tortured and framed by police. Kasab originally pleaded not guilty in May, but interrupted his trial in July to confess and change [read more]

10:12 EDT

[JURIST] US Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez [official profile] said Thursday that the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) [official websites] plans to increase its efforts to prosecute hate crimes. The DOJ brought 25 federal hate crime cases [AP report] during the first year of the Obama [read more]

10:12 EDT

[JURIST] US House of Representatives minority leader John Boehner (R-OH) [official websites] said Thursday that Congress could potentially block the Obama administration's plan to purchase [JURIST report] the Thomson Correctional Center (TCC) [DOC backgrounder] in northwestern Illinois to house inmates from Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. Boehner said that at [read more]

09:12 EDT

[JURIST] A Pakistani court on Friday issued an arrest warrant for Interior Minister Rehman Malik [official profile] on corruption charges, following Wednesday's Supreme Court [official website] ruling striking down an amnesty order [JURIST report]. The Supreme Court ruled [order, PDF] that the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) [text], which granted immunity [read more]

08:12 EDT

[JURIST] Russian human rights activist Sergei Kovalev on Wednesday urged the European Union (EU) [official website] to hold Russia accountable for human rights violations, in a speech after receiving the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought [official website]. Kovalev, joined by Oleg Orlov and Lyudmila Alexeyeva, accepted the award [press [read more]

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