Legal news from Friday, June 8, 2012

[JURIST] A court in Thailand sentenced former Indian financier Rakesh Saxena to 10 years in prison on Friday for embezzling tens of millions of dollars from a bank in Thailand during the 1990s. The Bangkok South Criminal Court, found Saxena guilty [Reuters report] of five counts of securities fraud between … [read more]

[JURIST] Idaho Deputy Attorney General Michael Gilmore said on Thursday that he will ask the warden of an Idaho prison to change the prison policy that limits public access to executions. The Associated Press [media website] and 16 other newspaper agencies have filed suit to gain full access to the … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit [official website] on Friday dismissed a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Apple against smartphone rival Motorola [corporate websites]. Judge Richard Posner, sitting in as a trial judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of … [read more]

[JURIST] Prosecutor Serge Brammertz [official profile] of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] Thursday reported [text, PDF] the court's Completion Strategy to the UN Security Council [official website]. In his address [press release, PDF], Brammertz updated the Council on the progress of pending cases, including … [read more]

[JURIST] Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] called Friday on South African officials to oppose an investigation into allegations of human rights violations committed by members of his Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party. Mugabe denied the allegations [AP report], suggesting they were racially motivated. In … [read more]

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile] declared on Friday that US drone strikes in Pakistan raise grave legal concerns under international law. Pillay expressed particular concern that the drone strikes do not comport with the international law principles [BBC report] of proportionality and distinction. Pillay … [read more]

[JURIST] The government of Quebec on Friday announced that it is filing a lawsuit [motion, PDF, in French; press release, in French] against tobacco companies to recover the costs of treating citizens with tobacco-related illnesses. The government indicated that the lawsuit will be based on the companies' failure to report … [read more]

[JURIST] Michel Frost, the UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti, renewed his call on Wednesday to UN member states to cease the deportation of Haitian citizens to Haiti [BBC backgrounder]. In his report [text, PDF] that was presented to the General Assembly of the UN … [read more]

[JURIST] Army Col. Denise Lind on Friday denied a motion to dismiss eight of the 22 charges against Pfc. Bradley Manning [advocacy website; JURIST news archive] for allegedly transferring vast amounts of classified information to Wikileaks [website; JURIST news archive]. The defense had argued that the charges against Manning were … [read more]

[JURIST] Lawyers for former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] requested on Thursday that the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] postpone the confirmation of charges hearing which is scheduled for June 18. The lawyers argued that if the hearing in their client's case [case materials] … [read more]

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories Richard Falk [official website] on Friday called on Israel to release two Palestinian detainees [statement] who have been on hunger strike for several weeks. Falk reported that Mahmoud Sarsak and Akram Rikhawi, who have been on hunger strikes for 82 and … [read more]

[JURIST] The Canadian Department of Justice [official website] on Thursday refused to acknowledge last week's criticism from the UN Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) [official website] that Canada has been complicit in torture. During a court hearing in Ottawa for Abdullah Almalki, the federal lawyers asked the Justice Charles Hackland of … [read more]

[JURIST] The government of Malawi announced on Friday that it will not host the African Union (AU) [official website; JURIST news archive] summit in July after the AU invited Sudanese president and war crimes suspect Omar al-Bashir [JURIST news archive] to the summit. Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal … [read more]

[JURIST] Opponents of Maryland's new same-sex marriage law [SB241, PDF] have obtained enough signatures to challenge the legislation in a referendum, according to an unofficial count [PDF] posted on Maryland's State Board of Elections [official website]. The count suggests that the petition has gained over 70,000 signatures, which is well … [read more]

[JURIST] Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website, in Russian] on Friday signed [press release, in Russian] into law a controversial bill which greatly increases penalties for protesters who violate demonstration regulations. It was passed by both houses [JURIST report] of the Russian Parliament earlier this week. The new law raises … [read more]

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Switzerland [official website, in German] announced [official statement, PDF, in German and English] Friday that it has ruled partially for Google [corporate website; JURIST news archive] in a case over privacy violations through its Street View service. The federal tribunal based in Lausanne held that … [read more]

[JURIST] The Mongolian Election Commission on Thursday voted to ban former Mongolian president Nambar Enkhbayar from the upcoming parliamentary election due to allegations of corruption and abuse of power during his former presidency. Enkhbayar's corruption trial began [JURIST report] on Monday. He was charged with abusing his power during his … [read more]

[JURIST] UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic said Thursday that killings in Syria [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] likely amount to crimes against humanity [official statement]. Simonvic addressed the General Assembly on behalf of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official website] to urge the international … [read more]

[JURIST] A panel of UN human rights experts urged [press release] the government of Malaysia on Thursday to protect non-governmental organizations advocating for reform of the electoral process against acts of intimidation and harassment from various groups. The UN panel particularly urged Malaysian authorities to protect members of the Coalition … [read more]

[JURIST] Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt [official profile] on Thursday appealed [text, PDF] a ruling [docket materials] that struck down an Oklahoma law [HB 1970 text] restricting how doctors may use abortion-inducing drugs to treat patients. Three weeks ago, a judge for the District Court of Oklahoma County invalidated the … [read more]

[JURIST] The UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] on Wednesday transferred [press release] the case of Bernard Munyagishari [materials] to the authorities of the Republic of Rwanda. The Referral Chamber of the ICTR ruled [decision, PDF] upon the prosecution's request to refer the case to Rwanda subject … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court Southern District of New York [official website] ruled [opinion] Wednesday that the US government cannot hold people indefinitely, relying on the National Defense Authorization Act [text, PDF] of 2011, for their alleged connection to al Qaeda if they are not connected to … [read more]

[JURIST] Louisiana Governor Bob Jindal [official website] signed a bill [SB 708 text; materials] on Friday increasing abortion restrictions in the state. The bill was approved by the Senate [JURIST report] in April as a measure to ensure informed consent for women seeking abortions. The new legislation increases the waiting … [read more]

[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official profile] submitted a report [materials] on Wednesday to the UN Security Council [official website] concerning the situation of children affected by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] in Uganda. The report concluded that the LRA still poses a threat [UN … [read more]

[JURIST] Federal prosecutors urged a judge on Wednesday to give Allen Stanford [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] the maximum sentence of 230 years in prison for his involvement in a $47 million Ponzi scheme. This would be the maximum sentence [Reuters report] under federal sentencing guidelines and 90 more years … [read more]

[JURIST] A former associate of deceased Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat [JURIST news archive] was convicted in absentia on Thursday of embezzling money and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Mohammed Rashid [Reuters profile], along with two other businessmen, was convicted in a special Palestinian corruption court based on allegations … [read more]

[JURIST] Spain's public prosecutor's anti-corruption unit on Wednesday began its investigation against Bankia [corporate website, in Spanish] to determine whether there is sufficient ground to take penal action against the nationalized company. This measure was initiated after public outrage against the government over its handling of the listing and nationalization … [read more]

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