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Legal news from Wednesday, August 22, 2012

[JURIST] German prosecutors announced Wednesday that they are contemplating charges against an 87-year-old man suspected of having been a Nazi prison guard. The German special prosecutors' office that pursues Nazi-era crimes is recommending that charges be filed [AP report] against the man alleged to have served as an SS guard … [read more]

[JURIST] An Iraqi man pleaded guilty in the US District Court for the Western District of Kentucky [official website] Tuesday on charges of conspiring to aid terrorists. Mohaned Shareef Hammadi [JURIST news archive] pleaded guilty to 10 charges [AP report] including sending money, weapons and explosives to al Qaeda in … [read more]

[JURIST] The World Trade Organization (WTO) [official website] admitted the Russian Federation [press release] as its 156th member on Wednesday, bringing to a close accession negotiations that began in June 1993. The lower house of the Russian parliament ratified [JURIST report] the WTO accession package protocol [WTO materials] in July, … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the District of Arizona [official website] heard arguments on Tuesday concerning whether to enjoin a controversial provision of Arizona's immigration law [SB 1070, PDF] that requires law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of persons they stop or arrest if … [read more]

[JURIST] The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples James Anaya on Wednesday called on US officials [statement] to consult with Native Americans in North Dakota about the scheduled sale of land in the Black Hills region of the state. Anaya noted [UN News Centre report] that local … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] on Tuesday upheld [opinion, PDF] a set of regulations issued by the US Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) [official website] that provide legal protection to oil companies if the companies incidentally harm small numbers of walruses or polar … [read more]

[JURIST] A Guatemalan court on Wednesday sentenced a former police chief to 70 years for the kidnapping of a college student during the country's 36-year Civil War [GlobalSecurity backgrounder]. Pedro Garcia was convicted of carrying out the kidnapping of engineering student Edgar Saenz, who disappeared in 1981. Garcia will also … [read more]

[JURIST] Police in Bangladesh arrested a top member of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) [official website; GlobalSecurity backgrounder] on Wednesday after a war crimes court ordered his arrest hours earlier. The International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh (ICTB) [Facebook page] issued a warrant for the arrest of ATM Azharul Islam and ordered police to bring … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website] on Tuesday lifted an injunction [opinion, PDF] that blocked a Texas law forbidding any clinic affiliated with abortion providers from receiving public funds. The state of Texas vowed to cut funding for Planned Parenthood [advocacy website; JURIST news … [read more]

[JURIST] The Court of Appeal of Singapore [official website] ruled [judgment, PDF] Tuesday that a man charged with gross indecency under a provision of the penal code criminalizing sexual acts between men can proceed with a constitutional challenge against the law in court. Known as Section 377A [AFP report], the … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York [official website] ruled Tuesday that a poker game operator could not be tried under a federal gambling law essentially because poker is more a game of skill than a game of chance. Judge Jack Weinstein … [read more]

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Mexico [official website, in Spanish] ruled Tuesday that crimes committed against Mexican civilians by members of the military should be tried in civilian courts rather than military tribunals. Military tribunals have been criticized in the past for failing to try and convict military personnel for … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] announced on Tuesday that it will establish a civil rights unit in Alabama [speech] in the wake of the state's contentious immigration law [HB 56, PDF] raising concerns about compliance with federal law. In the speech, Assistant US Attorney General Thomas … [read more]

[JURIST] The state of Alaska filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] on Tuesday in the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] alleging that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) [text] unconstionally infringes on Alaska's state sovereignty. In the lawsuit, Alaska argued that Section 5 of the … [read more]

[JURIST] Chinese psychiatric facilities are detaining hundreds of thousands of Chinese citizens against their will each year, and many detainees face abuse and human rights violations in the facilities, a human rights group said in a report [text, PDF; press release, PDF] released on Wednesday. The report by Chinese Human … [read more]

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