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International brief ~ Egyptian judges to face government slander charges

[JURIST] Leading Friday's international brief, four high profile Egyptian judges who spoke out against fellow colleagues accused of rigging votes in last year's presidential elections have been stripped of judicial immunity and are scheduled to be questioned by Egyptian police officials on charges of slander against government officials. The judges, including the deputy judge of the Court of Cassation - Egypt's highest appellate court - have been outspoken in their criticism [JURIST report] of their judicial counterparts who allegedly helped stuff ballot boxes with votes for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak [official profile]. The judges have also called on international observers to undertake an investigation of the judiciary if the matter is not dealt with internally. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Egypt [JURIST news archive]. AP has more.

In other international legal news ...

  • The Ugandan Constitutional Court [official website] has dismissed a petition against Ugandan opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye [BBC profile] which sought to have his name removed from next week's presidential election, or at the least have him declared an invalid candidate [JURIST report] for the office of president. The five-judge panel ruled [text] that the Ugandan Electoral Commission [official website] was constitutionally free to ignore the advice of the attorney-general's office regarding the suitability of a nominee for the office of president. The court also held that the AG's assertion that Besigye needed to appear in person before the UEC to be properly nominated was not supported by the Constitution and, upon finding all issues for the respondent, ordered the petitioners to cover the costs of the litigation. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Uganda [JURIST news archive].

  • The Grand Mufti Sheikh Ahmed Badriddin Hassuon of Syria, the highest official of religious law in the Sunni Muslim country, met with officials from the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs [official website] Thursday and called upon Europe to adopt an international convention that would outlaw the intentional infliction of damage to a religion's convictions by imposing a criminal sentence on speech that was harmful or offensive to religious persons. Hassuon insisted that all of Europe should adopt such a convention and that only a legally binding instrument would serve to prevent another outcry similar to the current unrest surrounding the controversial caricatures of the Islamic prophet Muhammad [JURIST news archive]. Hassuon also alleged that the media has been at fault for stirring up further anti-Muslim sentiment by only covering violent protests and ignoring those conducted peacefully. SANA has local coverage.

  • Two high-placed lawyers in Kenya have had their passports officially revoked after being officially named as suspects in the Goldenberg corruption investigation [BBC backgrounder]. Police made the announcement identifying former Director of Public Prosecutions Philip Murgor and Member of Parliament Mutula Kilonzo as they revealed that arrests in response to an investigation into the nation's biggest government corruption scandal will begin on Monday. Murgor and Mutula have called the government response a "travesty" and have vowed to fight the cancellation in court. Earlier this week, police placed a travel ban on over 20 officials [JURIST report] as part of the ongoing investigation into government corruption. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Kenya [JURIST news archive]. Kenya's East African Standard has local coverage.

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About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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