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Legal news from Thursday, July 5, 2007
20:07 EDT

[JURIST] The Constitutional Court of Turkey [official website] ruled Thursday in favor of the constitutionality of proposed changes to the electoral system that would allow for the president to be elected by popular vote. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) [party website, in Turkish; Wikipedia backgrounder] backed the reforms [read more]

19:07 EDT

[JURIST] Former US Army germ-warfare researcher Dr. Steven J. Hatfill [WashPost profile], named a "person of interest" by the FBI [JURIST news archive] in its investigations of anthrax mailings [FBI backgrounder] shortly after the 2001 Sept. 11 attacks [JURIST news archive], has filed a motion to force journalists to reveal [read more]

19:07 EDT

[JURIST] A Court in London sentenced Younis Tsouli [Wikipedia profile] and two accomplices to prison Thursday for collaborating on websites that advocated terrorism. Tsouli, along with Tariq al-Daourm and Waseem Mughal, used the sites to promote terrorist actions and distribute information on how to construct bombs and poisons. Tsouli, who [read more]

16:07 EDT

[JURIST] Former Australian High Court [official website] chief justice Sir Gerard Brennan [profile] Wednesday denounced anti-terrorism laws [text] being used to detain an Indian doctor [press release] believed to be connected to last week's attempted terror attacks [JURIST report] in London and Glasgow. Dr. Mohammed Haneef has been held in [read more]

15:07 EDT

[JURIST] Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] told Japan's Kyodo News [media website] Thursday that he will not return to Thailand to face charges of corruption [JURIST report] unless he can be sure that his trial would be fair. Thai officials have ordered Thaksin and [read more]

14:07 EDT

[JURIST] The government of Turkmenistan [CIA backgrounder] published a law defining the president's powers and duties for the first time in Turkmenistani history Wednesday. The law, printed in the official state newspaper, gives the president the power to appoint the Cabinet and leaders of the armed forces. With the approval [read more]

14:07 EDT

[JURIST] The trial of former police chaplain Christian Von Wernich [Trial Watch profile] began Thursday in Argentina [JURIST news archive], where the Roman Catholic priest is alleged to have been involved in human rights abuses including torture and murder during Argentina's "dirty war" [Wikipedia backgrounder; JURIST news archive] from the [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] The Turkish criminal justice system continues to tolerate and condone the use of torture and ill-treatment [press release] by police and investigators despite the government's official "zero tolerance for torture" policy, according to a report [text] released Thursday by Amnesty International [advocacy website]. The report found that the an [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] Prosecutors at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] Thursday filed an urgent motion seeking to move the trial [ICTY materials] of former Bosnian army commander Rasim Delic [UN case backgrounder, PDF; Trial Watch profile] out of the international court at The Hague. The move [read more]

12:07 EDT

[JURIST] Malaysian former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim [personal website] Thursday appealed a lower court judge's decision dismissing his defamation suit [JURIST report] against former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad [BBC profile] in connection with renewed allegations that Anwar is homosexual. The appeal challenges Judge Tengku Maimon's order awarding Mahathir legal [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] The Chinese Supreme Court [official website] will standardize guidelines for when provincial level courts should impose the death penalty, court vice-president Zhang Jun said Wednesday. Zhang also outlined [press release, in Chinese] the top court's intention to strengthen its precedential value and increase oversight over intermediate and lower courts. [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] US Navy Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby [official profile], commander of Joint Task Force - Guantanamo Bay, has said that the US military plans to improve conditions by providing low-risk detainees at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] more educational and recreational opportunities, according to an AP interview published Thursday. [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei [official website; BBC profile] has warned that women's rights activists should not attempt to reconcile or replace the Sharia [JURIST news archive] with international conventions or western ideals of women's rights, saying Wednesday that the current Islamic jurisprudence may only be altered if [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] Ethiopian troops conducting counter-insurgency operations have violated international humanitarian law [press release] by burning homes and property and ordering civilians to vacate from at least a dozen villages in the eastern Somali region, Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] reported Wednesday. HRW Africa director Peter Takirambudde said that the [read more]

08:07 EDT

[JURIST] A Belgian court Wednesday convicted former Rwandan Army Major Bernard Ntuyahaga [TrialWatch backgrounder] of premeditated homicide for Ntuyahaga's role in the murder of 10 Belgian peacekeepers tasked with providing security for then-Rwandan Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana [FAWE profile] in the first week of the 1994 Rwandan genocide [BBC backgrounder]. [read more]

07:07 EDT

[JURIST] Russian officials with the Office of the Prosecutor-General [official website, in Russian] have formally denied a British extradition request [JURIST report] for Andrei Lugovoy [JURIST news archive] on the grounds that the Russian constitution forbids the extradition of its citizens [MFA statement] for alleged crimes committed abroad, Interfax reported [read more]

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