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Legal news from Friday, December 14, 2007
16:12 EDT

[JURIST] Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf [official website; JURIST news archive] Friday promulgated an order to amend [amendment text] the Pakistani constitution, allowing the president to declare a state of emergency without parliamentary ratification and providing that any judge who has not taken an oath under the Oath of Office (Judges) [read more]

16:12 EDT

[JURIST] Jean-Marie Le Pen [BBC profile], leader of France's far-right National Front party [party website, in French], went on trial Friday for "complicity in contesting crimes against humanity and complicity in justifying war crimes." The charges stem from Le Pen's 2005 comments [BBC report] during an interview with the right-wing [read more]

15:12 EDT

[JURIST] The UK parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) [official website] Friday issued a report [PDF text] opposing a proposal by the government to extend the time limit on detaining terror suspects [JURIST report] from 28 to 42 days. The JCHR concluded that the government had not made an [read more]

15:12 EDT

[JURIST] A court in Chad has set December 21 as the trial date for six French nationals connected with the abortive effort by French charity Zoe's Ark [advocacy website, in French; BBC backgrounder] to airlift so-called "Darfur orphans" out of Chad [JURIST news archive] to Europe. The six will be [read more]

13:12 EDT

[JURIST] Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov [official profile] Friday defended a Russian government directive earlier this week to shut down [BBC report] local offices of the British Council [official website] by January 1, saying that the offices in Yekaterinburg and St. Petersburg were originally established in breach of international and [read more]

13:12 EDT

[JURIST] Libyan Foreign Minister Abdel-Rahman Shalqam Friday denied that Libya engages in torture in response to a lawsuit filed [JURIST report] Wednesday by a Palestinian doctor detained in Libya after being accused of deliberately infected hundreds of children with the HIV virus. Ashraf Jima Hajuj filed the lawsuit against Libyan [read more]

12:12 EDT

[JURIST] The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has launched a criminal probe of Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) [official website] Stuart Bowen [official profile] on allegations that he misappropriated taxpayer money to pay for his legal defense during a 2006 administrative probe and that he improperly accessed [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] UN special envoy for human rights defenders [official website] and co-founder of the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan [advocacy website] Hina Jilani told US lawmakers in Washington Thursday that Pakistan's parliamentary elections scheduled for January 8 have already been rigged and that there was no point in sending [read more]

10:12 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Joan A. Lenard [official profile] Thursday ordered a mistrial in a terrorism case against six men charged with allegedly conspiring to bomb the Sears Tower in Chicago and the FBI headquarters in Miami, after the jury was unable to reach a verdict after nine days of [read more]

09:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Spanish National Court Thursday dismissed a complaint against Cuban President Fidel Castro [BBC profile] and former Cuban tourism minister Osmani Cienfuegos, alleging that the two had committed crimes against humanity. The complaint alleged that Castro and Cienfuegos were responsible for the death of nine prisoners during the 1961 [read more]

08:12 EDT

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism Martin Scheinin [official website; JURIST news archive] said Thursday that the destruction of CIA videotapes suggests that US interrogators may have violated international prohibitions against torture. Scheinin told reporters after the presentation of his latest report [summary] to the UN Human [read more]

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