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Legal news from Friday, July 11, 2008
16:07 EDT

[JURIST] The UN said Friday that it had reached a "broad understanding" [press release] with Pakistan on logistical issues and questions of access to government officials central to a potential investigation into the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto [BBC obituary; JURIST news archive]. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [read more]

16:07 EDT

[JURIST] The Flemish Parliament [official website, in Flemish] approved the new EU reform treaty [JURIST news archive] Friday, finalizing Belgian approval of the document, also known as the Treaty of Lisbon [official website; PDF text]. Jose Manuel Barroso [official profile], the president of the European Commission [official website], congratulated Belgium [read more]

15:07 EDT

[JURIST] A judge in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia [official website] Friday sentenced [DOJ press release] a former US Department of Defense (DOD) official to almost five years in prison for disclosing national defense information to Chinese agents. Gregg William Bergersen, an analyst at the [read more]

14:07 EDT

[JURIST] A panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit rejected [opinion, PDF; CREW press release] a Bush administration appeal against a 2007 order [PDF text] requiring that White House visitor logs be released in compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) [text]. The court held [read more]

14:07 EDT

[JURIST] Members of the Pakistan lawyers' movement [JURIST news archive] rallied Thursday against the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) [party website] and party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari for failing to reinstate judges deposed after the declaration of emergency [JURIST report] by President Pervez Musharraf [official profile; JURIST news archive] in November 2007. [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] Singapore's Ministry of Law [official website] Wednesday rejected claims by the International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) [official website] that the country lacks an independent judiciary and fails to meet international standards of human rights. In its response [press release] to the claims, the Ministry rejected the IBAHRI's [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert [official profile] misappropriated approximately $100,000 by double-billing different sources for travel and hotel expenses, Israeli police said Friday after questioning the politician. Olmert's travel agency, Rishon Tours, would allegedly ask various state agencies and charities to pay Olmert's travel bills without telling them that [read more]

12:07 EDT

[JURIST] The Thai Attorney General's Office filed new corruption charges against former Thailand Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] in the country's Supreme Court Friday. The charges relate to a 2003 resolution that reduced fees paid by mobile phone companies to state telecommunications agencies. A company then [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] Human rights groups and defense lawyers have criticized the refusal of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper [official profile] to interfere with US proceedings against Canadian Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr [DOD materials; JURIST news archive] in light of documents [text, PDF] released Thursday showing that the Canadian government knew Khadr [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] The International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website] announced that next week it will rule on a Mexican petition [press release, PDF] asking to delay the executions of five Mexicans on death row in the US. Mexican authorities allege that US officials denied the five men the chance to [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] The European Parliament (EP) [official website] voted Thursday to adopt a resolution [text; EP press release] calling on member states to "review and repeal laws and policies that discriminate against the Roma on the basis of race and ethnicity." The EP resolution also calls on the European Commission and [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] The Italian Chamber of Deputies [official website, in Italian], the country's lower house of parliament, approved legislation [PDF text, in Italian; Draft Law 1442 materials] Thursday that would grant Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and other high-ranking officials immunity from prosecution while in office. Berlusconi's [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] Former UK shadow Home Secretary David Davis [party profile], who resigned [statement text; JURIST report] his parliamentary position in protest over an anti-terror bill [materials; BBC Q/A] in June, won a forced by-election Friday with almost 72% of the vote. In his acceptance speech [text], Davis promised to stand [read more]

09:07 EDT

[JURIST] Arab activist Sami Al-Arian [advocacy website; JURIST news archive] was granted bail Thursday by a judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia [official website], but it is speculated that he might be detained by immigration officials upon release. The former University of South Florida [read more]

08:07 EDT

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF; ACLU press release] against leaders of the US intelligence community on Thursday, acting on behalf of rights groups and activists. Filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, the action challenges [read more]

07:07 EDT

[JURIST] The US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals [official website] ruled [PDF opinion]. Thursday that Virginia's method of execution by lethal injection [JURIST news archive] does not violate the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Virginia death row inmate Christopher Scott Emmett [advocacy profile] had challenged the procedure, [read more]

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