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Legal news from Tuesday, July 14, 2009
15:07 EDT

[JURIST] The Spanish National Court [CJA backgrounder] on Tuesday dismissed charges against three US soldiers who were accused of being involved in the death of Spanish cameraman Jose Couso [advocacy website, in Spanish]. The soldiers allegedly opened fire on a Baghdad hotel frequented by Western journalists in 2003 without provocation, [read more]

14:07 EDT

[JURIST] The US House Judiciary Committee [official website] on Tuesday examined [committee materials] the effects of mandatory minimum sentences in advance of consideration of three proposed bills intended to provide more discretion to judges during sentencing. Representatives of the Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), the US Judicial Conference and Americans [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] US Supreme Court [official website] nominee Sonia Sotomayor [WH profile; JURIST news archive] on Tuesday defended her judicial record and emphasized her reliance on precedent when deciding cases in response to confirmation questioning [materials] by the US Senate [official website]. Sotomayor defended a now overturned [JURIST report] decision in [read more]

13:07 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge on Monday granted class-action status to approximately 400,000 immigrants from Central America who allege that a separate service fee for immigration applicants violates a federal law [8 USC § 1254a text]. Judge Thelton Henderson of the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website] on Tuesday sentenced former Rwandan Armed Forces Colonel Tharcisse Renzaho [case materials] to life imprisonment [press release; judgment summary, PDF] after convicting him of crimes in connection with the 1994 Rwandan genocide [BBC backgrounder]. Renzaho was found guilty of genocide, [read more]

11:07 EDT

[JURIST] A former CIA counter-terrorism agent alleges that top al Qaeda suspect Abu Zubaydah [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] was waterboarded [JURIST news archive] prior to the issuance of legal memos [JURIST report] justifying the practice, the BBC reported [text] Monday. John Kiriakou, who was part of the CIA team [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] Former Liberian president Charles Taylor [case materials; JURIST news archive] on Tuesday denied war crimes allegations [recorded video] while testifying for the first time at his trial in the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) [official website]. Taylor faces 11 counts [indictment, PDF] of crimes against humanity, violations of [read more]

10:07 EDT

[JURIST] The UK House of Lords [official website] on Monday approved a measure to create an independent commissioner for terrorism suspects, which must now go before the House of Commons. The Lords voted 145-103 on an amendment to the Coroners and Justice Bill [text, PDF; legislative materials] offered by Lord [read more]

08:07 EDT

[JURIST] Members of Congress on Monday called for an investigation into a secret Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program designed to kill al Qaeda members. The call follows the recently publicized information that former vice-president Dick Cheney directly ordered [JURIST report] the CIA to withhold information about the program from Congress [read more]

08:07 EDT

[JURIST] Former US Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel [official website] lawyer John Yoo [academic profile; JURIST news archive] Monday declared his intent to appeal a lower court ruling [JURIST report] allowing a lawsuit against him alleging complicity in torture to proceed. Yoo is appealing a June decision by [read more]

07:07 EDT

[JURIST] The corruption trial of former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] opened Monday with Fujimori confessing to having paid former Peruvian Intelligence Director Vladimiro Montesino [BBC profile] $15 million to resign in 2000, but denying any criminal liability. Fujimori's confession was limited [La Republica report, in [read more]

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