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--------------- Print Magazine --------------
  May 2016
  April 2016
Court ratifies sentence against former Peruvian President

Former Peruvian President, Alberto Fujimory, has suffered a massive legal setback with the First Penal Transitory Hall of the Peruvian Supreme Court of Justice ratifying the sentence of 25-year imprisonment awarded to him for qualified homicide and grave injuries.

Fujimori has also been held liable to pay a sum of 62,400 soles (22,285 U.S. dollars) to the direct relatives of the victims. Fujimory's trial was conducted by Judge of the Supreme Tribunal, Duberli Rodriguez, and also by the judges Elvia Barros, Julio Biaggi, Jose Neyra and Roberto Barandiaran.

Ratifying the sentence, the Tribunal held unanimously that Fujimori was the "mediate author of the crimes of qualified homicide and grave injuries".

On April 7, 2009, Fujimori was awarded the sentence by the Special Penal Court of the Supreme Court of Justice after a public trial that ran for 16 months with 160 hearings. Presently, the 71-year-old Fujimori is at the Special Operations Direction of the National Police after having been extradited from Chile in September 2007 following the charges of human rights violation and corruption against him.


Same-sex marriages trial to be broadcast on YouTube

The hearing of the constitutional challenge to Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriages, would not be as private a hearing as the supporters of the ban had wanted but the people would still be able to see the proceedings on YouTube hours later.

The Chief U.S. District Judge, Vaughn Walker, rejected the plea for the proceedings to be aired live, but ruled in favour of allowing the footage of the trial to be posted on YouTube.

Federal trials could not be broadcasted until recently when a federal appeals court judicial council decided to authorize a pilot program under which some non-jury civil trials could be broadcast in Western states. The trial involving a challenge to Proposition 8 is to be the first trial to be broadcast under the new provision. Giving the go-ahead Judge Walker said, "I think it's worth attempting in a case of this nature and of this public interest."

Judge Walker's plan of making the proceedings public would require an approval from the chief judge of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The approval, however, is almost certain.


Court uneasy with detention challenge by Afghanistan detainees

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has expressed in clear terms its apprehension about extending the right to challenge detention to the detainees held abroad. The Court voiced its uneasiness in an appeal against a lower court decision granting the right to contest their detention to three detainees held at Bagram Air Base.

The judges expressed their concern that upholding the judgment might lead to extending similar rights to virtually all detainees held abroad. On its part Justice Department argues that the lower court made an error in granting the right to challenge detention to two Yemenis and a Tunisian in Federal Court, as Bagram is in "a highly active war zone". The detainees' case is that they had been captured outside Afghanistan and were held at the US prison at Bagram Air Base, located in the northeast of Kabul , where they have been in captivity for over six years.

Judge John D. Bates, who granted the right to challenge, has relied heavily on Supreme Court's landmark 2008 ruling that granted the prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay to challenge their detention in Federal Courts. Judge Bates extended the rationale of the case to the detainees in question taking the 2008 Supreme Court ruling to mean that detainees held by the US government overseas could challenge their detention in the US courts. Judge Bates opined that the case of Bagram detainees was identical to those detained in Guantanamo Bay . Therefore, there was no reason to not extend the benefit of the ruling to Bagram detainees as well.

In the course of oral arguments, Judge David S. Tatel and Judge Harry T. Edwards asked one of detainees' attorneys to forward an argument so as to limit the reach of habeas corpus to Bagram detainees only. Therefore, the Court seems to be disinclined to allow its judgment to be cited as precedent in other cases involving a challenge to the detainees held abroad because that could result in extending habeas corpus to all US military bases the world over, which might prove counterproductive in the long run.


Saudi Arabia:SC rejects death sentence to Canadian,orders retrial

In a significant ruling the Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia rejected the death sentence awarded to a Canadian convicted for killing a 19-year-old in an after-school brawl in 2007.

Mohamed Kohail, a citizen of Canada , together with a Jordanian friend of his was sentenced to death for killing 19-year-old Munzer Al-Hiraki in Jidda in 2007. According to the authorities, the fight occurred when Kohail's younger brother Sultan had an altercation with Al-Hiraki's female cousin. Kohail and his brother have consistently maintained that they acted in self-defence and did not inflict the lethal wounds on the deceased during the brawl in question, which involved dozens of teenagers. Kohail has also said that he confessed under torture.

The highest court of the land has ordered a fresh retrial by a different set of judges, which is being seen as a groundbreaking move. Liberal MP Dan McTeague, who has been keeping a close watch at the case, said, "What's significant about this decision as opposed to previous decisions is the request that the trial come before different judges. It basically allows for a clearer, fairer trial under Saudi law."


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