Saturday, May 5, 2007

The Geography of Dissent New Orleans & Palestine

Palestine 29May2007 update

Haniyeh wary of possible Israeli assassin!

Lawmaker wants Supreme Court in Baton Rouge

Advocate Capitol News Bureau
Published: May 1, 2007

Baton Rouge would become home to the Louisiana Supreme Court if a Shreveport lawmaker has his way.

Sen. Max Malone, R-Shreveport, proposed a constitutional amendment that would move the state’s top court to the capital city by Jan. 1, 2010.

Malone said Monday he’s irked by the court’s failure to follow the law.

Suit filed over indigent defense
Judges vote to pull 4 members off panel

May 05, 2007By Laura Maggi

The judges of Criminal District Court voted Friday to remove four members of the board that oversees the New Orleans public defender office, prompting the entire board to file a federal lawsuit saying the judges are improperly interfering with providing quality legal representation to poor defendants.

All of the judges except Charles Elloie, who has been temporarily suspended by the Louisiana Supreme Court, met behind closed doors Friday morning at the Criminal District Courthouse at Tulane Avenue and South Broad Street. Exiting the judicial administrators' office, Chief Judge Raymond Bigelow declined to comment on the private meeting, which had consideration of the membership of the Orleans Indigent Defense Board at the top of its agenda.

But a lawsuit filed at the U.S. District Court in New Orleans made clear that four members were notified they had been kicked off the nine-member board, which has been operating for many months with just eight members.

The lawsuit, which was assigned to Judge Lance Africk, is based on the constitutional right of poor defendants to get "conflict-free" representation, said Herbert Larson, the attorney for the board.

"The attempted removal of four members of the present board and replacing them with other people is nothing more than an attempt to interfere with the management decisions by what is, by any measure, an outstanding indigent defender board," Larson said. He asked for a preliminary injunction to block the change.

In anticipation of the judges' actions, which came after weeks of negotiation, including sessions with the Louisiana Supreme Court, five members of the board met Thursday to unanimously authorize the lawsuit, said Derwyn Bunton, a terminated board member and associate director of the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana. Three board members did not attend that meeting, he said.
New Orleans Times-Picayune

Bahr asks South Africa to pressure Israel to halt aggressions on Palestinians

GAZA, (PIC)-- Dr. Ahmad Bahar, the acting speaker of the PLC, has asked a visiting South African delegation, headed by Ronnie Kasrlis the minister of intelligence services, to pressure Israel into halting its aggression on the Palestinian people.

Dr. Bahar briefed the delegates on the sufferings of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation that doubled over the past year as a result of the "oppressive siege" imposed on them.

He further said that the detention of Dr. Aziz Dwaik, the speaker of the PLC, and locking him up in a small cell "ran contrary to all international norms and the Geneva Convention".

For his part, Kasrlis pointed to his country's strong sense of the injustice befalling the Palestinian people, and appreciated their struggle aimed at restoring legitimate rights of freedom and independence.

In the same context, Kasrlis expressed his condemnation of Israel's detention of 41 Palestinian lawmakers, including the speaker of the PLC.

He also said that the two peoples in Palestine and South Africa underwent the same bitter experience for the sake of freedom and independence, "Hence we should strengthen the relations between the two countries through repeated meetings and visits at all levels".