Aiding and Abetting: Southern District of New York Judge Shira Scheindlin Wednesday narrowed the claims that will survive in lawsuits charging that multinational corporations aided and abetted the brutal apartheid regime in South Africa, The New York Law Journal reports. In two cases that test the reach of the Alien Tort Claims Act, Scheindlin refused to dismiss claims that Ford, General Motors, IBM and other companies aided and abetted torture and other atrocities committed by the regime. But the judge also said the aiding and abetting of specific acts by the corporations does not give the plaintiffs the right to sue for "breadth of harms" committed under apartheid, and she dismissed claims against the multinationals seeking direct liability for the tort of apartheid.
Intel Reporter: Iran's judiciary charged Roxana Saberi, a 31-year-old Iranian-American freelance journalist, with espionage on Wednesday after detaining her in prison for more than two months, The Wall Street Journal reports. The charge was outlined on state television Wednesday by the Revolutionary Court judge in charge of the prosecution of Saberi, who was arrested Jan. 31. Judge Sohrab Heydarifard said Saberi had been collecting interviews and documents from government circles under the cover of a reporter, sometimes working without an Iranian government press card, and then transferring the information to U.S. intelligence services.
Shake Up: Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. appointed Mary Patrice Brown, a well-respected career prosecutor in the District, the new leader of the Office of Professional Responsibility, which polices misconduct by department lawyers, The Washington Post reports. Brown, who runs the criminal division at the U.S. attorney's office in the District, will become the third chief of the ethics unit since it was established in 1975 after the Watergate scandal. H. Marshall Jarrett, the current chief of the ethics unit, will move over to lead the executive office of U.S. attorneys. G. Douglas Jones, a top prosecutor during the Clinton administration, told the Post that Jarrett's familiarity with ethics issues sends a message to incoming U.S. attorneys about the importance of professional conduct and could signal a new emphasis on training career lawyers about the rules. The BLT has more here.
Clink: Former Qwest Chief Executive Joseph Nacchio is still trying to put off the day he must report to prison, The Associated Press reports. On Wednesday, his lawyers asked the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to stay a judge's order that Nacchio report to a prison in Minersville, Pa., by noon April 14 to start a six-year term for insider trading. U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger issued that order Tuesday. She also denied Nacchio's request to stay free on bail while he appeals his conviction to the Supreme Court.