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September 02, 2004

Detriot Terror Case Collapses

The Justice Department has determined that mistakes were made in prosecuting a Detriot-area "terror cell" in the days following 9/11, and a new trial has been agreed to for fraud charges. Terror-related charges will not be pursued in the retrial.

The Times fills in some details missing at the BBC's report:

In June 2003, two Moroccan men, Abdel-Ilah Elmardoudi, 38, and Karim Koubriti, 26, were convicted on terror and document fraud charges. A third Moroccan man, Ahmed Hannan, 36, was convicted of document fraud. A fourth man was acquitted. The men were never sentenced because of escalating problems over howthe case was handled.

"In its best light, the record would show that the prosecution committed a pattern of mistakes and oversights that deprived the defendants of discoverable evidence," federal prosecutors said in their latest filing.

The nine-month review, which had been ordered by the presiding federal judge, showed that prosecutors did more than suppress evidence. The report said that prosecutors also "created a record filled with misleading inferences that such material did not exist."

Gee, John Ashcroft's Justice Department being overzealous and withholding information? Who would have thought this was possible? On the upside, John Ashcroft's Justice Department has (under orders from a federal judge) revealed its mistakes and is seeking to remedy the problem.

Ashcroft, at this time, has no comment.

Posted by shamanic at September 2, 2004 09:57 AM
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