A federal judge yesterday threw out the terrorism charges against two men convicted last year in a case once hailed by the Bush administration as a major victory in the war on terror.
But U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen said the two, as well as a third man, must stand trial again on charges of document fraud.
The decision came after the Justice Department admitted prosecutorial misconduct in the case and asked the judge to dismiss the charges against Karim Koubriti, 26, and Abdel-Ilah Elmardoudi, 38. The government's change of heart came after the Justice Department uncovered potentially exculpatory evidence that should have been given to the defense before trial, wrote Newsday.
According to the Guardian, the defense team said they believed the misconduct was severe enough to warrant a dismissal of the fraud charges as well.
"Obviously, we're still going to pursue our claim that the charges should be dismissed, but we're also going to be prepared for trial," said Elmardoudi's attorney, William Swor.
The government's filing put most of the blame on lead prosecutor Richard Convertino, who said through his lawyer Wednesday that he had done nothing wrong and was disappointed that the government was not standing by the terrorism convictions. Read earlier news stories by PRAVDA.Ru
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