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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Department of Injustice

You may remember the case a couple of years ago where the "Justice" Department took four Detroit-area men to trial on terrorism charges. The men were convicted, but it later was determined that the "Justice" department withheld documents which would have exonerated the defendants, and the convictions were overturned.

Well, it turns out that the "Justice" Department (my quote key is getting warn out by this "administration") knew that their case was weak, so they developed a contingency--a charge of insurance fraud against the same defendants based on an allegedly fraudulent accident claim. AP has quotes from e-mails which indicate that "Justice" was considering using the fraud charges in case the terror case collapsed. The author of the e-mail knew that the fraud charges were puny (the $15000 claim may not have been fraudulent and was never paid), and that pursuing them would appear vindictive.

Nevertheless, after the terror case fell apart, they decided to go ahead with it. One of the defendants plea-bargained, accepting deportation to Morocco:
A second defendant, Ahmed Hannan, recently pleaded guilty in the fraud case and is being deported to Morocco. His lawyer, James Thomas, said he too didn't know about the memos but that it wouldn't change his client's guilty plea.

"He took the position he was not going to fight any longer and he pleaded guilty to his role in the fraud," Thomas said.
The other man charged will stand trial:
''We always felt that he did three years (in prison) on a terrorism case that turned out not to be true. And we are preparing to go to trial on this case and I'll be happy when this is behind him, said James Gerometta, a federal defender representing Koubriti.
"Justice" may not be blind, but it sure is mean.