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US lawyer wrongly accused in Madrid bombings alleges privacy violations

[JURIST] Gerry Spence [law firm website], the lawyer for Brandon Mayfield, the Muslim-convert Portland attorney arrested and accused of involvement in Madrid's 2004 terrorist bombings, said in court [JURIST report] Friday that FBI agents intentionally withheld information from a judge in order to obtain a material witness arrest warrant for his client. Spence said the government did not disclose that Spanish officials disagreed that the fingerprints found on a bag of detonators matched those of Mayfield, who was later released with an apology [FBI press release]. Mayfield has filed a suit [JURIST report] against the US Department of Justice [official website] alleging that wiretaps and secret searches of his home allowed under the Patriot Act [text, PDF] are unconstitutional. Mayfield is also requesting that computer files and papers taken from his home should be returned, but the DOJ is arguing that the documents are necessary to develop its defense against the Patriot Act challenge. AP has more.

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