[JURIST] Former Assistant US Attorney Richard Convertino [Wikipedia profile] and US State Department Regional Secretary Officer Harry Raymond Smith III were indicted before a Detroit federal grand jury Wednesday on charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and making false declarations in connection with a botched 2003 terrorism trial. Convertino was the lead prosecutor in a case against North African immigrants accused of operating a terrorist cell in Detroit. Smith assisted in the investigation and testified for the government in the trial which ended in the convictions of two of four defendants. A federal judge later overturned [JURIST report] the guilty verdicts after prosecutors found documents that could have aided the defense were not turned over by the Department of Justice. The DOJ dropped the charges against the supposed terrorists in 2004 and Convertino resigned [JURIST report] from the Department in May 2005.
Convertino also faces obstruction charges on a second case in which prosecutors said he provided false information to reduce a defendant's sentence. Convertino alleges the charges are part of a government smear campaign against him. AP has more.
Previously in JURIST's Paper Chase...
- Judge dismisses part of whistleblower suit by former US attorney
- Law profs say DOJ should share blame in collapse of Detroit terrorism case
- Federal prosecutor sues Ashcroft, says DOJ interfered with case, mismanaged terror war
- DOJ agrees to dismiss Detroit terror convictions
- DOJ admits doubts over crucial evidence in Detroit terror case