Ex-DOJ prosecutor found not guilty of obstruction in botched Detroit terror case

[JURIST] Former Assistant US Attorney Richard Convertino [JURIST news archive] was acquitted Wednesday on charges [JURIST report] 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. A federal judge later overturned [JURIST report] the guilty verdicts of the two defendants convicted in the case after it was discovered that prosecutors withheld key evidence, including photos of a hospital in Jordan, from the defense. Harry Smith, a former US embassy regional security official who appeared as a government witness in the original Detroit terror trial, was also acquitted on all counts.

The Department of Justice [official website] dropped the charges against the supposed terrorists in 2004 and Convertino resigned [JURIST report] from the Department in May 2005. He pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] last year to the charges alleged in his indictment, and has asserted that the photos were merely overlooked in a mountain of documents related to the case. The Detroit Free Press has more.

 

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