Ex-DOJ prosecutor found not guilty of obstruction in botched Detroit terror case Mike Rosen-Molina at 6:38 PM ET
[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.
Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.