Abu Ali lawyers seek sentencing delay for probe of possible domestic wiretap use

Abu Ali lawyers seek sentencing delay for probe of possible domestic wiretap use

[JURIST] Lawyers for Ahmed Omar Abu Ali [JURIST news archive], found guilty [JURIST report] in November on charges [PDF indictment] of joining al Qaeda and plotting to assassinate President Bush, have asked a federal judge to delay his sentencing hearing, scheduled to begin Friday, so that they may investigate whether Abu Ali was a subject of warrantless eavesdropping by the National Security Agency. Prosecutors in the case expressed strong opposition to the delay, arguing that lawyers for Abu Ali have no evidence to suggest he was wronged.

This is one of several cases in which defense lawyers are investigating whether NSA domestic wiretaps were used [JURIST report] to gather evidence against their clients. The Bush administration has insisted that NSA domestic surveillance [JURIST news archive] is legal, but critics contend that the program is a clear violation of federal law. AP has more.