Friday, August 31, 2007

Cleared Terror Defendant Sues Prosecutor

DETROIT (AP) - A Moroccan immigrant who was held for three years before his terrorism-related conviction was thrown out has filed a $9 million federal lawsuit against the prosecutor and two others involved in the case.

Karim Koubriti, 28, argues in the lawsuit that former federal prosecutor Richard Convertino violated his civil rights.

Convertino led the government's case in the nation's first major terrorism trial after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He was removed in 2003 after the Justice Department concluded he withheld evidence that could have proved the innocence of the four defendants accused of comprising a Detroit ``sleeper'' terror cell.

Three of the men's convictions were later thrown out after the Justice Department acknowledged its original prosecution was filled with a ``pattern of mistakes and oversights.'' The fourth was acquitted.

Convertino was indicted last year on allegations that he conspired to obstruct justice and lied to a federal judge in connection with case.

His attorney, William Sullivan, had yet to see Koubriti's lawsuit, filed Thursday, but said, ``I have no doubt that it's meritless.''.......

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