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Man Held as Material Witness in Terrorism Trial Sues Former Attorney General


A man held for 14 days in 2003 for alleged ties to a terror suspect has filed a lawsuit against a former Attorney General. The man claims that he was stopped at Dulles International airport in Virginia and taken to various places throughout Virginia, Oklahoma and Idaho for questioning. During these sessions, the man was grilled on various subjects including his religious beliefs, ties to terrorism groups inside and outside the United States and his relationship with the terror suspect police officials had in custody, reports a New York Criminal Lawyer. The man was eventually released and never had to appear as a material witness. The other man’s trial resulted in an acquittal in 2004.

The man, a U.S. citizen, converted to Islam while attending the University of Idaho. It was there that he struck up a friendship with the other man accused of terrorism. On that day in 2003, the man was on his way to Saudi Arabia to learn more about his religion, study the language and learn more about the culture when he was detained at the airport. The man currently lives in Saudi Arabia and is being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

This case will probably end up being heard in front of the Supreme Court. While most agree the court will side with the Attorney General, some believe the decision to do so will be a tough one. The man’s case rests on the fact that he was wrongfully detained as there was no evidence he was a part of any criminal activity or that he knew of any terror plots against the U.S., explains a New York Criminal Lawyer. The man also claims that law enforcement coerced him into answering questions because they told him he was to be a material witness during the other man’s trial.

Newly appointed Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan has recused herself from this case since she used to be President Obama’s solicitor general. The remaining justices will hear the case and make their judgment based on the evidence presented. This is relatively new legal territory as the Supreme Court has heard few of these types of cases since 9/11. They must take into consideration the political climate at the time and the rights of the man suing former Attorney General Ashcroft. This decision may affect future court cases heard in the Supreme Court and in other courts throughout the United States.

If you have questions about pending legal proceedings, or have been charged with a drug possession, a theft crime, or white collar crime, contact legal counsel right away to ensure that your rights are protected.

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