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Thursday
Sep222011

Judge Questions DOJ's Move In Naaman Case

In the run up to Ousama Naaman's status hearing on October 19, there's plenty going on.

In July, the former Innospec agent who pleaded guilty to an FCPA conspiracy count, said he had new classified evidence for the court to consider before sentencing him. The government then filed a motion describing how the classified material is supposed to be handled under the Classified Information Procedures Act, or CIPA.

This month, however, the the government changed its mind and tried to withdraw its CIPA motion. Apparently the feds decided they didn't want potentially classified material introduced as evidence at Naaman's sentencing hearing.

But federal district court judge Ellen Segal Huvelle hasn't yet agreed to let the government withdraw its CIPA motion. Last week she asked the DOJ for a brief by October 11, 'explaining the legal basis for its position that the court has no discretion over the government's withdrawal of its § 5K1.1 motion.' The brief is due by October 11.

It's a touchy legal point. Can a defendant force the government to handle potentially classified evidence under the guidelines set out in CIPA?

The judge last week also relaxed a couple of the conditions of Namaan's pre-sentencing release. She said Naaman's wife was no longer required to surrender her passports to Naaman's defense counsel. And she lifted the requirement that Naaman's third-party custodian 'call or visit Naaman at his home in Washington, D.C. nightly between 8 PM and 9PM.'

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