RealNews

Reversal on Releasing Evidence in Fake ID Case

For nearly four months, New Jersey prosecutors have argued that it is in the interest of national security to conceal evidence against a man who sold fake identification cards to the Sept. 11 hijackers. But the prosecutors have abruptly changed course, sending a letter to the judge and lawyers in the case in which they say that their office “intends to offer no objection to the unsealing of the transcripts.” The letter was sent on Friday, three days after the man, Mohamed el-Atriss, 46, who holds dual citizenship from Egypt and the United States, was sentenced to probation and a $15,000 fine for selling the ID’s to two of the Sept. 11 hijackers. Mr. Atriss, of Union City, N.J., spent nearly six months in the Passaic County jail in Paterson. In an agreement with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty last month to selling false documents, a lesser charge than the racketeering charges that could have meant 10 years in prison. The prosecution’s change of heart is a strange twist: the arguments of the defense and prosecution have now virtually flip-flopped. Full Story

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