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U.S. Seeks to Throw Out Terror Convictions

The Justice Department is asking a judge to throw out the convictions of a suspected terror cell in Detroit because of prosecutorial misconduct, a dramatic setback for the administration’s war on terror on the eve of President Bush’s re-election pitch at the GOP convention. In a late Tuesday night court filing, the department told U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen it supports the Detroit defendants’ request for a new trial and would no longer pursue terrorism charges against them. The defendants at most would only face fraud charges at a new trial. The Justice Department is “concurring in the defendants’ motions for a new trial” and asks the court to dismiss the first count of the original indictment charging the defendants with material support of terrorism, according to a summary of the government’s filing that was obtained by The Associated Press through the court’s electronic access system. The filing said there was a 60-page memo laying out the government’s concerns about its own prosecutors’ handling of the case, but that document was not immediately available through the courts’ electronic access. Full Story

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