Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Prosecutor at center of controversy in terror case sues Ashcroft

A federal prosecutor in a major terrorism case in Detroit has taken the rare step of suing Attorney General John Ashcroft, alleging the Justice Department interfered with the case, compromised a confidential informant and exaggerated results in the war on terrorism.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Convertino of Detroit accused the Justice Department of "gross mismanagement" of the war on terrorism in a whistleblower lawsuit filed late Friday in federal court in Washington.

. . .

Convertino came under internal investigation last fall after providing information to a Senate committee about his concerns about the war on terror. His testimony came just months after he helped convict some members of an alleged terrorism cell in Detroit.

The government now admits it failed to turn over evidence during the trial that might have assisted the defense, including an allegation from an imprisoned drug gang leader who claimed the government's key witness made up his story.

. . .

Convertino also accused Justice officials of intentionally divulging the name of one of his confidential terrorism informants (CI) to retaliate against him.

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