Terrorism case gets new twist
CHICAGO — A federal judge in a Chicago terrorism case has undone a key ruling in which she found the government need not divulge whether its investigation relied on expanded phone and Internet surveillance programs — opening the sensitive issue back up to debate.
U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman took the rare step over the weekend of vacating that initial finding days after siding with government attorneys prosecuting Adel Daoud, a 19-year-old citizen accused of trying to ignite what he thought was a bomb next to a downtown Chicago bar last year.
Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked documents revealing the scope of surveillance programs earlier this year.
If they learn the government did use enhanced surveillance to trigger its investigation of Daoud, defense lawyers have said they would challenge subsequent evidence on grounds it violated protections against unreasonable searches.
Coleman last week seemed to dash defense hopes of mounting such a constitutional challenge when she accepted prosecutors' argument that — because they don't intend to use evidence derived directly from expanded surveillance at Daoud's trial — they aren't required to disclose if they relied on the programs.
In a brief docket entry Sunday, however, Coleman granted a defense motion that she vacate her earlier ruling. The judge wrote that she found “no prejudice in allowing further examination of this issue.”
Both defense attorneys and a prosecutors' spokesman declined comment Tuesday.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Republican presidential hopefuls near-unanimity on the issue of their own guns
- Run from Cuba, Americans cling to claims for seized property
- Mysteries of dark matter come to light in Science study
- Attorneys: Sterilizations were part of plea deal talks
- Gun used by agent who helped jail Capone headed to museum
- Regulators approve tougher rules for Internet providers
- American crash victims: U.S. government contractor, daughter
- 11 ATF drones that cost $615K never used, watchdog finds
- Feds arrest guardsman, cousin for terror plot on military facility
- $140M Picasso likely to set auction record
- Oklahomans devastated, yet grateful, amid twister cleanup