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Location: Douglas, Coffee Co., The Other Georgia, United States

Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Monday, June 23, 2014

I hope it's hard to lose : Benghazi case a big test for D.C. lawyers who lack experience prosecuting terror suspects

From The Washington Post:

For years, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington has watched as authorities in New York and Virginia handled many of nation’s biggest terrorism cases — even ones in which the District was the target of planned attacks.

Now, with the capture of Ahmed Abu Khattala, a suspected ringleader in the assault on U.S. outposts in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans were killed, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and his attorneys are poised to handle one of the most important American terrorism cases in recent memory. Abu Khattala, who is being interrogated aboard a U.S. warship, is expected to be brought to the United States and arraigned in Washington in the days ahead.

The case will mark a critical challenge for an office that has comparatively little experience in prosecuting high-profile terrorism cases, suffered setbacks in recent cases and, at other times, been considered slow to build cases. Several former law enforcement officials said top Justice Department figures have steered some cases away from Machen’s office, in favor of offices with more experience.

But DiLorenzo has never prosecuted a terrorism suspect.

Officials said he does have one advantage: a strong case.

A U.S. official who reviewed the evidence against Abu Khattala said it includes pictures and video from the time of the attack as well as testimony from first-hand witnesses and evidence of attack planners bragging of their involvement.

“It would be a really hard case to lose,” the official said.


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