Appeals court denies defense request for NSA wiretapping information

[JURIST] The US Second Circuit Court of Appeals [official website] declined Friday to order the government to turn over information about the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program [JURIST news archive] in its terrorism financing case against Yassin Aref. Aref asked for greater access to the evidence against him in an attempt to determine if it had been gathered through the NSA wiretapping program. His lawyers also requested details of the program, asking the court to rule it illegal and exclude evidence found as a result of any warrantless electronic surveillance. The court ruled [PDF] it had no jurisdiction to grant Aref's request.

The government accuses Aref of laundering money for an FBI informant posing as an arms dealer. Aref, an imam at the Masjid as-Salam mosque [mosque website] in Albany, allegedly worked with Mohammed Hossain from 2003 to 2004 in a plot to obtain a shoulder-fire missile and assassinate a Pakistani diplomat. Much of the case has continued in secret since March, when a New York federal judge ruled the case classified [JURIST report]. AP has more.



 

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