[JURIST] US District Judge Marcia Cooke has dismissed [PDF] one of the charges brought against terror suspect Jose Padilla [JURIST news archive] and his two co-defendants, ruling that the charge is "multiplicitous" and violates the Double Jeopardy Clause [LII backgrounder] of the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution. In an order [PDF text] made available Monday, Cooke dismissed Count 1 of the indictment [PDF text], conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim persons in a foreign country, because the allegations in that count were already covered in Counts 2 and 3, conspiracy to provide material support for terrorists and material support for terrorists. Cooke said that the government "charged a single conspiracy offense multiple times, in separate counts, when in law and fact, only one crime has been committed."
Padilla, initially suspected of planning to set off a "dirty bomb" in the United States, was charged [JURIST report] last year on unrelated terrorism charges. He was transferred to civilian custody [JURIST report] in January of this year, when he pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] to the charges. His trial is scheduled to begin [JURIST report] January 22. AP has more. The Miami Herald has local coverage.