Florida terror case: One acquitted, mistrial declared for six
[TamilNet, Thursday, 13 December 2007, 22:37 GMT]
One of seven defendants was acquitted and a mistrial was declared Thursday for the other six defendants accused of of plotting to destroy Chicago's Sears Tower, local reports of proceedings of the South Florida district court said. Defense lawyers contended that the informant and an overzealous FBI were responsible for pushing the alleged conspiracy along. "This was all written, directed and produced by the FBI,'' defense attorney Albert Levin was quoted as saying by Florida daily, Sun-sentinel. The Federal Prosecutor said the U.S. Government plans to retry the six defendants next year.
The paper said, the mistrial marked the second recent setback for the Bush administration in a high-profile terrorism case.
In October, jurors in Dallas were split on charges against the leaders of a Muslim charity - the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development - accused of financing a Palestinian "terrorist" group, the report added.
The Bush administration had seized on the case to illustrate the dangers of homegrown terrorism and trumpet the government's post-Sept. 11 success in infiltrating and smashing terrorism plots in their very earliest stages, the paper said.
The government case was built largely on FBI surveillance video and some 12,000 telephone intercepts, according to the report.