Terror suspect claims evidence against him obtained through bulk surveillance
30 January 2014, 15:33
Jamshid Muhtorov, a citizen of Uzbekistan who came to the US after being granted political asylum, is accused of supporting a designated terrorist organization based in his native country. In October, he became the first defendant ever to be notified by the government that it had built the case based on bulk surveillance.
Jamshid Muhtorov is filing a motion to suppress evidence prosecutors admit was collected through warrantless eavesdropping.
A criminal defendant in Colorado has started a decisive fight over the constitutionality of US government surveillance, filing a motion on Wednesday to suppress evidence prosecutors have admitted was collected through warrantless eavesdropping.
The US government informed Muhtorov it intended to use evidence based on 'information obtained or derived from acquisition of foreign intelligence information conducted pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.' The notice came after aninternal fight in the justice department over whether such notifications should be made or not.
Muhtorov's motion argues this power violates the Fourth Amendment.
Court papers say the FBI investigated Muhtorov after his communications with an overseas website administrator for the group Islamic Jihad Union. Based on email and telephone exchanges, the government charged the defendant with stating his willingness to die for the cause. Muhtorov, who has maintained his innocence, is not accused of plotting a terror attack in the US.
Muhtorov was not alone in this: on Wednesday he was supported by the federal public defender's office, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the ACLU of Colorado.
"The FISA Amendments Act affords the government virtually unfettered access to the international phone calls and emails of US citizens and residents," the ACLU deputy legal director, Jameel Jaffer, said in a statement. "We've learned over the last few months that the NSA has implemented the law in the broadest possible way, and that the rules that supposedly protect the privacy of innocent people are weak and riddled with exceptions. Surveillance conducted under this statute is unconstitutional, and the fruits of this surveillance must be suppressed."
Voice of Russia, the Guardian
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