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2 Men in Terror Trial Charged

December 16, 2004|From Associated Press

DETROIT — Two men whose convictions in the first terrorism trial after Sept. 11 were thrown out because of misconduct by prosecutors were charged Wednesday with insurance and mail fraud.

The new charges are part of a long-running legal saga involving the defendants, Karim Koubriti and Ahmed Hannan, who were once accused of being part of a terrorist cell.

The terrorism prosecution was dropped. It was an embarrassment for the Justice Department in a case the Bush administration once called a major victory in the war on terrorism. The lead prosecutor is under investigation over his handling of the case.

The new indictment alleges that Koubriti, 26, and Hannan, 36, devised a scheme to defraud Titan Insurance Co. of Troy, Mich., by filing false claims. It says the pair claimed they were injured in a 2001 car accident and submitted fraudulent claims for lost wages, physical therapy and household services.

"Mr. Koubriti will be pleading not guilty to the latest charge, and we are looking forward to his day in court when his name finally will be cleared," said Koubriti's lawyer, Richard Helfrick.

A lawyer for Hannan did not immediately respond to a telephone call seeking comment.

Koubriti, Hannan and Abdel-Ilah Elmardoudi, 38, were convicted in 2003 of document fraud, but the judge ordered a new trial on those charges after he threw out the terrorism case.

Hannan was convicted only of document fraud, while Koubriti and Elmardoudi were convicted of conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists. A fourth man was acquitted.

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