Readers who have been following Rchard Chichakli's sanctions case know that he took his SDNY convictions for International Emergency Economic Powers Act sanctions violations, money laundering conspiracy, and several counts of wire fraud to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The lower court judgment and sentence were affirmed by the appeals court; we reported on the details in this blog earlier this year.
His final act was to petition for a panel hearing, or an en banc rehearing. here is the text of the Court's Order*, which was entered on August 5, 2016:
"Appellant, Richard Ammar Chichakli, filed a petition for panel rehearing, or, in the alternative, for rehearing en banc. the panel that determined the appeal has considered the request for panel rehearing, and the active members of the Court have considered the request for rehearing en banc."
"IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT THE PETITION IS DENIED."
The defendant/appellant has now exhausted all his appellate remedies as a matter of right. Whether he will now file a Section 2255 Petition, to attack his conviction, is not known, but his Presumptive Release Date is June 11, 2017.
Whether justice was served, in Richard Chichakli's case, is a matter of opinion. Should he be serving a long sentence, for money laundering, due to his association with Viktor Bout's African and Asian arms trafficking operations, or should his covert assistance, rendered, with Bout, to the intelligence services of the United States, in a number of classified missions, mitigate any punishment that he receives ? Should he have gotten a free pass, or a much longer sentence ? You be the judge.
Was his silence during the trial, when he could have gone public with details of American operations overseas that certain government agencies would prefer remain hidden, honorable, or did he just opt to remain silent ? Whatever you think of him, Richard Chichakli's sentence of incarceration ends next year, and, as a US citizen, he will be released. I wonder what his plans are ?
* United States vs. Viktor Bout, et al, Case No,: 14-4255 (2nd Cir.).