Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Monday, October 3, 2016

JUDGE IN REZA ZARRAB IRAN SANCTIONS CASE DENIES DEFENDANT'S RECUSAL MOTION


US District Judge Richard Berman, who presides over the Iran sanctions case against the Iranian gold trader, Reza Zarrab, has denied Zarrab's motion to recuse him. While this motion was pending there was no action taken, regarding the

In a 24-page Decision & Order, the Court found that the motion was "without merit," and it further held that the motion was not made timely, given that the defendant waited four months, after the arraignment, to file it, participated in discovery, and agreed to the January 27, 2017 trial date.

The Court, in an order containing a statement of facts, and containing extensive citations to authorities, detailed its analysis:

(1) "A movant may not hold back and wait, hedging its bets against the eventual outcome."
(2) " The symposium focused upon universal principles underlying the Rule of Law and justice; there was no mention of Mr. Zarrab, or the charges filed against him, by Turkish prosecutors."

At the end of the Order, the Court advised how it would deal with the other outstanding motions:

"The Court will hold oral argument on the pending motion to dismiss, and will also discuss the pending motion to suppress at a conference with the parties, on October 5, 2016, at 10:30 AM" . Order at 23.

By reference, the Order noted the discussion of whether a suppression hearing (regarding evidence seized from the defendant when he arrived in the United States) would be necessary or helpful, including whether the Doctrine of Inevitable Discovery* was applicable, and whether the government's search warrant included his smartphone password, and access to the contents of the telephone.

After the October 5th hearing, we will further update our readers on developments.
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* Evidence obtained, in violation of a defendant's constitutional rights is admissible, provided that it can be established, by a preponderance of the evidence, that a normal police investigation would have led to the discovery of the evidence. This is an exception to the Exclusionary rule. Nix vs. Williams, 467 US 431(1984)

 

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