If you have been following convicted sanctions violator (and former Viktor Bout partner) Richard Ammar Chiahakli's pending civil suit* against the Manhattan US Attorney, and the assistant who prosecuted the criminal case, there have been new developments.
In a letter to the Court, dated January 12, 2017, AUSA Anthony Sun, after detailing the background of the case, made two important points:
(1) The Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the action (sovereign immunity).
(2) The plaintiff cannot obtain a default judgment against the defendants, as a timely-filed pre-motion letter, filed by the Defendants, automatically extended the time for them to respond to the Complaint.
Additionally, the defendants have represented that, since Chichakli's petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the US Supreme Court was denied on October 31, 2016, his criminal conviction is now final, and the US will now turn over all of the seized materials, to either Chichakli, or someone designated to receive them on his behalf. This effectively renders the civil suit moot, once the delivery is made. Chichakli, who will finish his sentence, and be released this year, is incarcerated at Federal Medical Center Devens, in Massachusetts; his medical condition is unknown.
*Chichakli vs. Bharara, Case No.: 15-04583 (SDNY).