The District Court Judge, on the eve of the start of the New York Federal case against Richard Chichakli, has entered an order disposing of pending pre-trial motions; I shall summarize those rulings:
(1) Chichakli's Motion alleging Surplusage* in the Indictment: The Government filed a Superseding Indictment. The Court ruled that, anything in the Indictment, and not proven at trial, would be redacted beforse it went to the jury; Rendered moot.
(2) Chichakli's Motion to Dismiss for Material Misrepresentation : The Court found that there were no "extreme circumstances" justifying the drastic remedy of Dismissing the Indictment; Denied
(3) Chichakli's Motion to Dismiss for Vindictive Prosecution: The Court ruled that Chichakli was charged based upon evidence found in Viktor Bout's laptop computer, and because of this evidence, Chichakli cannot show that he would not have been charged, but for the alleged animus; Denied.
(4) Chichakli's Motion to Suppress Evidence seized at his residence, and for a hearing: The Court ruled that he offered no affidavits or other statements to meet the "Substantial Preliminary Showing" necessary to obtain an evidentiary hearing to suppress the evidence; Denied.
(5) Chichakli's Motion for a Bill of Particulars**: The Court ruled that his Bill was being used "as a Discovery or investigative tool, which is not permitted; " Denied.
(6) Chichakli's Motion to modify the Protective Order prohibiting him from sharing trial discovery with his civil attorney from the OFAC case; Denied.
(7) Government's Motion to introduce Background Information, and for Rule 404(b) evidence; " Demonstrates the nature, existence and background of the charged conspiracy;" Granted.
(8) Government's Motion to Introduce Evidence of Aliases; Granted.
(9) Government's Motion to prevent Defendant from re-litigating his SDN designation; Granted, but the Government cannot introduce evidence that infers he was responsible for undermining democracy in Liberia.
(10) The Government's Motion to preclude the introduction of certain documents ( newspaper articles and books); Court found them to be inadmissible hearsay; Granted in part; Denied in part. Chichakli cannot introduce the media articles. His request to present charts and time lines will be granted, subject to contemporaneous objection by the Government.
Chichakli lost virtually every pre-trial motion he filed; and the Government won all of its motions. Was he just looking for possible reversible error for a subsequent appeal ? We cannot say, for the defendant is representing himself Pro Se, and he has no legal training or education. Did his Standby Counsel draft them ? We cannot say, but with the trial upon us, the verdict will be here soon enough: stay tuned.
* Surplusage: Superfluous facts not necessary or relevant to the case; may include inappropriate allegations with too much detail, or information regarding collateral matters.
* Bill of Particulars: A demand to provide the facts alleged in the indictment that relate to the commission of a crime.