A letter, sent by the United States Attorney's Office in Manhattan, to the Court, in the Chichakli case, has given us a window into the upcoming trial, and what the defendant's intentions appear to be.
Richard Chichakli, who is acting as his own attorney (Pro Se), in his New York trial on sanctions violations, intends to call Adam Szubin, the present head of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), in his defense. He also has listed three Special Agents of the FBI, an Assistant US Attorney, and two individuals in the private sector, in aviation.
A fair reading of the pleadings in the case indicate that Chichakli's defense centers around his theory of Vindictive Prosecution, meaning that he was unfairly and illegally targeted, as the result of his association with convicted arms trafficker Viktor Bout. Evidence obtained in Bout's laptop computer will reportedly be used against him at trial, as well as information on the Defendant's own computer, which was seized at his arrest in Australia.
The Court has still not ruled on the Government's Motion in Limine, to exclude certain testimony and evidence that Chichakli plans to introduce. The trial will probably begin later this month, and we shall continue to update our readers on all developments as they occur, in what promises to be a very interesting case in the courtroom. Hopefully, it will not degenerate into a forum for Mr. Chichakli to expound on his interpretation of OFACs alleged errors in sanctioning him, or a personal attack on the US Government, but things could get ugly.