Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Mitchell Dinnerstein, the New York criminal defense attorney recently appointed as new counsel for Richard Chichakli, appears to be taking a more pro-active approach than his predecessor, who was designated stand-by counsel for trial, as the defendant had elected to represent himself.

 Mr. Dinnerstein's appointment does not appear to be so limited; by a letter to the Court, he has indicated that he wishes to supplement his client's Rule 29 (Motion for Judgment of Acquittal) and Rule 33 (Motion for a New Trial) motions, who were filed Pro Se, and without any citation to legal authorities, or reference to specific trial testimony. He justifies his late request by referring to his recent appointment as counsel. I for one would welcome a memorandum of law in support of the motions, and it may finally get around to issues involving Chichakli's allegations that he was targeted, due to operations that he and Viktor Bout engaged in, on behalf of the United States, which America's intelligence community might not want to become public knowledge.

I have previously believed that the Court would summarily deny all the post-trial motions this week, and them conduct the sentencing forthwith, but the Court may want to bend over backwards in this case, and give new counsel for a Pro Se defendant an opportunity to present support for his client's pending motions, lest a new appellate issue be created. 

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