If you were one of those individuals who were wondering when the trial judge in the Richard Chichakli case was going to rule on his post-trial motions, and finally get around to sentencing the defendant, his new court-appointed counsel, Mitchell Dinnerstein, has thrown a legal monkey wrench into the works.
To quote from his filing:
"After my careful review of the trial transcript, and doing conversations with Mr. Chichakli, about certain motions that he wanted pursued, I came to the conclusion that a question may arise as to the defendant Chichakli's mental competency to assist in his own defense, as required by 18USC §4241."
Granted, Chichakli has, since a verdict was rendered against him, in a case where he chose to represent himself Pro Se, with standby counsel, filed a number of letters to the Court, some of which may constitute supplemental information, for his pending post-trial motions, but others are unusual. Chichakli, who has had no legal training, may have just been trying to create appellate issues, but the letters, and the grounds cited, may have caused his new counsel some concern.
Observers who are aware that Chichakli, and his partner, Viktor Bout, were involved in a number of confidential matters, in which they rendered assistance to agencies of the United States Government, and which could possibly be embarrassing, may fear that this competency examination is simply a means to discount the accuracy of any such information, should Chichakli choose to disclose it.
The Court has ordered a psychiatric examination to determine whether Chichakli satisfies the prerequisites for mental competency. A report by the appointed forensic psychiatrist is due on May 3, 2014.