DETROIT – An immigrant who was once tried on terrorism charges in a case marred by prosecutorial misconduct plans to plead guilty next week to unrelated insurance fraud charges and be deported, his lawyer said.
Ahmed Hannan, 36, of Detroit is tired of fighting the legal system, defense lawyer James Thomas said Thursday.
“After coming to court for five bond hearings and not being able to obtain a bond “” and after having been assaulted by another inmate at Wayne County Jail and losing his front teeth “” he decided that continuing the legal battle wasn’t worth it anymore and he wants to go home,” Thomas told the Detroit Free Press.
Thomas said Hannan will admit to his role in the fraud case, and is expected to be sentenced to time already spent in custody and be deported promptly to his homeland of Morocco.
Thomas said the plea is set to be entered Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen. He will not be required to testify against his co-defendant, Karim Koubriti, 26, also of Morocco.
Hannan, Koubriti and two other immigrants were accused of being part of a “sleeper” cell and charged with conspiracy to provide material support or resources to terrorists. The charges stemmed from a raid on a Detroit apartment six days after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Koubriti and Abdel-Ilah Elmardoudi were convicted in 2003 of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. Hannan was acquitted of that charge but was convicted, along with Koubriti and Elmardoudi, of document fraud. The fourth man was acquitted.
Their trial was the first in the United States for an alleged terror cell detected following the attacks.
But in September, the U.S. attorney’s office admitted widespread prosecutorial misconduct in the case, saying potentially exculpatory evidence was not shared with the defense. At the government’s request, Rosen dismissed the terrorism charges and ordered a new trial on the document fraud charges.