The ruling by U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke leaves intact two other terror-related counts against Padilla and the others alleging a conspiracy to provide material support to Islamic extremist causes worldwide.
The count that was dropped charged a conspiracy to "murder, kidnap and maim persons in a foreign country."
Cooke ruled that charge was unnecessary because the alleged illegal acts were already covered by the other terror-related counts in the indictment. Prosecuting all three charges, she said, would violate the Constitution's ban against double jeopardy, or prosecution of the same charges twice.
Monday, August 21, 2006
JUDGE TOSSES PADILLA CHARGE
One too many charges in the complaint filed against Jose Padilla and his co-defendants, a federal judge ruled Monday. Padilla, an American citizen, is accused of being an al-Qaida operative. The Associated Press reports:
Once upon a time, the Bush Administration tried to claim Padilla was going to detonate a "dirty bomb" in the U.S. and held him for several years without charges. But when the administration was forced to file charges in criminal court, Padilla wasn't nicked for any "dirty bomb."