189 F.3d 88 (2nd Cir. 1999), 96-1044L, United States v Rahman

Docket Nº:Docket Nos. 96-1044L, -1045, -1060, -1061, -1062, -1063, - 1064, -1065, -1079, -1080
Citation:189 F.3d 88
Party Name:UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Appellee, v. OMAR AHMAD ALI ABDEL RAHMAN; IBRAHIM A. EL-GABROWNY; EL SAYYID NOSAIR; TARIG ELHASSAN; CLEMENT RODNEY HAMPTON-EL; AMIR ABDELGANI; FADIL ABDELGANI; VICTOR ALVAREZ; MOHAMMED SALEH and FARES KHALLAFALLA, Defendants-Appellants.
Case Date:August 16, 1999
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 88

189 F.3d 88 (2nd Cir. 1999)

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Appellee,

v.

OMAR AHMAD ALI ABDEL RAHMAN; IBRAHIM A. EL-GABROWNY; EL SAYYID NOSAIR; TARIG ELHASSAN; CLEMENT RODNEY HAMPTON-EL; AMIR ABDELGANI; FADIL ABDELGANI; VICTOR ALVAREZ; MOHAMMED SALEH and FARES KHALLAFALLA, Defendants-Appellants.

Docket Nos. 96-1044L, -1045, -1060, -1061, -1062, -1063, - 1064, -1065, -1079, -1080

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

August 16, 1999

Appeal from the January 17, 1996, judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Michael B. Mukasey, District Judge) convicting ten appellants of various offenses, including seditious conspiracy, in connection with a plot to bomb the World Trade Center and bridges and tunnels in New York City.

Convictions affirmed; sentence of El-Gabrowny remanded for further consideration; sentences of all other Appellants affirmed.

Page 89

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 90

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 91

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 92

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 93

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 94

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 95

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 96

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 97

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 98

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 99

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 100

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 101

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 102

Ramsey Clark, New York, N.Y. (Lawrence W. Schilling, Lynne Stewart, Abdeen Jabara, on the brief), for appellant Rahman.

Anthony L. Ricco, Ricco & Villanueva, New York, N.Y.; Edward D. Wilford, New York, N.Y.; Polly N. Passonneau, New York, N.Y., for appellant El-Gabrowny.

Roger L. Stavis, New York, N.Y. (Andrew G. Patel, New York, N.Y., on the brief), for appellant Nosair.

Joyce London, New York, N.Y.; Gail Jacobs, Great Neck, N.Y., for appellant Elhassan.

Kenneth D. Wasserman, Georgia J. Hinde, New York, N.Y. (Siri L. Averill, New York, N.Y., on the brief), for appellant Hampton-El.

Steven Bernstein, New York, N.Y., for appellant, A. Abdelgani.

A. Abdelgani. Moira Casey, Douglaston, N.Y.; Charles D. Levine, Forest Hills, N.Y., for appellant F. Abdelgani.

Wesley M. Serra, Brown, Berne & Serra, Bronx, N.Y., for appellant Alvarez.

Beverly Van Ness, New York, N.Y.; John H. Jacobs, New York, N.Y., for appellant Saleh.

Valerie S. Amsterdam, New York, N.Y., for appellant Khallafalla.

Andrew C. McCarthy, Asst. U.S. Atty., New York, N.Y. (Mary Jo White, U.S. Atty., Guy Petrillo, Asst. U.S. Atty., New York, N.Y., on the brief), for appellee.

Before: NEWMAN, LEVAL, and PARKER, Circuit Judges.

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103

BACKGROUND . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103

I. The Government's Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104

II. The Defense Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111

III. Verdicts and Sentences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .111

DISCUSSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .111

I. Constitutional Challenges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .111

A. Seditious Conspiracy Statute and the Treason Clause . . . . 111

B. Seditious Conspiracy Statute and the First Amendment . . . . 114

1. Facial Challenge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114

2. Application of Section 2384 to Rahman's Case . . . . . . . . . 116

II. Statutory Challenge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .118

A. Possession of Foreign Passports under 18 U.S.C. § 1546 . . .118

III. Pretrial and Trial Challenges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..119

A. Seizure of Passports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .119

B. Jury Voir Dire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121

C. Severance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .122

D. Sufficiency of the Evidence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122

1. Standard of Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122

2. Rahman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123

3. Nosair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .126

4. Fadil Abdelgani . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .127

Page 103

5. El-Gabrowny . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .128

6. Alvarez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .128

7. Hampton-El . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .129

E. Government Overinvolvement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131

F. Restriction on Cross-Examination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .132

G. Double Jeopardy Arising from Rule 29(a) Motion . . . . . . . . . . . .132

H. Exclusion of Expert Testimony . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .134

I. Exclusion of Taped Conversations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .138

J. Loss of Exculpatory Evidence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .139

K. Government's Summation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .140

L. Jury Instructions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140

1. Transferred Intent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .140

2. Entrapment Defense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .142

3. Intoxication Defense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .142

4. Use of Firearm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .143

M. Ineffective Assistance of Counsel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .143

1. Rahman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .143

2. El-Gabrowny . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .144

3. Elhassan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .144

4. Fadil Abdelgani . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .144

N. Claim of Cumulative Errors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .145

IV. Sentencing Challenges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145

A. Determination of the Sentences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .145

B. Sentencing Claims . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .149

1. Use of Treason Guideline as Analogy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150

2. Whether Each Defendant Was Found to Have Agreed to Levy War for Purposes of Sentencing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .154

3. Challenges to Consecutive Sentences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .154

4. Inchoate Offense Reduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .158

5. Role-in-the-Offense Adjustment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .159

C. Remand for Reconsideration of El-Gabrowny's Sentence and for Findings . . 160

CONCLUSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160

PER CURIAM:

INTRODUCTION

These are appeals by ten defendants convicted of seditious conspiracy and other offenses arising out of a wide-ranging plot to conduct a campaign of urban terrorism. Among the activities of some or all of the defendants were rendering assistance to those who bombed the World Trade Center, see United States v. Salameh, 152 F.3d 88 (2d Cir. 1998) (affirming convictions of all four defendants), planning to bomb bridges and tunnels in New York City, murdering Rabbi Meir Kahane, and planning to murder the President of Egypt. We affirm the convictions of all the defendants. We also affirm all of the sentences, with the exception of the sentence of Ibrahim El-Gabrowny, which we remand for further consideration.

BACKGROUND

Defendants-Appellants Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, El Sayyid Nosair, Ibrahim El-Gabrowny, Clement Hampton-El, Amir Abdelgani ("Amir"), Fares Khallafalla, Tarig Elhassan, Fadil Abdelgani ("Fadil"), Mohammed Saleh, and Victor Alvarez (collectively "defendants") appeal from judgments of conviction entered on January 17, 1996, following a nine-month jury trial in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Michael B. Mukasey, District Judge).

The defendants were convicted of the following: seditious conspiracy (all defendants); soliciting the murder of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and soliciting an attack on American military installations (Rahman); conspiracy to murder Mubarak (Rahman); bombing conspiracy (all defendants found guilty except Nosair and El-Gabrowny); attempted bombing (Hampton-El, Amir, Fadil, Khallafalla,

Page 104

Elhassan, Saleh, and Alvarez); two counts of attempted murder and one count of murder in furtherance of a racketeering enterprise (Nosair); attempted murder of a federal officer (Nosair); three counts of use of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence (Nosair); possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number (Nosair); facilitating the bombing conspiracy by shipping a firearm in interstate commerce and using and carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence (Alvarez); two counts of assault on a federal officer (El-Gabrowny); assault impeding the execution of a search warrant (El-Gabrowny); five counts of possession of a fraudulent foreign passport, and one count of possession with intent to transfer false identification documents (El-Gabrowny).

I. The Government's Case

At trial, the Government sought to prove that the defendants and others joined in a seditious conspiracy to wage a war of urban terrorism against the United States and forcibly to oppose its authority. The Government also sought to...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP