Saturday, July 31, 2010

Terrorist Who Turned State's Evidence Faces New Charges

A convicted terrorist who received reduced charges after assisting federal prosecutors to convict other terrorists in plans to attack Los Angeles International Airport has been arrested on charges that may have violated his deal.
Facing a possible sentence of more than 100 years in prison, the Algerian, Abdel Ghani Meskini, testified as a prosecution witness in two trials and helped to convict two other conspirators in the plot, which was to coincide with the millennium celebrations in the United States.

With the government endorsing leniency, Mr. Meskini received a short sentence, and in 2005 he was released. He moved to Georgia, got a job, paid thousands of dollars in restitution and tried to build a new life.

But Mr. Meskini, 42, was recently rearrested, accused of violating the terms of his release by committing new offenses. The authorities say that in 2007 he possessed a handgun and that last year he asked people to buy him an AK-47 assault rifle. He even sent an e-mail to one person with a photograph of the weapon he wanted, the government says.

Mr. Meskini has not been charged with new crimes; rather, federal probation officers have referred the allegations to the judge, John F. Keenan, who sentenced him in 2004. If he is found to have violated the terms of his release, he could be sentenced to additional years in prison.

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