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Ex-Prosecutor Acquitted at Trial Loses Bid for Attorney Fees

Posted May 9, 2008 8:50 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A federal judge has denied a former federal prosecutor’s request for legal fees after his acquittal for withholding evidence.

Former prosecutor Richard Convertino had sought legal fees from the Justice Department, claiming its prosecution of him was "vexatious, frivolous or in bad faith.” The government had unsuccessfully prosecuted Convertino on allegations he withheld evidence favorable to four North African suspects in a high-profile 2003 Detroit terrorism trial.

But U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow said Convertino had failed to prove the government acted in bad faith when it charged him, the Detroit News reports. Tarnow also denied Convertino's request for sanctions against government lawyers for disclosing sealed records.

The government had introduced the sealed records in response to the attorney fee request. The Justice Department claimed the records showed Convertino had lied about his credentials on applications for college, law school and the judiciary, the Detroit News reported in February. Tarnow said he sealed the records for Convertino’s trial, and it’s not clear the order extended to filings made after it was completed.

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