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Delay sought in Boise terror trial

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Federal prosecutors are seeking to delay the trial for an Uzbek national arrested in May on terrorism-related charges, calling the case too complex to argue it in court on the scheduled date early next month. Fazliddin Kurbanov, a refugee living in Boise, has pleaded not guilty to allegations he helped teach people to build bombs to target public transportation. The 30-year-old's case had been due to go to trial on July 2. U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson filed documents Tuesday asking Judge Mikel Williams to continue the case, however, calling the evidence voluminous, potentially classified and requiring services of a translator. Charles Peterson, Kurbanov's lawyer in Boise, indicated he has no objection to pushing back the trial date. Kurbanov has been held in a county jail in Boise since his arrest.

Judge: Idaho terror case evidence is ‘classified’

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal court judge in Idaho has appointed a security specialist in the case of an Uzbek national accused of terrorism-related crimes in Idaho and Utah, to vet potentially classified information in the evidence. In his order released late Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge appointed Winfield S. “Scooter” Slade as a classified information security officer in the case against Fazliddin Kurbanov. Kurbanov, a 30-year-old refugee from central Asia, has pleaded not guilty in federal court in Boise to charges including helping teach people to build bombs to target public transportation. Lodge wrote in Tuesday's order he's been made aware of the potential existence of classified information in Kurbanov's case. In appointing Slade, Lodge cited a federal law requiring courts to have procedures in place for handling such sensitive material.

Click below for a full report from AP reporter John Miller.

Kurbanov gets new attorney: Chuck Peterson

An Uzbek refugee accused of terrorism-related crimes in Idaho and Utah has a new lawyer whose resume includes successfully defending a man accused of murdering a federal agent and helping free a Saudi college student charged with working for a group funneling money to terrorists, the AP reports. A federal judge has appointed Charles Peterson to take over Fazliddin Kurbanov's defense; click below for a full report from AP reporter John Miller.

Kurbanov’s appointed lawyers want out of terrorism case due to budget cuts

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Lawyers for an Uzbek national facing federal terrorism-related charges in Idaho and Utah want a judge to let them withdraw from the case, saying federal budget cuts have left their office with too few resources. Fazliddin Kurbanov, 30, of Boise, has pleaded not guilty to charges involving teaching people to build bombs. Court-appointed attorneys Richard Rubin and Thomas Monaghan, of Federal Defenders Services of Idaho, are seeking appointment of new counsel. Rubin told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Congress' across-the-board budget cuts known as “sequestration” have reduced his budget by 10 percent this fiscal year, and as much as an 14 percent next year. Rubin says Kurbanov would be better off getting another lawyer now, while the case is still in its initial phase. Kurbanov was arrested May 17.

Click below for a full report from the Associated Press.

Terror suspect to remain in custody

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An Uzbek national facing terrorism-related charges in Idaho will remain jailed pending his trial after waiving his right to a detention hearing. Lawyers for Fazliddin Kurbanov on Tuesday waived a hearing where a U.S. District Court judge was to have considered whether he should stay in Ada County jail in Boise until his July 2 trial. Kurbanov is a refugee from Uzbekistan in Central Asia who arrived in Boise in 2009. He was arrested last Thursday. The 30-year-old truck driver was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that included teaching people to build bombs intended to target public transportation. It's unclear whether the alleged targets were in the United States or elsewhere. Prosecutors say they've contained Kurbanov's threat, but haven't said if more arrests are pending.

Kurbanov makes first court appearance, pleads not-guilty to all charges

Fazliddin Kurbanov made his first appearance in federal court this morning, dressed in yellow-and-white striped scrubs stamped “Ada County Jail” on the back and speaking through an interpreter. Kurbanov, a 30-year-old truck driver from Uzbekistan, is charged with providing material support to terrorists and possession of a destructive device. “For the record, has the defendant been read the indictment in his native language?” Judge Mikel Williams asked. “He has, your honor,” replied federal defender Richard Rubin, who appeared with Kurbanov in court this morning along with Boise attorney Thomas Monaghan; you can read my full story here at spokesman.com.

“Does the defendant understand the nature of the charges against him and the maximum penalty that can be applied as to each of those counts?” the judge asked. Kurbanov, who has a short, neatly trimmed beard and a full head of dark hair parted on the side, listened to the interpreter on the telephone, then nodded and shrugged. He entered a plea of not guilty to all three of the charges, which each carry penalties of up to 15 years in prison.

The initial appearance was delayed for close to 40 minutes as Rubin got his first chance to meet with his client; they spoke in the courtroom, while the other attorneys and audience waited outside. An interpreter in California translated for Kurbanov into Russian via telephone. Asked if Kurbanov speaks any English, Rubin said, “Very little, very little.”

Kurbanov, who was legally present in the country at the time of his arrest and was living in Boise, struggled to follow the proceedings as he held a corded phone handset to his ear to listen to the interpreter. Court officials said they are working on getting an interpreter to be present in court for Kurbanov’s detention hearing, which was set for May 21 at 1:30. The judge said, “All right. That’ll make things work a little smoother.”

The judge questioned Kurbanov about his financial status in relation to whether he qualifies to have an attorney appointed for him. “The financial affidavit states that you were working as a truck driver up to the time of your arrest, is that correct?” Williams asked. The interpreter said, “Yes,” as Kurbanov nodded. “It also states that other than some used automobiles and a small amount of money in a checking or savings account, you have no other assets or money or funds to hire your own attorney. Is that correct?” the judge asked. After some repeating and pauses, the interpreter told the court via speaker, “That’s correct, your honor.”

The judge then appointed the federal defender to represent Kurbanov, and advised Kurbanov of his rights, including that he’s presumed innocent and the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. He set the trial in his case for July 2 before U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge, though delays likely will push that back.

Boisean Faces Terrorism Charges

A Boise man from Uzbekistan has been arrested on terrorism charges; he's been indicted in both Idaho and Utah on federal charges including possessing an unregistered destructive device, providing material support to terrorists, and distributing information relating to weapons of mass destruction. Click below for the full new release from the U.S. Attorney's office. Fazliddin Kurbanov, 30, was arrested this morning in Boise and will make his initial appearance in court tomorrow in Boise/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise.

Question: Getting a bit close to home?