Friday, July 18, 2008

Is Alice Martin Getting In Deeper and Deeper?

The negative attention just keeps on coming for Alice Martin, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. Couldn't happen to a more deserving gal.

The latest comes from reporter Kate Klonick at TPM Muckraker, outlining the scrutiny Martin is receiving for her mishandling of the Alex Latifi/Axion case in Huntsville.

Klonick reports:

The new OPR investigation stems from a case involving Axion Corp., which was acquitted in October 2007 of violating the Arms Export Control Act. In an interview with TPMmuckraker this morning, Henry Frohsin, an attorney for Axion Corp., confirmed that they had sent a letter of complaint against Martin to the OPR on May 9. News of the investigation was first reported by Scott Horton, at the American Lawyer, citing anonymous sources.

"We consider this a serious case of prosecutorial misconduct that impacted the rights of the defendant," Frohsin, of the Birmingham office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell and Berkowitz, told us, "and we intend to rigorously pursue this matter with authorities at the Department of Justice."

Frohsin also stated that a DOJ attorney had been assigned to look into their complaint.

What's the latest on Latifi's fight for justice? Klonick provides some answers:

Latifi, an engineer trained at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, will be able to collect about $500,000 in expenses, said his Birmingham attorney, Henry Frohsin. Latifi contends that he was selected for prosecution under arms-export laws because of his ethnic background.

And apparently the DOJ immediately started covering its tracks:

Johnson's ruling also said the government has withdrawn its request for a certification from the court endorsing the asset seizure as having had a reasonable cause. That eliminates any chances for Axion's lawyers to demand a hearing to examine the Justice Department's memos, legal papers and investigative methods, said Frohsin, a lawyer with the Birmingham office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz.

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