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Melzer Who Wanted 10 Year Middle East War Indicted For Passing Secrets As PlayStation Searched

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 9 – Ethan Melzer a/k/a Etil Reggad was charged with conspiring to target his U.S. Army unit, allegedly because "another 10 year war in the Middle East would definitely leave a mark."

Since his indictment his lawyers at Federal Defenders have sought information about the selection of the grand jury, and the constitution of the Master and Qualified Jury Wheels (others are seeking this too, as covered by Inner City Press here).  

 On July 6 he was arraigned before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn. Inner City Press live tweeted it, below.

 On September 9 the assigned District Judge, Gregory H. Woods, arraigned Melzer on the superseding indictment. Inner City Press live tweeted it:

Judge Woods says this will be an arraignment on superseding indictment. Federal Defender says if Melzer came into the courthouse, he'd have to be quarantined 14 or 21 days after it. So, it's by phone [earlier today a video sentencing in another case broke down]

AUSA Hellman: The superseding indictment contains the original charges - conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals / service members abroad, terrorist acts - but adds 2 counts: illegal transmission of national defense info, to a faction or person in a foreign country

AUSA Hellman: The defendant wanted to set off a race war and bring down Western civilization. Judge Woods: Mr Melzer, you have the right for me to read the superseding indictment to you on the record. Melzer: No thank you, Judge. 

Melzer pleads not guilty to each count. AUSA Hellman: The US has made 2 discovery productions, "significant and voluminous," including Telegram messages.

AUSA Hellman: The US got warrants for defendant's two cell phone and his PlayStation game console. The government will continue to produce discovery.

 Judge Woods: How does the government propose to deal with classified information? [Inner City Press note: In the CIA / Schulte case they set up a SCIF in 500 Pearl Street, but now counsel in that case says the room does not have the ventilation needed amid COVID]

 AUSA Hellman: There will be only 100 pages of classified material. It can be stored in a SCIF. We have a protective order under CIPA. Judge Woods: I don't have the CIPA order in front of me. I don't see it filed on the docket. [Me either].

Inner City Press  Federal Defender: We'd ask for 90 days to review the discovery. Mr. Marvinny will have to renew his classified status / access. AUSA Hellman: I checked, we did not submit the CIPA order and won't under Mr. Marvinny is re-certified.

 The next date in Melzer case is December 9. Inner City Press will continue to cover it.

From July:

Voice: "This is the MCC. We have Melzer here. Ethan." "Hello?"

He is represented by Federal Defenders, two lawyers. 

The US Attorney's Office says Melzer wrote “I would’ve died successfully . . . cause [] another 10 year war in the Middle East would definitely leave a mark.” 

Judge Netburn: You are charged with six counts, including conspiracy to murder and maim in a foreign country. Have you received a copy of this indictment?  Melzer: Yes, Judge.  

Judge Netburn: How do you plead? 

Melzer: Not guilty, Judge. 

And that was it - less than 14 minutes, no request for release of bond (seems clear that would be denied), no mention of next date. Case is assigned to District Judge Gregory Woods. Inner City Press will continue to report on it. 

The case is US v. Melzer, 20-cr-314 (Woods / Netburn)


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