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Melzer Who Wanted Mid East War Has April 2022 Trial in SDNY Amid Classified Info Fights

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

SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 26 – 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, 2020 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.

In November, Melzer through his Federal Defenders filed a motion to dismiss based on the racial and ethnic make up of the Jury wheel used during the COVID-19 pandemic - in White Plains.

Now on July 26, 2021, this: "ORDER as to Ethan Phelan Melzer. Trial in this matter will commence at 9:00 a.m. on April 25, 2022. The pretrial materials required by Rule 6 of the Court's Individual Rules of Practice in Criminal Cases, including motions in limine, are due no later than February 1, 2022. If any motions in limine are filed, opposition papers are due no later than seven days after the date of service of the motion. Reply papers, if any, are due no later than four days after the date of service of the opposition. Courtesy copies of motions in limine should be submitted when the motions are fully briefed. The Court will hold a final pretrial conference in this matter on March 24, 2022 at 2:00 p.m."

On May 24, Melzer's Federal Defenders filed a 24-page motion to dismiss arguing that "counts must be dismissed because the charged statutes do not reach Mr. Melzer's overseas conduct." They cite a 2018 Georgetown Law Journal article.

  As to the Order of Nine Angles, which the US calls a "Satanic anarchist group founded in the UK," the argument is for that reason, the UK HQ, US law cannot reach it. They continue: "in the civil context, federal courts have repeatedly held that certain civil laws do no reach conduct on overseas U.S. military bases because these bases are not within the 'jurisdiction' of the United States." Watch this site.

Days earlier, on May 20, the US Attorney Office has put in a letter that  Melzer was taken into custody at a U.S. military facility in Europe on June 10, 2020 - and was flown directly to Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, north of New York City. Watch this site.

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

  At week's end the US Attorney's Office previewed for Judge Woods requests for sealing they will make under CIPA: "To the extent the Court would like additional information about the Government’s anticipated CIPA § 4 motion, the Government is available to participate in an ex parte classified CIPA § 2 conference at the Court’s convenience. See 18 U.S.C. app. 3 § 2 (establishing that the court, at a  party’s request or on its own initiative, can hold “a pretrial conference to consider matters relating to classified information that may arise in connection with the prosecution”); see also United States v. Saipov, No. S1 17 Cr. 722 (VSB), 2019 WL 5558214, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 29, 2019) (concluding that it was proper for the Court to conduct several ex parte conferences, including a conference pursuant to CIPA § 2). The Government anticipates that by the time of the next conference, defense counsel will have had an opportunity to review the limited amount of classified discovery that the Government plans to produce and the Government’s CIPA § 10 notice. Accordingly, at that conference, the Government will ask the Court to set the deadline for the Government’s CIPA § 4 motion as the same date as the deadline for the defendant’s pretrial motions, and to set a schedule for the defendant’s CIPA § 5 notice and for CIPA § 6 briefing." Inner City Press will continue to report on this.

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


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