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Melzer Who Wanted Mid East War Got April 19 Trial But Now Gets Delay to July 5

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

SDNY COURTHOUSE, March 7 – 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.

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."

On March 3, Judge Woods moved it up: "ORDER as to Ethan Phelan Melzer. On July 26, 2021, the Court scheduled trial in this matter for April 25, 2022. The trial will now begin on April 19, 2022. This is the first priority trial for that day. Trial will take place in a courtroom to be determined in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Courthouse at 500 Pearl Street, New York, New York, 10007. All other deadlines laid out in the Courts July 26, 2021 order remain in effect. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Gregory H. Woods on 3/3/2022)."

Hours later the Federal Defenders wrote in, saying that the US Attorney's Office agreed that the trial should be delayed to July.

Docketed on March 7, this: "ORDER [101] JOINT LETTER MOTION addressed to Judge Gregory H. Woods from Jonathan Marvinny dated March 3, 2022 re: Adjourn trial. The parties' March 3, 2022 request for an adjournment of the trial in this case, which was previously scheduled to begin on April 19, 2022, is granted. Trial will commence at 9:00 a.m. on July 5, 2022. The Court will hold a final pretrial conference in this matter on April 29, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. The other deadlines in the Courts July 21, 202[1] order remain in effect." Watch this site.

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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