|Cultural property seized in U.S. v. Khouli et al.|
After a hearing last Friday, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York ruled against the defendants "with the exception that the United States shall, by May 25, 2012, identify any regulations, treaty provisions, or foreign laws it will rely on at trial as 'laws' in connection with the charge that defendants 'fraudulently or knowingly import[ed or brought] into the United States, any merchandise, contrary to law' in violation of 18 USC 545."
18 USC 545 is the federal smuggling statute. That law states in relevant part:
"Whoever fraudulently or knowingly imports or brings into the United States, any merchandise contrary to law, or receives, conceals, buys, sells, or in any manner facilitates the transportation, concealment, or sale of such merchandise after importation, knowing the same to have been imported or brought into the United States contrary to law—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.
Proof of defendant's possession of such goods, unless explained to the satisfaction of the jury, shall be deemed evidence sufficient to authorize conviction for violation of this section."