Saturday, March 10, 2012

Court Denies Alshdaifat Motion to Change Venue in United States v. Khouli et al.

The US District Court for the Eastern District of New York has denied Salem Alshdaifat's request to move the trial from the Empire State to his home state of Michigan.  Alshdaifat is charged in the case of United States v. Khouli et al. with participating in an antiquities smuggling ring along with three other co-defendants.  Like any defendant, Alshdaifat is presumed innocence unless the prosecution proves its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Alshdaifat's attorney filed a motion in November to move the court case to Detroit's federal court, citing personal and financial hardships.  The prosecution objected.  In a February 12, 2012 pleading, Assistant United States Attorney Karin Orenstein argued, among other points, that venue in New York is presumed to be proper, that having multiple trials in two separate circuit jurisdictions is unreasonably cumbersome, and that handling and presenting delicate cultural artifact evidence favors presenting the case in New York.

Judge Edward Korman's February 29, 2012 order states simply: "Argument heard.  Motion denied w/o prejudice to renew."