NEW YORK (CN) – The 2nd Circuit affirmed the convictions of two Albany men caught in a terror-financing sting operation and held that national security trumps their right to access the evidence against them.
Mohammed Mosharref Hossain and Yassin Muhiddin Aref were convicted in New York federal court of conspiring to conceal the source of proceeds from the sale of surface-to-air missiles.
When they were nabbed in the sting, they faced charges of conspiracy, and attempt to commit money laundering and to provide material support to terrorists. The missile in question was supposed to be used against targets in New York City, according to a cooperating source.
Judge McLaughlin ruled that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the defendants’ request for discovery of evidence.
“District courts ordinarily should refrain from entirely (as opposed to selectively) sealing court orders, but the district court did not err in doing so here,” the judge ruled.
McLaughlin also denied a motion to intervene from the New York Civil Liberties Union seeking access to the sealed court documents.