Friday, February 20, 2009
Will the government finally get the message that this prosecution just wasn't meant to be? The court dismissed the case against a co-defendant (see here), dismissed Court One against Kuehne (see here), and now Court Seven is dismissed. The most recent dismissal is yet more evidence of the government's stretching to make this prosecution.
The court ruled that "the government has cited no court decision in either the United States or Columbia that recognizes a property right in potentially forfeitable property without first obtaining a judgment." The court dismissed count seven because "the Columbian government's 'right' to seek forfeiture" does not "constitute[ ] a cognizable 'property' right under the mail and wire fraud statutes." Although the opinion only mentions the Cleveland case, where the Supreme Court found that "licenses" did not constitute property, it seems obvious that without a property interest, one does not have property.
See Order - Download order_dismissing_count_7_2.20.09).pdf
See also David Oscar Markus, Southern District of Florida Blog, Another one bites the dust