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Tenth Circuit Upholds Conviction On Evidence Gathered Under Section 702 of FISA

Emily Dai
Thursday, December 9, 2021, 4:49 PM

On Dec. 8, the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit upheld the conviction of an Uzbek immigrant that relied on information obtained through warrantless foreign intelligence surveillance.

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In a 220-page ruling issued Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit found that information collected from warrantless surveillance of non-United States person living abroad did not violate the constitutional rights of Jamshid Muhtorov. Muhtorov, a legal permanent resident of the U.S. and political refugee from Uzbekistan, was convicted for providing material support to the Islamic Jihad Union, a foreign terrorist organization with ties to al-Qaeda.

The opinion, written by Judges Scott Matheson and Allison Eid, ruled that Section 702 surveillance of Muhtorov was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment. Additionally, they found that although the six-and-a-half years of pre-conviction detention was “[u]unusually lengthy,” the unique circumstances of the case justified the length of the pretrial period. Judge Carlos Lucero dissented from the majority, labeling the ruling an “[e]xtreme departure” from accepted constitutional and procedural law.

You can read the opinion here and below:

Emily Dai is a junior at New York University studying Politics and Economics. She is an intern at Lawfare.

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