Sunday, November 3, 2013

United States v. Osama Awadallah case brief

United States v. Osama Awadallah case brief summary
349 F.3d 42 (2d Cir. 2003)

The government appealed the judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissing the perjury indictment against defendant accusing him of violating 18 U.S.C.S. § 1623.


  • Defendant was investigated following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks after his name and home telephone number were found in one of the airplane hijacker's vehicles. 
  • He was arrested as material witness pursuant to 18 U.S.C.S. § 3144 and 20 days later testified before a grand jury. 
  • During his testimony, he denied knowing two of the hijackers and claimed that their names, contained in an examination booklet he had written for a class in September, were not written by him. 
  • He later admitted that it was his handwriting, and was indicted for perjury. 
  • The district court dismissed the indictment, holding that § 3144 did not apply to grand jury witnesses and therefore defendant's perjury was the result of an illegal detention. 
  • On appeal, the court reversed. 
  • The court determined that § 3144 allowed the arrest and detention of grand jury witnesses because a grand jury proceeding was a "criminal proceeding" under § 3144. 
  • The defendant's 20-day detention was not unreasonably prolonged because he received two bail hearings under 18 U.S.C.S. § 3142 within days of his arrest and that judges in both found his continued detention to be reasonable and necessary.

The judgment dismissing the perjury indictment against defendant was reversed and the case was remanded for reinstatement of the indictment and further proceedings.

Recommended Supplements for Criminal Procedure Criminal Procedure: Examples & Explanations, Sixth Edition
Emanuel Law Outline: Criminal Procedure

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