United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON PENDING MOTIONS
R. Underhill United States District Judge.
defendant, Arif Durrani, moves for relief from my November
23, 2015, Order (doc. # 64) denying his various requests for
relief. See Docs. # 65, 66, 67. Like his prior
requests, the current request for relief seeks to attack his
twenty-eight-year-old conviction in this District. He argues
that newly disclosed evidence lends further support to his
claim that the government failed to properly disclose
evidence favorable to his defense in violation of Brady
v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), and Rule 16 of the
Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. This is the fifth time
that Durrani has raised a challenge to his conviction based
on the government's failure to provide him with the
required disclosures under Brady.
addition to his claims that the government failed to disclose
exculpatory evidence, Durrani alleges that the newly
disclosed evidence establishes that he was prejudiced by
United States District Judge T.F. Gilroy Daly's failure
to forward to the United States Court of Appeals the
documents that he reviewed in camera. Durrani argues
that, had Judge Daly done so, the Court of Appeals would have
had sufficient evidence to overturn Durrani's conviction
on the basis of the government's failure to disclose
evidence favorable to the defense.
1987, Durrani was convicted of violating the Arms Export
Control Act (“AECA”), 22 U.S.C. § 2778, and
the accompanying International Traffic In Arms regulations,
22 C.F.R. § 120 et seq., by shipping Hawk
missile parts to Iran without a license. He was sentenced to
a term of incarceration. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals
affirmed Durrani's conviction. United States v.
Durrani, 835 F.2d 410 (2d Cir. 1987).
15, 1988, Durrani filed a motion to reduce his sentence.
Durrani argued that “important new information”
established that he was eligible to receive a more lenient
sentence. See Durrani v. United States, 294
F.Supp.2d 204, 207 (D. Conn. 2003), aff'd, 115
F.App'x 500 (2d Cir. 2004). Judge Daly denied the motion,
holding that no new information existed to warrant a grant of
leniency. Judge Daly held that his conclusion was supported
by the fact that “the record reveals that [the]
defendant on several occasions has committed or has caused to
be committed falsehoods in the pretrial, trial and post-trial
proceedings in this matter, reflecting a complete disdain for
the law and this Court.” Id. at 208.
March 4, 1990, Durrani collaterally attacked his sentence in
accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 2255 on the basis that the
government improperly withheld evidence favorable to his
defense. In an attempt to comply with Durrani's discovery
request, the government asked the Office of Independent
Counsel (“OIC”) to produce documents that, to the
extent possible, would substantiate Durrani's claims.
After an in camera review of the produced documents, Judge
Daly ordered some of the documents to be disclosed to
Durrani. Nevertheless, the documents were insufficient to
substantiate Durrani's claims. Durrani moved for
voluntary dismissal of his section 2255 petition in May 1992
and the petition was dismissed with prejudice on December 31,
1992, on account of Durrani's failure to timely refile.
Durrani did not appeal.
January 2002, Durrani filed a petition to vacate his
conviction by writ of error coram nobis or
audito querela. I denied the petition and the
accompanying request for discovery, holding that it was based
on the same grounds raised in his section 2255 motion and
thus was procedurally barred. Alternatively, I concluded
Durrani had failed to satisfy the conditions for either writ.
I denied his discovery requests because: (1) they were overly
burdensome and duplicative of the discovery he had already
been afforded; (2) he had failed to raise a colorable claim
under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963); and (3)
he had failed to appeal the denial of his section 2255
motion. The Second Circuit affirmed the denial of the
petition on the merits, after assuming Durrani was not
procedurally barred, on November 24, 2004. Durrani,
115 F.App'x 500.
fully served his sentence of imprisonment and been released
from custody, Durrani was later arrested and convicted of
additional charges in 2006 in the Southern District of
California. Durrani served a term of incarceration for those
offenses and is currently in removal proceedings, presumably
as a result of those offenses.
2007, Durrani once again attempted to collaterally attack his
conviction. Durrani filed 14 separate motions or petitions,
all of which attempted to challenge either his two prior
convictions, the forfeiture of his assets, or his immigration
status. I denied those motions in September 2009, holding
that some claims were procedurally barred and others lacked
merit. Doc. # 43. One of the motions that I denied in my
September 2009 ruling related to the government's alleged
failure to comply with its obligations under Brady
and Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150 (1972). I
recognized that that claim had already been raised by Durrani
and rejected by this court twice. Further, I held that, even
though he claimed to have discovered previously withheld
documents, Durrani failed to point to any evidence that
called into question the court's previous rulings.
in 2014, Durrani yet again sought to collaterally attack his
conviction. He once again asserted that the government failed
to properly disclose evidence favorable to the defense in
violation of Brady and Rule 16 of the Federal Rules
of Criminal Procedure. In addition, he argued that Judge Daly
improperly quashed a subpoena duces tecum served by
Durrani's trial counsel in March 1987, and he sought
further discovery regarding the documents that Judge Daly
reviewed in camera throughout the course of the
proceeding. Finally, he filed a motion for a copy of the
search warrant and inventory list made by one of the
investigators in the case, and he requested a hearing at
which he would be permitted to seek the partial return of
assets seized as a result of his conviction.
November 23, 2015, I denied Durrani's various pending
requests for relief. Most relevant to the instant motion, I
Like the government, the court is not aware of any procedural
mechanism that permits a defendant to move to re-open his
case 27 years after it was decided. To the extent that
Durrani seeks a new trial on the ground of newly discovered
evidence, such a motion is untimely because it was not filed
within three years of the verdict. See Fed. R. Crim
P. 33(b)(1). If cast as a second petition for writ of
coram nobis, it is similarly untimely, given the
fact that I determined Durrani's first petition to be
untimely when it was filed twelve years ago. See
Durrani, 284 F.Supp.2d at 214-15. Finally, to the extent
that Durrani brings his motion under Rule 60, on the ground
of newly discovered evidence, it is untimely because it was
not filed within one year after the conviction. See
Doc. # 43 at 6.
Regardless of how Durrani's motion (doc. # 44) to re-open
is styled, in the interests of the finality of a criminal
conviction, the ...