United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ORDER RE PENDING MOTIONS IN LIMINE
Jeffrey Alker Meyer United States District Judge.
September 6, 2018, a federal grand jury returned an
indictment charging defendant Fareed Ahmed Khan with a single
count of knowingly and willfully making a materially false
statement within the jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation (FBI). Doc. #58. In anticipation of trial, the
parties have filed various motions in limine, and
this ruling addresses the remaining motions.
motion to strike terrorism enhancement (Doc. #94).
moves to strike the portions of the indictment that allege
the so-called “terrorism enhancement” to the
false statement charge. See 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)
(providing for a higher maximum sentence if the false
statement “offense involves international or domestic
terrorism”). Because the Government no longer opposes
this motion, see Doc. #122 at 1-2, the Court GRANTS
the motion and strikes those portions of the indictment that
refer to terrorism or that relate to the terrorism
enhancement in the false statement statute.
motions to disclose identity of confidential informant (Docs.
#95 and #99).
moves for the Government to disclose the identity of a
confidential human source who made statements about him.
Because the Government represents that it will not call the
informant as a witness at trial, see Doc. #100 at 1,
6-7, or otherwise introduce any statements made by the
informant in its case-in-chief, the Court DENIES the motions
for lack of a showing of need for disclosure. In the event
that Khan chooses to testify or present defense witnesses,
and if the Government believes that any statements made by
the confidential informant are proper grounds for impeachment
or reference in any form at trial, the Government shall
furnish adequate advance notice to Khan and to the Court of
its request for leave to use such statements.
omnibus motion in limine (Doc. #109).
Government has filed an omnibus motion in limine
that seeks the admission of several categories of evidence:
1. Evidence of dealings with Hussain Chippa and
“hawala” relationship. The Government seeks
to introduce evidence of Khan's dealings and transactions
with Hussain Chippa and to refer to the nature of this
relationship as a “hawala” or
“hawaladar” relationship. Khan's extensive
financial and commercial dealings with Chippa (and his
third-party designees) is highly relevant to the
Government's case-in-chief pursuant to Fed.R.Evid. 401,
especially with respect to the alleged false statement by
Khan that “[t]he only packages he has ever sent to
Pakistan were to his sister and brother and contained
clothing.” Doc. #58 at 2. Moreover, in view of the
unconventional nature of this financial and commercial
relationship as well as Khan's agreement when interviewed
that it was a “hawala” relationship, see
Doc. #125-6 at 3, it is relevant and proper for the
Government to refer to the relationship by the
“hawala” name. The probative value of evidence
relating to Khan's financial and commercial dealings with
Chippa and of the reference to “hawala” is not
substantially outweighed by unfair prejudice pursuant to
Fed.R.Evid. 403. And to the extent that any of this evidence
arguably falls with the scope of Fed.R.Evid. 404(b), the
evidence is proper as it goes to Khan's intent and motive
for making the allegedly false statements to the FBI. The
parties have conditionally agreed upon a stipulation
regarding “hawalas, ” see Doc. #122-1,
and the jury will be instructed upon request that a
“hawala” relationship is not inherently illegal
and that it is for the jury to decide whether the nature of
the relationship here was indeed a “hawala”
relationship. Accordingly, the Court GRANTS the
Government's omnibus motion in limine to the
extent that the Government may introduce evidence of
Khan's financial and commercial dealings with Chippa (and
his third-party designees) that involved the shipment of
packages to Pakistan and that the Government may refer to
this relationship as a “hawala” relationship. In
light of the Court's striking of the terrorism
enhancement and the Government's declaration that it will
not introduce evidence concerning terrorism or material
support thereof in its case-in-chief, see Doc. #128
at 2, the Court DENIES the Government's motion in
limine to the extent that the Government would seek to
link any of this evidence to terrorism.
2. Selective prosecution. The Government moves
in limine to preclude Khan from arguing that he was
subject to investigation and prosecution on unconstitutional
grounds such as his religion. The Court GRANTS this aspect of
the Government's omnibus motion on the ground that Khan
has not moved prior to trial and established the requisites
for a selective-prosecution defense. See Fed. R.
Crim. P. 12(b)(3)(A); United States v. Farhane, 634
F.3d 127, 167 (2d Cir. 2011). This ruling is without
prejudice to Khan's right to urge the jury that it should
evaluate the evidence and base its decision in this case
without respect to his race, national origin, religion, or
any other protected ground.
3. Khan's proffer statements. The Government
moves in limine to introduce Khan's proffer
statements in the event that Khan opens the door to their
admission. On August 2, 2019, the Court held a pre-trial
conference with the parties and GRANTED the Government's
omnibus motion as to proffered statements on the consent of
the parties and subject to the Government's advance
notice to Khan and the Court of its intention to use any such
statements at trial so that the Court may determine whether
there is a proper basis to do so. See Doc. #118.
motion in limine to exclude hearsay statements (Doc.
moves in limine to exclude statements on Facebook by
his brother, Naveed Khan, as well as Khan's own
statements to the Government's confidential informant. In
light of the Government's stated position that it does
not intend to introduce any of these statements or evidence
about Naveed Khan's support for LeT or FIF, see
Doc. #128 at 2, the Court DENIES this motion as moot.
motion in limine re use of the term