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The Controversial Prosecutor at the Heart of Julian Assange Case

In 2008, Kromberg was the subject of a Washington Post profile covering his conduct in the prosecution of Sami Al-Arian, a Palestinian academic in the U.S. who faced terrorism charges after 9/11. The government’s relentless pursuit of Al-Arian came to be viewed by many legal observers as an example of malicious prosecution, with Kromberg’s role coming in for particular scrutiny.Years of intense pursuit by the Justice Department, with Kromberg playing a lead role, over Al-Arian’s alleged terrorist ties failed to produce any jury convictions on 17 charges related to terrorism.

: The Controversial Prosecutor at the Heart of Julian Assange Case

In 2006, as part of a plea deal on a single count of conspiracy to provide money to a designated terror group, the former University of South Florida professor accepted a deportation order to Turkey to “conclude his case and bring an end to his family’s suffering,” as he previously told The Intercept.The 2008 profile of Kromberg’s role cited one legal expert who referred to Kromberg as a “loose cannon.” Stephen Gillers, a legal ethics expert at New York University Law School, told the Washington Post, “If I were the Justice Department, I wouldn’t want him on the front lines of these highly visible, highly contentious prosecutions.” (Kromberg declined to comment to the Washington Post at the time.)

Despite the plea deal and planned deportation, Al-Arian’s ordeal went on for nine more years, continuing all the way until 2015, as Kromberg tried to drag him into providing more testimony in other cases and had him imprisoned again, for contempt, until he was finally deported.

Source: The Controversial Prosecutor at the Heart of Julian Assange Case