BOWLING GREEN, Ky., Aug. 9 (UPI) — A judge in Kentucky is considering an Iraqi refugee’s assertion he can’t be prosecuted in a U.S. court on charges he conspired to commit terrorist acts in Iraq.
Federal prosecutors reject Waad Ramadan Alwan’s claim the Geneva Convention protects him from prosecution in the United States, The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal reported Monday.
Alwan, who is in custody in an undisclosed location, was indicted in Bowling Green in May on charges of conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals with roadside bombs in Iraq in 2005. His public defender filed a motion to dismiss the charges, saying under the Geneva Convention his client can only be prosecuted in Iraq or by a military tribunal.
In a 17-page response to the motion, prosecutors said the Geneva Convention is a “compact between independent nations” and cannot be enforced by an individual in a court.
Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell will rule on the motion. No date for Alwan’s trial has been set.
Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi are also charged with scheming to export missiles and other weapons to insurgents in Iraq. Hammadi has pleaded not guilty and was being detained at an undisclosed location pending trial.
Alwan, 30, was admitted to the United States in 2009 and settled in Bowling Green, even though his fingerprint had been found on an unexploded roadside bomb in Iraq and placed in a Defense Department database. A search of that data was not part of the refugee application process at the time, the Los Angeles Times reported in May.