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Attorneys For NATO3 Receive Copy Of Indictment

By aaroncynic in News on Jun 20, 2012 9:30PM

Brent Betterly, Brian Church and Jared Chase have been charged in an alleged NATO summit terror plot. (Chicago Police Department booking photos.)

Though prosecutors haven’t made it easy, defense attorneys for three defendants facing terrorism charges surrounding the NATO summit protests have obtained an 11 count indictment against them, according to the National Lawyers Guild. Last week in court, defense attorneys asked prosecutors to provide them with copies of the indictment, but were refused and told they would be able to see it at the next hearing on July 2.

According to the indictment, Brent Betterly, Jared Chase, and Brian Jacob Church are charged with two counts of unlawful use of a weapon, four counts of possession of an incendiary device, attempted arson, solicitation to commit arson, and conspiracy to commit arson, along with the previous charges of material support for terrorism and conspiracy to commit terrorism.

Outside of the description of the charges, the indictment contains no other information or evidence to back up the claims. Defense attorneys in the case say that evidence is scant, and the investigation and subsequent arrest of the defendants was politically motivated and based on information given by infiltrators who intended to entrap their clients. NLG Spokesperson Kris Hermes said via press release:

“Given that no Molotov cocktails or other incendiary devices have been used at any political demonstration in the U.S. in recent memory, questions of whether law enforcement is in fact provoking or manufacturing criminal activity remain unanswered and extremely relevant.”

Defense lawyers and activists have both pointed to two individuals known only as “Mo” and “Gloves,” who began spending time at Occupy Chicago actions in April and were reportedly part of an investigation into the movement. At least one of the two was arrested when activists barricaded themselves inside the Woodlawn Mental Health Clinic to protest its closure, and both were arrested during the initial raid in Bridgeport. Since then, neither of the two have been seen. Representatives from the NLG said that the two suspected informants are the common “thread” among those accused of terror charges.

It’s also possible that both defense lawyers, their clients and those who were arrested and released were subject to several civil liberties violations and legal misconduct. Kevin Gosztola at the Dissenter points out that law enforcement refused to show attorneys for the arrestees a search warrant, prosecutors refused to show any evidence against the arrested prior to the bond hearing on May 19th, the potential of forced confessions during interrogation, and the detention of those arrested without charge for two days before they were released.

Betterly, Chase and Church are expected to be arraigned on July 2nd, along with two other men, Sebastian Senakiewicz and Mark Neiweem, held on separate similar charges.