U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon said the dismissal brought a “long and sad journey in the annals of white collar prosecutions” to a close.
A defendant facing foreign bribery charges said a “Hollywood-style arrest” led to coerced statements to interrogators.
Judge Richard Leon set the stage for an unprecedented series of trials in an area of the law that has nearly no case history despite its vigorous enforcement in recent years.
“It is the government that has … effectively declared the defendants guilty in the media – all in the context of touting its own ‘anti-corruption’ efforts,” the defense motion said.
The case’s 22 defendants were indicted under seal in December after an elaborate sting operation where FBI agents posed as representatives of an African country’s defense ministry.
“Frankly, you’re making some tall accusations,” Judge Richard Leon told defense lawyers during Monday’s hearing.
In an earlier March filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Springfield, Mass., weapons manufacturer said that one if its vice presidents had been indicted for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.
The numbers were reported in financial statements for the gun manufacturer’s fiscal year that ended April 30.
At a hearing Monday afternoon, defense lawyers in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act sting case chided government prosecutors for not turning over evidence faster on the cooperating witness. UPDATED: 3/24.
For attorneys in the burgeoning Foreign Corrupt Practices Act legal arena, the sensational bribery case against 22 defense and law enforcement contractors is the hottest one on the docket.