Federal prosecutors dismissed immigration charges against Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin Thursday in a move that generated renewed hope among his supporters.
The decision spares the former Postville Agriprocessors meat plant manager a second federal trial on 72 immigration-related charges.
But he still could spend the rest of his life in prison after a South Dakota jury convicted him of 86 business-fraud charges.
Rubashkin and his supporters continue to maintain that he had done nothing illegal.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Deegan Jr., one of three federal prosecutors who argued the case, said Rubashkin has already been convicted of the most serious charges listed in the indictment.
Dismissing the charges, Deegan explained, also will avoid an extended and costly trial and lessen the inconvenience to possible witnesses.
Rubashkin lawyer Guy Cook said he viewed the dismissal of the immigration charges as a victory for his client.
“Frankly, the government should have done this a long time ago. In spite of the way the government characterizes things in its motion, we believe it overstates the verdict on the financial case in South Dakota,” Cook said.
But a member the the Pidyon Shvuyim committee for Rubashkin told COLlive: “Immigration charges have not been fully dismissed, rather postponed for 5 years, at which time they may file them again.”
Rubashkin is being held in the Linn County Correctional Center in Cedar Rapids. He is awaiting a ruling by Judge Linda Reade on a request by his lawyers that he be released on bail while he is awaiting sentencing.
Cook said he plans to file a motion this week for a new trial, based on what the defense believes are legal errors in the prosecution and trial of the case. If the new trial motion is not granted, an appeal will be filed, he said.
Rubashkin Trial Coverage:
+ Is Rubashkin The Victim?
+ Rubashkin Denied Basic Rights
+ Rubashkin Awaits Bail Ruling
+ Hecht Slams False Media
+ Jury Finds Rubashkin Guilty
+ Tanya Printed in Sioux Falls
+ Dear Shalom Mordechai…
+ KAJ Rov Testified in Sioux Falls
+ Rubashkin: I Made Mistakes
+ Lawyers Decline Elder Rubashkin
+ 200 Visited Rubashkin’s Trial
+ Justice in Middle America
+ ‘Please Attend Rubashkin Trial’
+ Hecht: Rubashkin will be Vindicated
+ Rubashkin Rejected Plea Deal
+ Busload Travels to South Dakota
+ Rubashkin Trial Starts Tuesday
+ Newspaper Ads Demand Justice
+ Error Halts Rubashkin Appeal
+ Rubashkin Daughter Pleads Help