Richard Convertino, the one-time federal prosecutor who won two convictions in the nation’s first terror trial after September 11, 2001, was indicted yesterday on charges that he built the case on perjury and deception, reports the Detroit News. The four-count indictment alleges Convertino and Harry R. Smith III, a State Department security officer in Jordan, concealed photographs and lied under oath about a hospital in that country that was supposedly a terrorist target. The pictures could have helped the defense attorneys, authorities say. The indictment marks another low point for the government in the disastrous Detroit sleeper cell case.
Convertino promised a vigorous defense. “I’m going to continue to speak out and expose the corruption of this. If they think I’m going to be scared off by this, they picked the wrong guy.” Convertino, 45, has sued the Justice Department, claiming it has mismanaged the war on terrorism. The indictment implicates but doesn’t charge Mike Thomas, the lead FBI agent in the case, in a conspiracy to lie under oath and withhold evidence from defense attorneys.