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United States v. Clegg

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
846 F.2d 1221 (9th Cir. 1988)


Eugene Ray Clegg (defendant), a teacher at an American school in Pakistan, was charged with exporting firearms in violation of federal law. During pretrial proceedings, Clegg requested that the federal government produce documentary evidence that Clegg claimed authorized his conduct, namely the smuggling of weapons through Pakistan to Afghan rebels so that the rebels could resist Soviet occupation of their country. Clegg alleged the documents would show that two high-ranking United States Army officers assisted Clegg in contacting the rebels, obtaining weapons and ammunition, and planning a large, secret arms shipment that never took place. Clegg was eventually arrested in Pakistan, imprisoned, and subsequently released to U.S. officials, who transported Clegg back to the United States for prosecution in federal district court. The government opposed Clegg’s request, arguing that the materials sought were classified. The district court held that the documents were material and discoverable. The court of appeals affirmed the district court’s judgment. On remand, Clegg gave notice that he intended to use the documentary evidence, both classified and unclassified, at trial in claiming that he mistakenly acted in good-faith reliance on the military officials’ representations authorizing Clegg’s actions. The district court held that the documentation was admissible. The government appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

Dissent (Skopil, J.)

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