DENVER (CBS4) – Defense lawyers in a terror-related case are concerned the government may have spied on them.
They are concerned about how the government gathered information about their clients, and now they want to find out what has been learned about them.
The Islamic Jihad Union is blamed for bombings of the United States and Israel embassies in Uzbekistan in 2004.
Jamshid Muhtorov, of Aurora, and Bakhtiyor Jumaev, of Philadelphia, are charged with conspiring to aid the group.
Muhtorov was arrested in 2012 at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport during what was believed to be a trip to Turkey. Among the communications cited in court documents when he was charged was on that said he was “ready for any task, even with the risk of dying.”
Denver-based attorney David Savitz represents Jumaev and told CBS4 he believes the government has conducted surveillance on he and his defense teams.
“Because our communications with various witnesses, colleages, experts and what have you, could be in the hands of the government,” he said.
The defense lawyers have already asked that any warantless surveillance gathered by the government on their clients be thrown out.
Since NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden began making his disclosures about the NSA last year, the lawyers wonder if they themselves were being spied on as well.
“It wasn’t until Snowden’s revelations that the snowball of information came to light,” Savitz said.
Savitz believes the whole case is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“It’s because there is no precedent which exists in the United States for the kinds of surveillance are at issue in this case,” he said.
He suspects the information the government may have on the lawyers in the case includes which websites they have accessed for their defense.
The U.S. Attorney’s office in Denver is prosecuting the case. Officials there say they can’t comment due to a gag order. They have not filed a response in court yet.