Federal prosecutors asked a federal judge in Washington on Tuesday to dismiss the government’s prosecution of a South Korean businessman accused of illegally selling technology used in aircraft and missiles to Iran.
The move comes three months after a judge ruled that the government unlawfully seized and searched the suspect’s computer at Los Angeles International Airport as Jae Shik Kim was to catch a flight home in 2012. The government decided not to appeal and said it was “unable to continue prosecuting this matter.”
As we previously reported in this case, the authorities who were investigating Kim exercised the border exception rule that allows them “to seize and search goods and people—without court warrants—along the border and at airport international terminals. US District Court judge Amy Berman Jackson of the District of Columbia noted that the Supreme Court has never directly addressed the issue of warrantless computer searches at an international border crossing, but she ruled the government used Kim’s flight home as an illegal pretext to seize his computer.” Authorities then shipped it 150 miles south to San Diego where the hard drive was copied and examined for weeks.
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