By Danny Fenster
After five years of legal wrangling, a federal judge in California ruled Thursday that the FBI must pay the legal fees of Muslim activist groups that sued the agency over a Freedom of Information Act case.
U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney, in a written ruling, said his decision was not based on the merits of the case, but rather to “punish a government that chose to lie to its own judicial system,” reports ABC News. ”The Court must impose monetary sanctions to deter the Government from deceiving the Court again,”
The FBI had denied the existence of files the group was asking for and had claimed that admitting the files in question existed would have compromised national security. The court refuted that claim.
“And the Court rejects the Government’s suggestion that it initially had to deceive the Court to protect national security. The Government could have availed itself of routine court procedures without compromising national security,” Carney wrote.
The case was decided in favor of the Islamic Shura Council, a group composed of six Muslim-American community organizations and five community leaders.
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