The case of Marc Turi, the American arms merchant who had sought to provide weapons to Libya, demonstrates other challenges the United States faced in dealing with Libya. A dealer who lives in both Arizona and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Mr. Turi sells small arms to buyers in the Middle East and Africa, relying primarily on suppliers of Russian-designed weapons in Eastern Europe.
In March 2011, just as the Libyan civil war was intensifying, Mr. Turi realized that Libya could be a lucrative new market, and applied to the State Department for a license to provide weapons to the rebels there, according to e-mails and other documents he has provided. (American citizens are required to obtain United States approval for any international arms sales.)
He also e-mailed J. Christopher Stevens, then the special representative to the Libyan rebel alliance. The diplomat said he would “share” Mr. Turi’s proposal with colleagues in Washington, according to e-mails provided by Mr. Turi. Mr. Stevens, who became the United States ambassador to Libya, was one of the four Americans killed in the Benghazi attack on Sept. 11.
Mr. Turi’s application for a license was rejected in late March 2011. Undeterred, he applied again, this time stating only that he planned to ship arms worth more than $200 million to Qatar. In May 2011, his application was approved. Mr. Turi, in an interview, said that his intent was to get weapons to Qatar and that what “the U.S. government and Qatar allowed from there was between them.”
Two months later, though, his home near Phoenix was raided by agents from the Department of Homeland Security. Administration officials say he remains under investigation in connection with his arms dealings. The Justice Department would not comment.
Mr. Turi said he believed that United States officials had shut down his proposed arms pipeline because he was getting in the way of the Obama administration’s dealings with Qatar. The Qataris, he complained, imposed no controls on who got the weapons. “They just handed them out like candy,” he said.
Court filings from the case have been unsealed on PACER as of 19 November, and the docket up to today can be found here.
Below are some of the documents I have downloaded so far:
Doc. 003 – Indictment (2014-02-11)
Doc. 012 – Initial Motion to Dismiss Indictment (2014-07-23)
Doc. 051 – Transcript of Pretrial Conference (2014-09-03)
Doc. 055 – Initial Motion to Compel Discovery (2014-09-22)
Doc. 056 – Government’s Response to Defendants’ Motion to Compel Discovery (2014-10-03)
Doc. 057 – Reply in Support of Initial Motion to Compel Discovery (2014-10-10)
Doc. 072 – Motion for Complex Designation (2014-11-18)
Also of interest is this 22 October court ruling available on Google Scholar.