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Both sides agree to remove one student from Irvine 11 case

The decision hinges on him completing his community service hours at Someone Cares Soup Kitchen in Costa Mesa.

July 21, 2011|By Mona Shadia, mona.shadia@latimes.com

SANTA ANA — The Irvine 11 appears poised to become the Irvine 10.

The Orange County district attorney's office and defense attorneys on Thursday announced an agreement to dismiss the charges against one of the students if he completes 40 hours of community service in Costa Mesa.

The students are accused of conspiring to interrupt and then interrupting Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren's speech at UCI in February 2010.

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The charges against Hakim Nasreddine Kebir are expected to be dropped once he completes his community service hours at the Someone Cares Soup Kitchen.

He is expected to finish by Sept. 23, Kebir's defense attorney, Robert Hickey, said in the courtroom.

The trial is set to go forward Aug. 15 for the remaining 10 defendants, although the date might be pushed back because of concerns that both sides will not be ready to present their case in less than a month.

The students' defense argued during the last court hearing that the D.A. filed the charges against Kebir using privileged information. They planned to ask the court to dismiss Kebir's charges before the agreement was reached.

Superior Court Judge Peter Wilson on June 30 ordered the D.A. to remove its main investigator and three top deputies from the case to remedy the D.A.'s unauthorized use of what the court ruled were privileged documents. Of the thousands of documents obtained by the D.A.'s office through search warrants, Wilson deemed 20,000 pages privileged.

While the search warrants were not obtained illegally, lead investigator Paul Kelly, who was expected to testify against the students, did not follow protocols after coming across attorney-client privileged communication between defense attorney Reem Salahi and the students, the judge ruled.

The misdemeanor charges were brought against the students — eight from UC Irvine and three from UC Riverside — for repeatedly interrupting Oren's speech on Israeli-American relations.

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