MARQUETTE – A federal jury on Thursday convicted a Sault Ste. Marie man on six charges related to the possession and transportation of more than 4,000 pounds of explosives, while acquitting his codefendant.

The acquitted codefendant, Ken Kassab, was represented by attorney Karl Numinen who said his client was used by the government to leverage the case against Lechner, who withdrew a guilty plea in the case prior to Kassab’s indictment.  “The government wields a tremendous amount of power and they used that power, in this case, to bring my client in as a pawn in their conflict with Mr. Lechner,” Numinen said. “He survived, but it was an ordeal for him. I truly believe that had Mr. Lechner not withdrawn his guilty plea, Mr. Kassab never would have been charged.”  Kassab had also reached a plea agreement with the government, but withdrew his plea just four days before trial.  “The two of us spent a fair amount of time having real heart-to-heart discussions about his role in this situation and whether that constituted criminal liability,” Numinen said. “Mr. Kassab came to the conclusion that he did nothing wrong. … He was right.”  Numinen said that, following the trial, one of the jurors had indicated to him that the jury agreed to acquit Kassab within about 20 minutes of convening for deliberations. The group then turned its attention to the charges against Lechner.  For the full story click here:Marquette Mining Journal 

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