LOS ANGELES – A judge ruled Monday that a former Jewish Defense League (search) activist will stand trial on additional charges related to an alleged plot to bomb a mosque and the office of a Lebanese-American congressman.
Earl Krugel (search), 61, previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the civil rights of the users of the mosque and one count of carrying an explosive device in connection with a conspiracy to impede or injure an officer of the United States.
However, prosecutors argued during a closed-door hearing Monday that Krugel breached terms of the plea agreement and should be tried on multiple counts listed in an indictment filed against him three years ago.
"We view this is as a dark day in American justice," said Krugel's attorney Peter Morris, who added his client had cooperated with the government.
Krugel and the late JDL leader Irv Rubin were arrested in 2001 and charged with conspiring to bomb the King Fahd Mosque (search) in Culver City and a field office of Rep. Darrell E. Issa (search), R-Calif.
Hours before both men were set to appear in court Nov. 4, Rubin slashed his neck with a prison-issued razor blade and tumbled 18 feet over a railing at the downtown federal detention center, federal officials said. He died nine days later.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Jessner wouldn't comment how Krugel breached the plea agreement.
Jessner said that Krugel still could be held to his guilty plea. If he's also convicted of the additional charges, he could serve at least 55 years in prison.
The additional nine counts include attempted arson, possession of a destructive device to further a crime of violence and soliciting someone to commit a crime of violence.