SANTA FE, N.M. - A Canadian counterterrorism expert who was acquitted of stockpiling armor-piercing missiles has sued companies affiliated with Halliburton, saying their fraud led to his imprisonment, according to court papers obtained on Friday.
David Hudak, who spent 17 months in prison before being acquitted last November on a variety of federal weapons charges, filed suit in federal court in New Mexico on Oct. 12. He is seeking damages from the companies for deceiving him into thinking he was buying munitions legally.
"U.S. military warheads and U.S. military hardware are supposed to stay with the U.S. military," said Robert Gorence, a lawyer for Hudak.
The lawsuit contends that Jet Research Center, a division of Halliburton Energy Services and others conspired to sell thousands of U.S. military warheads to Hudak and others. The suit contends the sales to the private sector were not permissible under the rules by which the companies acquired the munitions.
The lawsuit contends the companies were obligated to destroy the munitions but found it more profitable to sell them instead.
"Much of what is alleged in the complaint is news to us and we have initiated an investigation to look in to the specific allegations," Wendy Hall, a spokeswoman for Houston-based Halliburton Co., wrote in an email in response to a request for comment.
"At least until our own investigation is substantially advanced, it would be inappropriate to comment in detail. Our total focus is to conduct an in-depth self-examination, because no scrutiny of our operations is more intense than our own," she said.
Gorence would not specify how much he is seeking in damages, but he said Hudak had his life and a multimillion dollar business ruined by the arrest.
"The damages that we will be asking are substantial," Gorence said.
Gorence has said the charges against his client were driven by post-Sept. 11 paranoia and that Hudak had all the appropriate paperwork and licenses for the weapons and explosives he had at his counterterrorism school in the New Mexico desert near Roswell.
Hudak, president of High Energy Access Tools Corp., faced up to 30 years in jail on the federal weapons charges. Hudak has returned to Canada and was recently refused entry into the United States, Gorence said.