By Associated Press - Tuesday, August 5, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - President Barack Obama has nominated the lead prosecutor in a high-profile terrorism trial of three NATO protesters to fill one of two vacancies on the federal bench for northern Illinois.

Sen. Dick Durbin’s office announced Cook County prosecutor John Blakey’s nomination Tuesday. Cook County Judge Jorge Alonso was nominated for the other vacancy at the Chicago-based court.

At trial this year, Blakey accused the activists of plotting Molotov cocktail attacks during the 2012 alliance summit in Chicago. He dubbed them “Professor Molotov,” ”Captain Napalm” and “Mr. Cop on Fire.”

Civil libertarians criticized the decision to charge the three with terrorism. And jurors eventually acquitted them of terrorism and convicted them on lesser charges.

Durbin had recommended Alonso’s nomination. Sen. Mark Kirk recommended Blakey.

The Senate still must approve Obama’s nominations.

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