A judge’s decision allowing an American businessman accused of bribing officials in Kazakhstan to claim that the United States government endorsed his actions has put prosecutors into a tough spot.

According to briefs filed with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, prosecutors say they may be forced to drop the case against businessman James H. Giffen because of Southern District Judge William H. Pauley’s decision allowing Giffen to present the so-called “public authority” defense.

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