DES MOINES - Trial begins this week in the case of four people who attempted to arrest former White House adviser Karl Rove during a fundraising appearance earlier this year in Iowa.
Jury selection in the case was scheduled to begin Wednesday, followed by the trial.
Facing charges of trespassing are retired Methodist minister Chet Guinn, two members of the social welfare group Des Moines Catholic Worker Community, Edward Bloomer and Mona Shaw, and former group member Kirk Brown.
The four were cited after attempting a citizen's arrest of Rove on July 25 at the Wakonda County Club in Des Moines, where he spoke at a Republican fundraiser. They were stopped at the country club's entry gate.
Iowa law obligated them as citizens to make the arrest, said Frank Cordaro, a Des Moines Catholic Worker and a former priest who helped arrange the citizen's arrest.
"The whole principle of a citizen's arrest is it's a legal thing that Iowans can do when they know that a law is being broken and, for any number of reasons, the official agencies that are supposed to see that these things don't happen, or don't take action, are not on scene," he told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Cordaro called Rove a war criminal, saying he is "the propagandist who led us into this war in Iraq, which is a war based on lies and deception."
In the citizens arrest complaint, the defendants accused Rove of felony murder, election fraud, conspiracy to commit offense or defraud the United States leading to the war in Iraq, as well as treason, sedition and subversive activities.
It said Rove submitted and promoted false information leading to the war, the illegal detainment and torture of prisoners and "other fraudulent acts leading to the deaths of more than 4,000 U.S. military personnel as well as approximately 300,000 Iraqi civilians."
Polk County Attorney John Sarcone said he couldn't comment on the pending case.
Cordaro blasted authorities for not taking action against Rove, which he said left citizens to try to bring him to justice.
Two of the four defendants - Brown and Shaw - attempted a similar arrest earlier in the year when Rove spoke at the University of Iowa.