The Lady Speaks

Gov’t f***s up Moussaoui case

The judge in the Moussaoui case, Leonie Brinkema, will allow the prosecution to continue it’s death penalty case, but she has barred their testimony on ‘aviation security measures’.

And there were even more problems.

From MSNBC online: ‘I don’t think in the annals of criminal law there has ever been a case with this many significant problems,’ Brinkema said. She ruled the trial could proceed after a daylong hearing into whether coming witnesses had been tainted by improper coaching by a federal lawyer.

Brinkema added, ‘More problems arose today that none of us knew about yesterday.’

(snip)
She also said she was troubled that one witness sought by defense lawyers was told by federal attorney Carla J. Martin that he could not speak to them and that Martin falsely told the defense that two others were not willing to speak to them.

(snip)Earlier Tuesday, four federal aviation officials scheduled to testify in the sentencing trial said that coaching would not affect what they would tell the jury. But they disclosed new problems in the government’s handling of witnesses.

Among those problems:

  • Government lawyers sent a letter Feb. 14 saying that at least three federal aviation officials sought as defense witnesses refused to talk to defense lawyers. The three said they had never seen the letter and one of them said he would have been willing to talk to the defense.
  • Martin told one official, sought as a defense witness, that he was not to have contact with defense attorneys.
  • Two of the witnesses read and watched news coverage of the week-old trial despite the judge’s order they not follow the case. The government admitted it did not advise witnesses of the judge’s order governing their conduct.
  • Martin not only e-mailed seven witnesses about trial events but also told one person that the defense was trying to portray Moussaoui as ‘cuckoo.’

Judge Brinkema had this to say about Carla Martin: ‘I wouldn’t trust anything Martin had anything to do with at this point.’

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March 15, 2006 - Posted by | Courts, Government, Terrorism

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