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TERRORISM: Government Case in Moussaoui Sentencing Trial Unravels

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posted on Mar, 13 2006 @ 05:36 PM
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The case against Zacarias Moussaoui is in danger of unraveling after U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema learned that the prosecution coached witnesses in direct contradiction of her orders barring witnesses from any exposure to trial testimony.
 



news.yahoo.com
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The federal judge in the Zacarias Moussaoui case said Monday she may dismiss the death-penalty prosecution of the al-Qaida conspirator after a federal lawyer apparently coached witnesses on upcoming testimony.
U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema said it was "very difficult for this case to go forward" after prosecutors revealed that a lawyer for the Transportation Security Administration had violated her order barring witnesses from any exposure to trial testimony.
Brinkema sent the jury home until Wednesday while she considers her options. She will hold a hearing Tuesday to determine the scope of the problem. The
TSA lawyer, Carla Martin, and most of the seven witnesses — past or present employees of the
Federal Aviation Administration who received e-mails from Martin — are expected to testify.
Brinkema said she had "never seen such an egregious violation of a rule on witnesses," and prosecutor David Novak agreed that Martin's actions were "horrendously wrong."
Defense lawyer Edward MacMahon asked Brinkema to dismiss the government's death-penalty case, saying, "This is not going to be a fair trial."The
At the very least, he said the government's FAA witnesses should be excluded. But prosecutor Novak protested they represented "half the government's case."


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


One has to wonder, given the almost slam dunk nature of this case, why prosecution lawyers would have to coach witnesses. Then again the case against Moussaoui has been problematic from the beginning and instead of wanting to know what he has to say, the government seems bent on shutting him up at any cost. Again it makes you wonder.

Related News Links:
hosted.ap.org

[edit on 3-15-2006 by Valhall]




posted on Mar, 15 2006 @ 07:50 AM
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"I don't think in the annals of criminal law there has ever been a case with this many significant problems..." That's what Judge Leonie Brinkema stated yesterday after getting fed up with the troubled sentencing trial of Zacarias Moussaoui. After finding witness tampering and coaching, violations of court orders, and false statements made to the court - and that's by the Government's prosecuting attornies, by the way - Judge Brinkema killed half their case against Moussaoui.
 



www.msnbc.msn.com



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


The sentencing trial is being conducted to determine if Zacarias Moussaoui will be executed, or spend the rest of his life in prison for his role as an al-Qaida conspirator in the events of 9/11.

Half of the government's case in this trial, where they intended to show that government agencies could have performed certain actions that could have prevented 9/11 if Moussaoui had not lied after being arrested a month before the attack, will now be eliminated from the hearing due to the shenanigans of the prosecuting attornies, which include:

*coaching witnesses
*telling witnesses they were not to talk to defense attornies
*lying to the court that two witnesses refused to speak to defense attornies (when, in fact, it appears the prosecuting attornies didn't pass the defense's subpoenas to the witnesses in the first place.)
*communicating court proceedings to witnesses (in violation of specific orders by Judge Brinkema who ordered that all witnesses be isolated from coverage of the court proceedings. This order was not communicated by the prosecuting attornies to the witnesses, but instead, the government attornies actually emailed details of the proceedings on to the witnesses.)

Apparently the most egregious offender on the prosecuting team is one lawyer, Carla J. Martin, who emailed at least seven witnesses with details of the hearing. Judge Brinkema went so far as to say, "I wouldn’t trust anything Martin had anything to do with at this point."

The defense team moved to strike the possibility of execution due to the misconduct of the prosecuting attornies, but the judge did not agree with the request.



posted on Mar, 15 2006 @ 07:51 AM
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My apologies. I some how missed your write-up, so I have included mine as a follow-up here and will remove my submission.


P.S. But I had to edit your title because it was misleading. The case is not in jeopardy of being kicked out (he confessed)...just one half of the argument in the sentencing trial.


[edit on 3-15-2006 by Valhall]



posted on Mar, 15 2006 @ 08:27 AM
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There have been several excuses given for Martin's mis-steps:
1. Her area of expertise is administrative law, not criminal law, and thus she was unfamiliar with the rules governing witnesses
2. She was personally against the death penalty and deliberately sabotaged the government's penalty phase.

I think she was just incompetent.



posted on Mar, 16 2006 @ 12:35 AM
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Wave the 'white flag' in the court room.


We need a better judge to 'massage the proceedings' aka Mikey J. and Co.




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