At a post-trial hearing Tuesday for Ali al-Timimi, a Muslim cleric from Virginia sentenced to life in prison in 2004 for soliciting treason, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema said she can no longer trust the CIA and other government agencies on how they represent classified evidence in terror cases.
Attorneys for al-Timimi have been seeking access to documents. They also want to depose government witnesses to determine whether the government improperly failed to disclose the existence of certain evidence.
The prosecutors have asked her to dismiss the defense request. The government has denied the allegations but has done so in secret pleadings to the judge that defense lawyers are not allowed to see. Even the lead prosecutors in the al-Timimi case have not had access to the information; they have relied on the representations of other government lawyers.
After the hearing, the judge issued an order that said she would not rule on the prosecutors' motion until the government grants needed security clearances to al-Timimi's defense lawyer, Jonathan Turley, and the lead trial prosecutor so they can review the secret pleadings. . . .
In a letter made public Nov. 13, prosecutors in the [Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias] Moussaoui case admitted to Brinkema that the CIA had wrongly assured her that no videotapes or audiotapes existed of interrogations of certain high-profile terrorism detainees. In fact, two such videotapes and one audio tape existed.
20 November 2007
Feds Lie To Federal Judge
The Bush Adminstration does not deserve the benefit of the doubt, and should not be allowed to rely on secret pleadings and secret evidence.