Friday, September 26, 2003

The procedural pretrial maneuvering in the case of Zac Moussaoui drags on. To recall, this is the guy who was arrested before the war for making suspicious requests at a flight school, and who is now on trial as a Sept. 11th coconspirator, even though known coconspirators now in prison at Guantanamo claim he had nothing to do with it (apparently because they thought he wasn't trustworthy, though he admits to being in al Qaeda). Naturally, he'd like to call these guys as defense witnesses, but the government refuses to produce them.

The judge in the case has ordered the government to produce the witnesses. The government already tried to take this to an appeals court once, and the appeal got bounced back, in effect, for lousy lawyering -- the appellate judges told the prosecutors that until the trial judge imposed sanctions for violating her orders, they had no formal cause of action, so they'd better go back and get one. After mulling this over for a few freaking months, the prosecutors now say that they're willing to take a dismissal order from the trial judge, so they can go appeal it.

And if the appeal is denied?

Officials of the Bush administration have also made clear that if Mr. Moussaoui cannot be prosecuted in a civilian court because of the question of defense witnesses, he will be moved to a military tribunal, where he may have fewer rights to seek testimony from the captured terrorists.

Because everyone knows that an adequate defense, including their testimony, might lead to an acquittal, at least on charges of direct participation in the Sept. 11th conspiracy -- and goodness knows we can't have that...


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home