A federal judge all but gutted the government's death-penalty case against terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui on Tuesday by ruling that prosecutors cannot present any witnesses or evidence from aviation officials to show that the Sept. 11 attacks could have been stopped had Moussaoui cooperated with the FBI.
The prosecutors have been very aggressive in going after the death penalty, and this is not the first time the Judge has had to deal with violations, but the scale here is amazing.
a half-dozen prospective FAA witnesses described how Martin repeatedly violated the judge's written order against shaping witness testimony or allowing them to see transcripts of earlier trial sessions. They said she sent them copies of the prosecution's opening statements in the trial and pointed out errors she thought made the FAA look less than diligent in the days before the Sept. 11 tragedy.
She advised some of the witnesses how to testify and what to say, told one that he should not agree to be a witness for the defense despite his subpoena to do so, and apprised others that she had a copy of the government's exhibit book and did not think the prosecutors' case was going well.
One prosecuter says 'No Point' in Continuing.
Assistant U.S. attorney Robert A. Spencer, one of the prosecutors trying to persuade a jury that Moussaoui deserves the death penalty for his role in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, made the comment in a conference call yesterday among U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema and lawyers for the prosecution and defense after Brinkema prohibited testimony and evidence from half a dozen federal aviation witnesses.
Keep the grill warm, the Judge will allow new witnesses.
The federal judge in the death penalty trial of al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui accepted a government compromise Friday that will allow prosecutors to present new witnesses about aviation security.