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Federal judge orders 'no handcuffs' for Padilla while in open court

[JURIST] US District Judge Marcia Cooke said Friday that Jose Padilla [JURIST news archive] should not wear handcuffs and ankle chains during court appearances unless US government officials can show that Padilla poses an immediate safety threat. Cooke also ordered federal prosecutors to provide defense attorneys with final transcripts of thousands of intercepted telephone conversations by March 10, evidence that forms the basis of the prosecution's case. Padilla made his first appearance in front of Cooke since his transfer [JURIST report] in January from military custody as an "enemy combatant" to civilian law enforcement custody. Federal prosecutors in the case blamed US Marshals Service courtroom security policies for the handcuff requirement. Padilla was originally arrested in 2002 for allegedly plotting to plant a "dirty bomb," but the US government later charged [JURIST report] Padilla and four others with conspiracy and providing material support to terrorists for allegedly operating a North American cell providing finances, recruits and supplies to terrorists. Padilla's trial is scheduled to begin in September. AP has more.

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