BREAKING NEWS ~ Moussaoui judge keeps out old aviation evidence, but allows new Bernard Hibbitts at 2:02 PM ET
[JURIST] Narrowing a controversial Tuesday order [PDF], US District Judge Leonie Brinkema has ruled that the US government will remain precluded from introducing aviation evidence tainted by TSA attorney Carla Martin in its case against would-be hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui [JURIST news archive] but will be allowed to introduce new untainted aviation evidence along the lines of an alternate remedy it suggested. Read the order [PDF].
Brinkema was responding to a government motion to reconsider [PDF text; JURIST report] her order prohibiting the government from presenting the aviation portion of its case, including witnesses, testimony, and exhibits. Brinkema barred the evidence after being informed [JURIST report] that Martin violated the judge's witness sequestration ruling [JURIST report] and coached witnesses from the Federal Aviation Administration by sharing information and partial transcripts from the government's argument in what Brinkema called in court "the most egregious violation of the court's rules on witnesses" she had seen "in all the years I've been on the bench." The government moved to have Brinkema reconsider her order on the grounds that it essentially gutted their case against Moussaoui, which is based on how his disclosure of his al Qaeda links after his arrest in August 2001 might have prevented deaths on 9/11.
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