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Libby CIA leak jury hears opening statements

[JURIST] The trial of former vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [defense website; JURIST news archive] began Tuesday as the prosecution and defense attorneys delivered opening statements in the CIA leak case [JURIST news archive]. Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald [official profile] told the jury in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia that when Libby was asked about an alleged leak to reporters, he lied to the FBI and grand jury [AP report]. Defense attorney Theodore Wells [official profile] countered that the White House was lying about Libby's involvement in order to protect disclosures made by presidential aide Karl Rove, in an attempt to make Libby a scapegoat [AP report]. US District Judge Reggie B. Walton [official profile] also denied a defense motion for jury instructions explaining memory loss and refused to allow the defense to present expert testimony on the subject. AP has more.

Libby is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice [indictment, PDF; JURIST report] in connection with the investigation into the leak of former CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity. Libby's defense team has indicated that they plan to call [JURIST report] Libby's former boss, Vice President Dick Cheney [official website], to testify and that Libby also plans to take the witness stand himself. US Judge Walton has denied a request [JURIST report] from several news organizations seeking the daily release of audio recordings of arguments and testimony.

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