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Padilla trial judge refuses to suppress FBI wiretap evidence

[JURIST] US District Judge Marcia Cooke [official profile] declined to exclude FBI wiretap evidence from the trial of accused terrorist supporter Jose Padilla [JURIST news archive] Friday, rejecting arguments by defense attorneys that phone conversations that mentioned Osama bin Laden were irrelevant and threatened to prejudice the jury. Padilla and co-defendants Adham Amin Hassoun and Kifah Wael Jayyousi are charged [indictment, PDF; JURIST report] with being a part of an Islamic fundamentalist terrorist support network and conspiring to murder US nationals.

Padilla, a US citizen, was arrested in 2002 at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and subsequently detained as an "enemy combatant" [JURIST news archive] at a Navy military brig in Charleston, South Carolina. Initially accused of planning to set off a "dirty bomb" in the United States, Padilla went from enemy combatant to criminal defendant when he was finally charged in November 2005. AP has more.

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