Moussaoui trial lawyer under criminal investigation for coaching witnesses

Moussaoui trial lawyer under criminal investigation for coaching witnesses

[JURIST] The US Transportation Security Administration lawyer who allegedly coached government witnesses [JURIST report] in the Zacarias Moussaoui trial [JURIST news archive] and nearly scuttled the prosecution's case is under criminal investigation by the US Attorney's Office in Philadelphia and "may very well" face charges, according to newly-unsealed minutes of a March 21 hearing involving Judge Leonie Brinkema and other lawyers. Carla Martin [Wikipedia profile] shared portions of the prosecution's argument with Federal Aviation Administration witnesses despite Brinkema's witness sequestration order [PDF].

Martin's lawyer has characterized public reaction to her conduct as unwarranted, saying that she will explain herself in due time, but the TSA has placed her on administrative leave [JURIST report]. Her disclosure of part of the government case initially led Brinkema to reject [JURIST report] all aviation witnesses, testimony and exhibits presented by the government, which would have essentially gutted the government's case against Moussaoui. In response to a governmental motion to reconsider, Brinkema subsequently narrowed the order [JURIST report] to cover only evidence handled by Martin. Moussaoui faces the death penalty if the government can prove that disclosure to the FBI of his al Qaeda links following his arrest in August 2001 might have prevented the Sept. 11 terror attacks. AP has more.