Padilla jury hears co-defendant wiretap conversations supporting bin Laden News
Padilla jury hears co-defendant wiretap conversations supporting bin Laden

[JURIST] The jury in the Jose Padilla [JURIST news archive] terrorism conspiracy case heard new wiretap evidence Tuesday suggesting that Padilla's co-defendants supported Osama bin Laden [JURIST news archive]. The prosecution first played a video interview that aired on CNN in 1997, in which bin Laden denounced the United States as "tyrannical." Afterwards, the jurors heard FBI wiretapped conversations recorded shortly after the video originally aired in which defendants Adham Amin Hassoun and Kifah Wael Jayyousi [GlobalSecurity profiles] praised bin Laden. US District Judge Marcia Cooke rejected arguments [JURIST report] by defense attorneys earlier this month that the phone conversations were irrelevant and threatened to prejudice the jury. Cooke did instruct the jury to remember there is no connection between the trial at hand and the terroristic acts of September 11, 2001.

Padilla and co-defendants Hassoun and Jayyousi are charged [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 with other offenses in November 2005. AP has more.