Tuesday, October 23, 2007

"Lawyers for Liberty City 7 having tough time"

That's the headline in today's Miami Herald article about the Liberty City 7 case. Not exactly the article you want if you are sitting at the defense table....

A couple of exchanges from the article between Ana Jhones (the lawyer for the lead defendant) and the informant:

"It's all about the money, isn't it?" Jhones asked aggressively.

"No, ma'am," Assad answered calmly. "There is a list, too."

"If I remember, I never promised him anything," he continued. "I only promised I would give the list to my big brother."

The FBI informant then lost touch with Batiste for one month.

Batiste and his followers in the local branch of the Moorish Science Temple -- a religion that combines Muslim, Christian and Jewish faiths -- began to suspect that Assad was working undercover for law enforcement. They also had their doubts about the other FBI informant, al-Saidi.

In late January 2006, a few of Batiste's men met the two informants at the group's warehouse in Liberty City, changed their clothes and drove them to Islamorada.

There, inside a tent, Assad and al-Saidi met with Batiste in a tense confrontation. Assad salvaged the FBI's undercover probe when he blurted out to Batiste that he was a representative of al Qaeda, winning his trust again. Assad was allowed to keep his cellphone, which recorded the conversation.

"You're doing all the talking," Jhones told Assad on the witness stand.

The lawyer reiterated that Batiste said his group was "suffering" because it lacked money, suggesting he was only trying to con the informant for big bucks.

"He doesn't say he needs the money because he hates the United States," Jhones said on cross-examination.

But Assad fired back: "He says he needs the money to destroy the United States."

The informant only gave Batiste and his followers boots, supplied by the FBI. Assad later offered to provide them with a second warehouse in Miami, where they could plan their alleged terror mission.


Anonymous said...

Another cheap shot directed at a defense lawyer by Weaver.

South Florida Lawyers said...

What was the basis for the Judge's evidentiary rulings, excluding so much of the defense's cross?