Magistrate Judge Garber denies Ochoa motion:
Well, which was it -- financing to conduct the 9/11 attacks, or attacks within Columbia to prevent Ochoa's extradition?
U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Garber denied the request by Medellín cartel leader Fabio Ochoa, whose lawyer argued that convicted codefendant Alejandro Bernal was not a truthful witness in the 2003 trial.
Attorney Paul Petruzzi cited previously undisclosed evidence showing Bernal had informed federal agents before trial that Ochoa gave $2 million to al Qaeda to help finance the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Petruzzi said the prosecution should have turned that evidence over to the defense so it could have challenged Bernal's truthfulness on the witness stand.
But the magistrate judge disagreed.
''Bernal's letter of August 2002 merely sets forth a rumor that Ochoa was involved in assisting in the planning of the Sept. 11 attacks,'' Garber wrote in a four-page order filed this week. ``Such belief was not based on any personal knowledge held by Bernal and is merely speculative without any factual basis.
''As a matter of fact, any reference to terrorist attacks was regarding speculative attacks to take place in Colombia to prevent the extradition of Ochoa to the United States,'' he wrote.