Monday, July 09, 2007

Two very interesting articles from today's papers:

1. Jay Weaver covers the Chuckie Taylor case and explains that the accuser's ID is going to be released:

For months, Miami prosecutors and defense lawyers representing the son of former Liberian president Charles Taylor have wrestled over one main issue: the identity of the man who accused the younger Taylor of torturing him five years ago in a police agent's home in Liberia.
Prosecutors have wanted the information kept a secret for the victim's safety; Taylor's attorneys have sought its disclosure to mount a defense for a September trial in federal court.
Thanks to a recent judge's order, Charles ''Chuckie'' Taylor Jr. and his defense team are finally going to learn his accuser's name.
But there's a catch. Taylor is only allowed to see the alleged victim's name. His lawyers cannot give him ''any tangible materials'' identifying his accuser. Nor can Taylor, who is in federal custody, disclose the accuser's name without his lawyers' approval.
And, his identity cannot be made public by either side until trial.
The strict rules about the alleged victim's name are yet another uncommon development in the unique Miami case against Taylor, a 30-year-old U.S. citizen born in Boston and raised in the Orlando area. It is the first U.S. prosecution of a human-rights violation committed in a foreign country.

2. Vanessa Blum has this article about Padilla co-defendant Amin Hassoun. Blum details how Hassoun is the focus of the government's case and that in the wiretapped calls "Padilla comes across as an almost peripheral figure." Here's a bit more:

In private, Hassoun's views were something less than neighborly.On a 1996 call played for jurors, Hassoun can be heard fuming over a photo published in an Islamic newsletter of a Muslim man shaking hands with Hillary Clinton."The only way to deal with those people is with the sword," he says.Hassoun's lawyers are the first to concede their client's words were sometimes offensive. But that, they say, does not make him a terrorist."He may have ranted and raved, he may have a big mouth, and yes, he did engage in provocative, passionate and political speech, but at all times he did so to help protect and defend Muslims under attack," attorney Jeanne Baker said in her opening remarks to the jury.Hassoun; Padilla, 36; and Kifah Wael Jayyousi, 45, are charged with taking part in a terror cell that sent money, equipment and human recruits to support violent Islamic groups overseas. All three have pleaded not guilty.Though Hassoun and Padilla both initially were arrested just weeks apart in 2002, Padilla's case has drawn more attention because of the "dirty bomber" label and high-profile legal challenges to his 3 ½ year detention without charges at a U.S. Navy brig.

No comments: