Sunday, December 12, 2010

Posada Carriles' lawyer: Dump evidence or postpone trial

Luis Posada Carriles

Lawyers for Luis Posada Carriles have again accused federal prosecutors of intentionally disclosing evidence at the last minute so the defense won't have enough time to prepare for the January trial.
Defense lawyers ask U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen Cardone to throw out the evidence - including documents and information collected in Cuba.
Failing that, they request that the judge "impose sanctions upon the Department of Justice..." and allow the trial to be postponed so the defense has enough time to prepare, according to a Dec. 6 court document.
The document says:
As a further consequence of the tardy disclosures, in opening statement defense counsel will be unable to confront the Government’s expected expert testimony, because counsel will not be able to provide the jury with information regarding a defense expert in the fields of fingerprinting, handwriting and forensic pathology. A brief continuance will not cure the material and substantial prejudice Posada will suffer. On the other hand, exclusion of the Cuba Documents and the legible fingerprints in the Guatemalan documents will not gut the Government’s case. Accordingly, given the facts and history of this case, the Government’s purposeful and bad faith conduct designed to achieve a continuance and/or substantially prejudice the Defendant, demands that the severe sanction of exclusion be imposed to accomplish the desired result: “prompt and full compliance with the court's discovery orders.”
WHEREFORE, Posada prays that this Court exclude the Government’s belated discovery documents from the Governments of Cuba and Guatemala. Alternatively, in the event this Court declines to exclude the belated discovery, Posada requests that this Court impose sanctions upon the Department of Justice, including a continuance of this cause because his counsel cannot provide effective assistance of counsel given the limited time available before trial and inability to obtain expert witnesses to confront same, calling the Department of Justice to task for its actions, and taxing the costs the Defendant would incur for another continuance upon the Government.
Prosecutors have said Posada Carriles' lawyers had the chance to go to Cuba to collect evidence, but declined. They also deny acting in bad faith.

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