Bin Laden Tape Allowed in Padilla Trial
Posted Jun 22, 2007 8:42 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Prosecutors have won permission to play a 1997 television interview of Osama bin Laden in the trial of Jose Padilla and two co-defendants.
Bin Laden calls for a violent jihad against the United States in the interview. Prosecutors have wiretaps of Padilla’s two co-defendants discussing it, suggesting they agreed with his goals.
Judge Marcia Cooke said the tape provides context for the wiretap discussions, the New York Times reports. However Cooke said jurors would be instructed that the interview could not be considered as evidence against Padilla since there is no evidence he saw it.
The three men are accused of supporting al-Qaida in a conspiracy. Defense lawyers had contended the videotape is prejudicial.
Defense attorney Kenneth Swartz expressed dismay with the decision, the Miami Herald reports. ''This is the most prejudicial piece of evidence--this will bring in 9/11,'' he said.