Terrorism

Padilla Case Wrapping Up

Posted Aug 1, 2007 9:25 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Defense lawyers for Jose Padilla don’t plan to call any witnesses.

That means a Miami jury could soon begin deliberations in the trial of Padilla and two co-defendants, accused of aiding terrorist groups and conspiring to murder and maim people abroad.

Six witnesses called by co-defendants since July 23 failed to produce “major bombshell evidence,” the Associated Press reports. Only a few more witnesses are expected to testify for the defense. Brief rebuttal testimony from prosecutors is expected next week.

Padilla had originally been accused of plotting to release a "dirty bomb," but that charge is not part of the trial.

Defense lawyers have contended that alleged terrorism code words used in wiretapped conversations are actually references to everyday activities.

The jury is spending a lot of time out of the courtroom as lawyers argue over the admissibility of evidence and proper questions, the story says.

At one point, lawyer William Swor, who represents co-defendant Kifah Wael Jayyousi, apologized to the judge for a heated argument. "I was, I would say, close to being totally out of control," he said.

U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke told Swor to apologize to the prosecutor as well, "to complete your atonement process."

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