11th Circuit Hears Arguments in Jose Padilla Apppeal
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals held oral arguments today in the case of Jose Padilla, accused of being a "dirty bomber" and held for years in a S.C. brig before being charged and transferred to federal court in Miami for trial. He was convicted of conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim overseas and sentenced to 17 years. Two co-defendants were also convicted and are appealing.
Attorneys for Padilla, Adham Hassoun and Kifah Jayyousi say the trial was forever tainted when the videotape was played because it linked the defendants to the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil even though they were charged with other crimes.
"The error in the admission of the bin Laden video arose out of tying the architect of the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001, to a case that, as to all defendants, involved conduct which predated these attacks," Padilla's attorney, Assistant U.S. Federal Defender Michael Caruso, argues in his brief.
Another big issue: [More...]
Near the top of the list for all defendants is the judge's decision allowing FBI agent James T. Kavanaugh to interpret code words on wiretapped conversations, telling jurors "tourism" meant "jihad."
Even though Cooke ruled Kavanaugh wasn't an expert, she allowed him to draw conclusions about the meaning of words on the wiretaps, Swartz said.
Padilla's lawyer told the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that his client should have been granted an evidentiary hearing before the 2007 trial that would have proved he was being mistreated by the government.
The Government is appealing Padilla's "lenient" sentence.
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