Judge Bars Major Witness From Civilian Terrorism Trial

In an important decision Judge Lewis A. Kaplan barred prosecutors in Manhattan on Wednesday from using a key witness. The government had acknowledged it learned about the witness from the defendant, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, while he was being interrogated while being held in a secret overseas jail run by the C.I.A. Judge Kaplan wrote that “the government has failed to prove that Abebe’s testimony is sufficiently attenuated from Ghailani’s coerced statemetns to permit its receipt in evidence.”

After releasing his decision, the judge delayed the trial’s opening
until Oct. 12, giving the government time to adjust its strategy or to
appeal the ruling, although it was not immediately clear if prosecutors
would appeal.


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