Judge Refuses to Toss Wiretap Evidence in Padilla Case

marcia-cooke.jpgExpect the ACLU to go ballistic – today a United States District Court Judge hearing the Padilla case refused to toss out wiretap evidence as requested by the defense. WTG Marcia Cooke! (That’s Marcia in the Middle of this photo taken at a Broward County Federal Bar Association luncheon meeting,) The defense has also tried to have the word “terrorist” and “terrorism” banned, along with Osama Bin Laden, and other terrorist names. AP has filed a motion for release of the tapes once they are admitted as evidence, so expect some interesting recordings soon.

Story at International Herald Tribune:

A U.S. judge refused Friday to toss out FBI wiretap evidence in the Jose Padilla terrorism support case, including an attempt by defense attorneys to prevent jurors from hearing conversations about Osama bin Laden and other well-known Islamic extremist leaders.

U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke ruled the two dozen telephone intercepts were relevant to the case. Cooke also rejected defense arguments that invoking bin Laden’s name would influence the jury.

Prosecutors expect next week to begin playing some of their 123 main evidence tapes, a tiny fraction of the 300,000 conversations intercepted by the FBI in an investigation that stretched over a decade.

Padilla, a U.S. citizen held for 3 1/2 years as an enemy combatant, is charged along with Adham Amin Hassoun and Kifah Wael Jayyousi with being part of a support network for Islamic extremist groups worldwide. Padilla initially was accused in 2002 of plotting with al-Qaida to detonate a radioactive “dirty bomb” inside the United States, but those charges are not part of the Miami indictment.

Prosecutors say Padilla filled out a form to attend an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan