Boston Bombing News: Leaks & Witness Intimidation??
Leaks: Re: Doc. 616:
Friday, 24th. October saw the latest filing, by the defense , in the case of U.S. v Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Doc. 616: Defendant’s Third Motion for Hearing to Address Leaks by Law Enforcement can be found here:
On page 1) of this document Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense mention the most recent in what is now, seemingly, a series of leaks of case related information to local media in the Boston area by law enforcement personnel. This most recent example of alleged leaks by law enforcement, as we are well aware, took the form of an article published in “Newsweek Magazine” which was written by Boston based “tabloid” writer Michele McPhee.
On page 2) the two previous filings by Tsarnaev’s defense in relation to leaks are outlined. The first of these previous filings were in response to broadcasts on television by both CBS/”60 Minutes” and the National Geographic network and which featured interviews with FBI SA Richard DesLauriers and SA Stephanie Douglas. (Both conveniently retired by the time these programs were broadcast.)
The second of these filings referenced leaks in the case of Stephen Silva which undoubtedly have relevance in the case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
The actions taken by Judge O’Toole in a supposed effort to prevent further leaks are outlined in both these incidences. In the first Judge O’Toole said, “Let me just say I saw both interviews in real time when they occurred and I was not happy about it. I thought they were completely unnecessary opportunities for the communication of information which would be inappropriate from active members of the prosecution team. I do think that the prosecution has practical if not legal control over them. And I expect the government will remind people involved in the case, even formerly, of their responsibility to the integrity of the trial.”
U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz took five weeks to draft and send a letter to law enforcement warning of the consequences of leaking case related information by which time leaks had occurred in the case of Stephen Silva but related to that of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. These leaks are outlined on page 4) of Doc. 616. Judge O’Toole’s response at the time of these leaks was to refer to them as “coincidental.” Once again he admonished law enforcement for allowing these leaks to occur but took no further action and declined to schedule a hearing as requested by the defense, for the second time, to address this matter.
Pages 4) and 5) of Doc. 616 then catalog numerous leaks, for the most part featured as “breaking news” by Ms. McPhee. References are made to alleged leaks implying involvement/knowledge on the part of the Tsarnaev brothers in the “Waltham Murders”, the photographs of the now infamous “Boat Note”, allegedly written by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and the now discredited and apparently misquoted “Fuck America” which was, at one time, alleged to have been contained in that “Boat Note” and the alleged interest of law enforcement in the activities of Heda Umarov.
For me that which is contained in Doc. 616 raises a series of questions:
a) Why does Judge O’Toole continue to allow his authority in this case to be undermined ?
b) Why has Judge O’Toole declined to schedule a hearing to address these alleged leaks when one is so clearly needed?
c) Having been made aware of the consequences of leaking information in this case in that such leaks could actually damage or negate the prosecution’s case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev why do these leaks, allegedly from law enforcement, continue?
d) If these leaks do as claimed, originate from law enforcement, are we talking of several sources or perhaps just one?
e) Why is Michele McPhee, seemingly the chosen mouthpiece as regards these leaks? Are “favors” being exchanged?
Intimidation of Witnesses for the Defense: Re: Doc. 617:
Doc. 617: Defense Memorandum Re: Scheduling was also filed by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense on Friday, 24th. October. Doc. 617 can be found here:
In this six page document the defense argue that they are in no way legally compelled to meet disclosure deadlines as set by the court in regard to witnesses for the defense. (David Bruck has stated this in court on several occasions.) However, their main reason for declining to disclose to the government the identity of their witnesses prior to trial is one which I find most shocking. In Doc. 617, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense claim that they fear their witnesses would be intimidated by the FBI should those witness’s identities become known to the FBI and that such intimidation might ensure that these people would decline to testify as witnesses for the defense. If true, (and the defense certainly seem to believe this to be the case), I have only one question: Why would such conduct on the part of law enforcement be tolerated by the U.S. Justice System?
(Credits to TBMB for links to Doc. 616 & 617.)