Thursday, September 18, 2008
Laos coup cases sputters to life
From Denny Walsh:
The long-dormant docket in the prosecution of 11 men accused of plotting the violent overthrow of the communist regime in Laos sputtered to life Monday with the filing of defense motions seeking disclosure of government records.
Two motions ask U. S. Magistrate Judge Dale A. Drozd to order prosecutors to turn over grand jury records and any citizen complaints and findings of misconduct against the case's investigators.
The grand jury records sought generally relate to the procedural aspects of the impaneling and operation of the jury that indicted the defendants, as opposed to records relating to the substance of the jury's investigation.
A third motion asks Drozd to order all investigators' notes preserved.The 10 Hmong and a retired Army lieutenant colonel were first charged June 4, 2007, in a criminal complaint, and later indicted by a federal grand jury in Sacramento.
Prosecutors have until Oct. 27 to respond to the motions, and defense lawyers will have until Nov. 19 to reply. A hearing before Drozd is set for Dec. 8.