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Judge Limits Disclosure of Evidence in Lodi Case

June 28, 2005|From Associated Press

SACRAMENTO — A federal judge Monday sharply limited evidence that must be turned over to a father and son from Lodi who are being held on terrorism-related charges, ruling that they must be given only what pertains directly to the charges that they lied to investigators.

Hamid Hayat, 22, is charged with two counts of lying to the FBI earlier this month when he said he did not attend a terrorism camp in Pakistan in 2003 and 2004.

His father, Umer Hayat, 47, was indicted on a single count of lying to investigators for denying that his son attended the camp.

The FBI said the elder Hayat later admitted to flying his son to Pakistan and paying for the camp, which was run by a friend of a relative.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter A. Nowinski ruled prosecutors have to disclose little evidence beyond what is needed to prove that the men lied to the FBI.

Defense attorneys strongly objected and said they may file motions seeking additional disclosures.

There are national security concerns that may affect some evidence, such as about 2,000 pages of documents in a foreign language seized from the family's home that have yet to be translated, Assistant U.S. Atty. R. Steven Lapham said.

But the government has yet to invoke that reasoning in denying any alleged evidence.

"This is an ongoing investigation," Lapham said. "There may be a widening of the investigation, other charges."

The FBI said its investigation spans several years, and agents have interviewed dozens of Lodi residents and others as far away as the San Francisco Bay Area and Denver.

Yet the government turned over just 55 written pages and 13 compact discs apparently containing recorded interrogations of the two men, said Johnny Griffin III, attorney for Umer Hayat.

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