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Archive for November 24th, 2008

Judge Dismisses 3 Perjury Charges Against Slugger Barry Bonds and Orders Govt. to Correct Legal Errors in Indictment

Slugger Barry Bonds may not have hit a home run in court today, but he hit at least a single or two.

By Lance Williams
Chronicle Staff Writer
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge dismissed three perjury charges against Barry Bonds today and ordered prosecutors to file a new indictment to correct legal errors, but rejected a defense request to drop several other counts against the former Giants slugger.
The decision increases the likelihood that Bonds, 44, will go to trial as scheduled March 2.
In an order filed this morning in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, Judge Susan Illston let stand most of the charges facing Bonds, who is accused of lying to a grand jury in 2003 about whether he had knowingly used steroids.
Bonds’ lawyers had asked the judge to dismiss 10 of the 15 counts of perjury and obstruction of justice contained in an indictment handed up in May. They had argued that Bonds was asked “fundamentally ambiguous” questions when he testified before the grand jury that investigated steroid dealing at BALCO, the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, in Burlingame. They also said the indictment was fraught with legal problems.
For Full Story

Read Judge’s Order

Fla. Senator Wants Answers About Missing Ex-FBI Agent in Iran

By Lesley Clark
The Miami Herald
WASHINGTON — Florida Sen. Bill Nelson is calling on Congress to press Iran to divulge more information about Robert Levinson, a retired FBI agent who went missing in 2007 from a Persian Gulf island.
The congressional resolution calls for Iranian investigators to meet with the FBI to discuss Levinson’s case, as well as calling on the U.S. government and its allies ”to press Iran on this case, at every opportunity and at every level,” Nelson said.
”No one should ever have to experience what they have been through,” Nelson said of Levinson’s wife, Christine, and his seven children.
“It is no doubt the wish of everyone who knows the family that Mr. Levinson be reunited with his loved ones and it has been very difficult to get information out of the government of Iran.”
For Full Story

State Department Press Conference On the Case

N.J. U.S. Atty. Christopher Christie Latest to Step Down

U.S. Atty. Christie/ official photo

U.S. Atty. Christie/ official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Christopher J. Christie, the New Jersey U.S. Attorney, is the latest to hit the exit as the Bush administration winds down. His last day is Dec. 1.
Christie, 46, submitted his resignation letter to Atty. Gen. Michael Mukasey, saying he had accomplished many things during his seven-year reign including a crack down on public corruption.
“A new level of attention was brough to the scourage of political corruption in this state and we are proud of the results,” he wrote.
“There have been more than 130 convictions of elected and appointed political officials in the past sven years withou an acquital. We have secured convictions of officials at every level of government, form the school board to the statehouse, and of both political parties.

Christie has not indicated what he plans to do next, though some reportedly encourage him to run for governor.

Read Christie’s letter to A.G. Michael Mukasey

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Appeal in Bribery Case of Ex-Alabama Gov. Could Show Case Was Politically Tainted (NY Times)

DHS Alum Chris Battle Says Gov. Janet Napolitano is Good Choice to Head Homeland Security (Security DeBrief)

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Father of Ft. Dix Defendants Living the American Nightmare

The Ft. Dix trial has been full of drama. Ferik Duka is part of it.

wcbstv.com

wcbstv.com

By George Anastasia
Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer
CAMDEN, N.J. — It’s the American dream turned nightmare.
Ferik Duka said last week that he had brought his family to the United States nearly 25 years ago for a better life.
Once, he thought he had found it.
Now, he and his wife, Zurata, sit in a federal courtroom in Camden each day watching and listening as their three oldest children, sons Dritan, 29, Shain, 27, and Eljvir, 25, stand trial on allegations that they plotted a jihad-inspired attack on Fort Dix.
The charges, Ferik Duka said, are ridiculous; his sons are not guilty.
“I’m confident in the American justice system,” he said. “My sons are innocent.”

For Full Story

See Daily Transcript Of The Trial and Videos

Presidential Election Helps KKK Revival

istock photo

istock photo

Nothing helps hate groups more than more hate. The election of Barack Obama seems to be giving groups like the KKK a boost.

By Howard Witt
Chicago Tribune correspondent
BOGALUSA, La. — Barely three weeks after Americans elected their first black president amid a wave of interracial good feeling, a spasm of noose hangings, racist graffiti, vandalism and death threats is convulsing dozens of towns across the country as white extremists lash out at the new political order.
More than 200 hate-related incidents, including cross-burnings, assassination betting pools and effigies of President-elect Barack Obama, have been reported so far, according to law-enforcement authorities and the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups. Racist Web sites are boasting that their servers are crashing under the weight of exponential increases in page views.
Even more ominously, America’s most potent symbol of racial hatred — the Ku Klux Klan — has begun to reassert itself, emerging from decades of disorganization and obscurity in a spate of recent violence.

For Full Story

Read ticklethewire.com report on hate groups and the Obama Factor