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Archive for May 2nd, 2010

Justice Dept. Reviewing FBI Policy on Recording Interviews

sony tapeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — In a practice that has long been a contentious issue, a Justice Department advisory committee is reviewing the FBI practice of memorializing interviews with suspects in handwritten notes rather than recordings, the website Main Justice is reporting.

The website reported that the issue has become pronounced since an increasing number of local and state law enforcement agencies are recording statements via video and audio recording devices, Main Justice reported.

The website reported that FBI police forbids agents from recording interviews without the OK of the special agent in charge.

“In the past, the bureau and other federal law enforcement agencies have strongly argued against proposals that would require agents to electronically record interviews, on the grounds that they could hinder rapport-building, discourage suspects from speaking candidly and expose juries to unsettling interrogation techniques,” the website reported.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

UPDATE: Video Shows White Man in 40s Suspiciously Walking Away from Area of NY Car Bomb

Law enforcement officials hold press conference/fbi photo

Law enforcement officials hold press conference/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

New York law enforcement investigators on Sunday were looking at a surveillance tape that showed a white man in his 40s who appeared to be walking away from the area where a car bomb was placed Saturday evening in Times Square, looking over his shoulder and removing a layer of clothing, the New York Times reported.

The Times also reported that there was no evidence  supporting a claim by a by a Pakistani Taliban group that it was responsible for the car bomb. The group has a reputation for making such false claims, the Times reported.

On Sunday, the FBI office in New York issued a press release stating:

“FBI and NYPD investigators are aware of the various reports of claims for placing the car and device in Times Square. As we’ve seen previously, it is not uncommon after any similar event for claims of responsibility to be made—and those claims will be investigated. Knowingly providing false information can be a crime.

“Since the beginning of the investigation, there have been numerous reports in the public domain, many of which will eventually be determined to be inaccurate.”

The New York Daily News reported that investigators were also looking into the possibility of a link to threats made to Comedy Central after an Islamic group expressed anger about a South Park cartoon that mocked Islamic Prophet Muhammad, portraying him as a mascot bear.

FBI and NYPD Hunt For Culprit Who Left Crude Car Bomb in Times Square

Bye Bye N.Y.?

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and New York police were trying to find out Sunday who left a Nissan Pathfinder with a crude bomb inside in Times Square Saturday night that prompted the evacuation of parts of the city on a busy Saturday night.

FBI agent Richard Kolko, a spokesman for the FBI in New York, told ticklethewire.com Sunday morning that investigators were sifting through the evidence and following up leads around the country.   Authorities said the bomb, comprised of propane, gasoline, fireworks, clocks and wires, could have caused serious damage.

News reports said the device had started to detonate, but there was no explosion.

“We are very lucky,” Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said at a 2:15 a.m. press conference in Times Square, according to the New York Daily News. “We avoided what could have been a very deadly event.”

He said investigators were checking video cameras around the city, but so far they had not come up with anything showing someone running from the car.

“We had no idea who did this or why,” he said.

The Daily news reported that a large chunk of Midtown — from 43rd Street to 48th Street, and from Sixth to Eighth Avenues — was closed for much of the evening. The smoking car was spotted by a t-shirt street vendor off Broadway on 45th Street, who notified police, the Daily News reported.

The federal government views the incident a “potential terrorist attack,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Sunday, according to the Daily News.

“We’re taking this very seriously,” Napolitano told CNN‘s “State of the Union” program. “We’re treating it as if it could be a potential terrorist attack.”

Justice Dept. Won’t Appeal $101.7 Mil Verdict for 4 Framed by Boston FBI in 1965 Murder

bostonBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has decided not to appeal a $101.7 million civil suit award to four men framed by the FBI in a Boston area murder, the Boston Globe reported.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner ruled in 2007 that the FBI was “responsible for the framing of four innocent men’’ in the 1965 murder of a small-time criminal, Edward “Teddy’’ Deegan just outside Boston, the Globe reported. The judge ruled the FBI deliberately withheld the info. The U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the ruling last year, though it said the award was at the outer edge of permissible awards.

Victor J. Garo, the lawyer for one of the framed men, Joseph Salvati, said his client will receive $31 million, plus $2 million in interest, the Globe reported. His client spent more than 29 years in prison for the wrongful conviction.

The Globe reported that other wrongfully accused men in the lawsuit are Peter J. Limone and the families of Louis Greco and Henry Tameleo. Greco and Tameleo died in prison.

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