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Ala. Fed Judge Threatens to Sanction Prosecutors for Withholding Documents

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Federal prosecutors aren’t scoring any points with a federal judge in a bingo vote-buying case in Montgomery, Ala.

The Birmingham News reports that U.S. Magistrate Judge Wallace Capel  Jr. on Tuesday threatened to sanction fed prosecutors for failing to turn over documents relating to FBI wiretaps.  He ordered the government to turn over the files by the end of the business day on Tuesday. He scheduled a pretrial hearing on the matter for Thursday.

“This has gone past the point of mistake or anything else,” Capel said, according to the Birmingham News.

The defense teams says the government has been withholding material related to the wiretaps that could help their case. They claim that notes made regarding casino owners Milton McGregory and Ronnie Gilley could help them prove the wiretaps were done improperly.

Gilley, McGregor, two state senators, two lobbyists and two others are set to go to trial June 6 on charges they attempted to buy and sell votes for gambling bill before the Alabama state legislature, the Birmingham News reported.

“I think there are logs. I think there are emails among the agents,” defense attorney  Doug Jones, who represents Gilley, said, according to the paper. “Personally, it seems to me they are playing hide the ball. There is something there they don’t want us to see.”

The paper reported that fed prosecutors declined comment.  AP reported that one of the defense attorneys said that  the government had emailed some documents before the 5 p.m. deadline on Tuesday. It was unclear from the news report whether the fed prosecutors fully complied with the order.


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