Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Padilla case moves forward

The trial against Jose Padilla will move ahead following todays ruling he is competent to assist in his own defense. From Deborah Sontag at the New York Times:
A federal judge ruled late this afternoon that Jose Padilla was competent to stand trial on terrorism conspiracy charges, granting a significant victory to the government in the high-profile criminal case of a United States citizen who was initially designated an “enemy combatant” and held without charges.

After three and a half days of an intensely argued hearing, Judge Marcia G. Cooke of the United States District Court here rejected the defense lawyers’ request that Mr. Padilla be sent to a hospital for psychiatric treatment so that he could be “healed” from what they said was post-traumatic stress disorder caused during his three years and eight months in military detention.

“This defendant clearly has the capacity to assist his attorneys,” Judge Cooke said, adding that Mr. Padilla’s case was “unique” and that “he understands that.”

Judge Cooke, who allowed limited testimony from military brig officials during the competency hearing, said that her ruling should not be construed as a finding on Mr. Padilla’s claims of mistreatment during his detention and interrogations at a naval brig in South Carolina.
Meanwhile, I've learned that conspiracy theorists believe Mr. Padilla to be John Doe Number Two from the Olklahoma City bombings. Now there's a story...

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