Padilla judge refuses to dismiss terror charges over torture allegations

[JURIST] A federal judge Tuesday denied [order, PDF] a motion to dismiss the terrorism charges [indictment, PDF] against Jose Padilla [JURIST news archive] based on Padilla's allegations that he was tortured [JURIST report] while detained as an "enemy combatant." Padilla has said that that he was abused, threatened, administered either PCP or LSD as a truth serum, and subjected to sleep deprivation and stress positions while in military custody, allegations denied by the government. US District Judge Marcia Cooke [official profile] ruled that the standards for "outrageous government conduct" were not satisfied and said that while the court was not deciding the issue of whether the torture occurred, Padilla failed

to present a cognizable claim of outrageous government conduct entitling him to dismissal of the indictment... Applying the exclusionary rule to bar inclusion of any illegally obtained evidence would sufficiently satisfy due process concerns.
Cooke has previously refused to dismiss [JURIST report] the charges against Padilla, holding that his 3 1/2 years detainment did violate his right to a speedy trial. Padilla's trial is scheduled to begin next week.

Padilla, a US citizen, was arrested in 2002 at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and subsequently detained as an "enemy combatant" at a Navy military brig in Charleston, South Carolina. Initially accused of planning to set off a radioactive "dirty bomb" [NRC factsheet] in the United States, Padilla went from enemy combatant to criminal defendant when he was finally charged [JURIST report] in November 2005 on unrelated counts of conspiracy to murder US nationals and supporting terrorist activity. He was transferred to civilian custody [JURIST report] in January 2006 and has pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] to the charges. In February, Padilla was ruled competent to stand trial [JURIST report]. AP has more.


 

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