More terror

Sep 3, 2003 at 12:00 am
Defense attorneys in the above-mentioned trial also are gearing up to appeal the three convictions. In preparation, they filed a motion asking Rosen to unseal several court records, including the notes U.S. Assistant Attorney Richard Convertino took during 30 hours of interviews with the controversial witness Yousef Hmimssa.

Defense lawyers contend that Convertino ordered FBI agents not to take notes of their own while he and the G-men interviewed Hmimssa; the tactic of having Convertino be the sole note-taker was allegedly employed to prevent defense attorneys from reviewing statements that might have been used to impeach Hmimssa.

To this point, the ploy has worked. Convertino successfully argued that his notes were strictly for the purpose of trial preparation and therefore not subject to disclosure.

"Defendants believe that … Convertino deliberately distorted the investigation process so that no record of Youssef Hmimmsa’s prior statements were available to the defendants," according to the motion.

Convertino has denied any wrongdoing.

According to the motion, prosecutors still do not want Rosen to unseal the material. They previously argued that the documents contained sensitive information related to national security.

Defense attorneys say there is no indication that release of the information would pose any threat.