Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Gulfstream to golf

Neil Volz, former aide to Rep. Bob Ney and partner of Jack Abramoff, recounted a trip aboard a chartered Gulfstream to the legendary St. Andrews golf course in Scotland during his testimony today at the trial of David Safavian, one-time OMB chief procurement officer.

Apart from the price tag -$400 rounds of golf and $100 rounds of drinks- the trip seems to have been unexciting, except maybe for a $200 massage.

Volz, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy earlier this month, has become the star witness in the trial since neither side has called Abramoff to testify.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Muhammad's cross-examination

Muhammad's tedious and repetitious questioning of Malvo on minute details of little relevance - "Give me the six characteristics of an M-16" - drew frequent objections from prosecutor Katherine Winfree. At one point Muhammad shouted "Your honor, she needs to make her objection and sit down".

Malvo remained calm throughout his testimony, only occasionally showing irritation at Muhammad's niggling examination.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Malvo testifies

Lee Boyd Malvo appeared as a witness for the prosecution in the the sniper murders trial of John Muhammad, a man he once regarded as a father.

At one point during his testimony he looked directly at Muhammad and said, "You took me into your house and you made me a monster."

Muhammad, acting as his own attorney, began cross-examination of Malvo late in the afternoon. Asked by the judge if he expected to continue much longer Muhammad said he had only just begun. Malvo returns to the stand tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

John Allen Muhammad

Sniper John Allen Muhammad is on trial in Rockville for the murders he and Lee Boyd Malvo committed in Montgomery County in October 2002. Both have already been tried and found guilty in Virginia courts.

Malvo is expected to agree to a guilty plea in Maryland and testify for the State, possibly as early as next week.

Muhammad is acting as his own attorney, though assisted by court appointed defense counsel, and is doing his own cross examination of the State's witnesses. It should be interesting when Malvo takes the stand.

Friday, May 05, 2006

It ends

Moussaoui had his last chance to speak at his formal sentencing and he used it, as usual, to mock, taunt and insult.

To the relatives of victims - seen in the foreground - who had just finished making their statements from the podium directed at him Moussaoui said "You have an amount of hypocrisy beyond any belief. Your humanity is a very selective humanity."

At the conclusion of sentencing Judge Brinkema told Moussaoui "You will never again get a chance to speak, and that is an appropriate and fair ending. This case is now concluded."

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Moussaoui verdict at last

After about forty hours of deliberations the jury could not come to a unanimous decision on death, so the sentence will be life in prison without the possibility of release. Moussaoui will be formally sentenced tomorrow morning at which time he will have his last opportunity to make a statement.

Today there was little reaction in the courtroom from Moussaoui or the spectators, including relatives of victims of 9/11, as the verdict was read.

On his way out Moussaoui exclaimed "America, you lost! Novak (one of the prosecutors) you lost! I won!