local | The Mohamud Trial

Judge Considers FBI Evidence For Mohamud Trial

OPB | Sept. 24, 2012 5 p.m. | Updated: Jan. 18, 2013 3:10 p.m. | Portland

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A federal judge heard several motions in the Mohamed Mohamud case on Monday. Mohamud was arrested after allegedly plotting to bomb Portland’s holiday tree-lighting ceremony in 2010.

U.S. District Court Judge Garr King is deciding what evidence can and cannot be introduced in Mohamud’s trail — a job made especially difficult because prosecutors say national security issues are involved.

The defense, for example, wants to know the identity of a man only identified in court as “Bill Smith.” Because of national security, Smith was interviewed in closed court without Mohamud’s defense attorneys present. The defense wants to know more about his role during the investigation. Judge King says he’ll rule later.

The court also heard testimony from retired FBI agent Brad Petrie, who interviewed Mohamud after he was stopped from flying out of the Portland airport in the summer of 2010.

Mohamud was on his way to Alaska for a summer job in the fishing industry. Petrie told the court he met Mohamud and his parents in the airport concourse, when they were angry and upset about the cancelled trip. Petrie identified himself as an FBI agent and said if they had time, they could talk in a quieter location. They accepted the offer and talked for about half an hour. At issue is whether that interview and Mohamud’s comments that he was in contact with a Saudi Arabian national, are admissible in court.

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