Attorneys for a young man accused in an alleged downtown bomb plot have lost a bid to have some key evidence protected.
19-year-old Mohamed Mohamud met with two FBI operatives on July 30th of last year.
Prosecutors say this was the first time the defendant mentioned a wish to plant a bomb at Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square. But Mohamud’s attorneys asked Judge Garr King to bar witnesses from talking about the case with each other, or reviewing any documents pertaining to the meeting.
Lewis and Clark law professor Tung Yin has been following the case. He says defense attorneys might be concerned about how such conversations might affect testimony if the case went to trial.
Tung Yin: “Whether this is nefarious or simply innocuous, they happen to start talking about the case, they might end up confirming their testimony. You end up with two or three people telling the same story that sounds much more persuasive than if they have inconsistencies and the like.”
But Judge King indicated in an order that he gives government prosecutors the benefit of the doubt.
Prosecutors, he writes, assured him witnesses won’t talk to each other about the case, and that notes and other materials have been preserved.
Mohamud remains in custody, and no trial date has been set.