Friday, February 16, 2007

Border agents' trial transcript shows judge ordered information withheld

Posted: February 16, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

WASHINGTON – Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila, the Mexican drug smuggler given immunity to return to the United States and testify against two Border Patrol agents, was involved in smuggling a second load of marijuana into the United States after he was given court protection, records have confirmed.

Newly released transcripts of the trial for Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos have corroborated WND reports that the Mexican illegal alien was involved in the second drug case, this one involving a load of marijuana brought into the U.S. in October 2005.

That followed his grant of immunity by U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton in return for his truthful testimony against Compean and Ramos, who now are serving 11 and 12 year prison terms following their convictions that they shot Aldrete-Davila as he was fleeing back into Mexico.

A number of activist organizations have been so outraged by the agents' predicament for doing what many people believe was no more than their reasonable duties there have been repeated calls to President Bush to issue pardons to the former agents.


*snip*


The transcript shows that during the trial conference with the prosecution and defense lawyers, the judge talked about Aldrete-Davila's second offense in an equally matter-of-fact way.

The transcript shows Cardone commenting as follows:

"In other words, all the investigation they've (government) done to investigate this case leads up to him (Aldrete-Davila) coming into the country, and then in October committing this second involvement. Okay? But there's no lying, if that's what we're characterizing it as, until the October incident."

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., told WND that the trial transcript now makes clear that "the prime witness against these two Border Patrol agents was involved in another major load of drugs and the prosecution made a conscious decision to keep these facts from the jury."

At the trial, Cardone ruled that Aldrete-Davila was not on trial. She ruled that no reference about the October 2005 drug offense was to be made to the jury and she sealed all records concerning that offense, despite vigorous defense objections that this information not only violated Aldrete-Davila’s immunity grant, but also went to the heart of the defense argument that Aldrete-Davila's testimony was not credible.

Rohrabacher expressed continued outrage that Sutton had decided to grant immunity to an admitted drug dealer so he could prosecute two Border Patrol agents who were trying to apprehend him.

"Once Aldrete-Davila was caught a second time," Rohrabacher told WND, "it unmasks the indefensible nature of the prosecutor's decision to go after the Border Patrol agents. If the jury is not allowed to know about Aldrete-Davila's second offense, then Ramos and Compean did not get a fair trial."

The revelation also "raises questions whether what we're talking about here is two honest Border Patrol agents who stumbled across a drug cartel operation and are being punished for coming up against the power of the cartel," Rohrabacher said. "The second drug incident makes clear that Aldrete-Davila's profession is drug smuggling."

Rohrabacher was harshly critical of both Sutton and President Bush.

"What Ramos and Compean got was a screw job from day one by the U.S. attorney's office in order to send a message to all Border Patrol agents," Rohrabacher told WND. “The message from Sutton was that the President of the United States makes policy on the border, so don't get in the way. If you haven't gotten the message yet, this is an open border."

He said Sutton was running a "public relations campaign," and charged that Sutton's purpose has been to "poison the well of public opinion, calling Ramos and Compean corrupt, when there never were any corruption charges, then suggesting they shot an unarmed man in the back, when we only have (the) drug dealer's word he was unarmed and the medical evidence is that he was not shot in the back."

"In the Ramos-Compean case we have lie after lie after lie coming out of Sutton's office. And now we've got a public relations campaign to protect Sutton because he is a protégé of the president and the president doesn't want to see his career destroyed," the congressman told WND.

Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, was equally critical of the prosecution.

"It would now appear that Aldrete-Davila was not some innocent, poor migrant mule bringing narcotics into the United States so he could buy medicine for his sick mother," he said.

"From a reading of the trial transcript, it would now appear that there is at least one more case of bringing drugs into the United States illegally involving Aldrete-Davila," he said.

Poe also felt this information should have reached the jury. "If the jury would have heard about this second instance, it certainly would have affected the drug smuggler's credibility. The drug smuggler was the prosecution's case. This star witness, Aldrete-Davila, had a lot of baggage, no pun intended."

WND has previously reported that the prosecution provided Aldrete-Davila with a multiple-use border pass signed by Homeland Security Special Agent Christopher Sanchez, along with his badge number.

WND also had specifically asked Sutton a broadly framed question, whether "there was any second incident of any kind involving Aldrete-Davila." He responded by denying that the prosecution's star witness was involved in any second drug incident, but the trial transcript now available appears to directly contradict Sutton’s denial.

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