Friday, November 21, 2008

Motion to quash

Okay then.

Yes, he is entitled to three day's notice. So the hearing will be today and we shall see what we shall see.

DA going after VP decries hearing notice
By Lynn Brezosky - Express-News

BROWNSVILLE — Defense attorneys may have rushed to court with motions to quash indictments against Vice President Dick Cheney and others, but the prosecutor said he didn't show because he wasn't duly notified.

A day after he failed to show up in court for a hearing on indictments he secured Monday against Cheney and others in a bizarre case that has baffled many, Willacy County District Attorney Juan Angel Guerra said the hearing was out of the ordinary.
“Hearings are not done that way,” Guerra said Thursday. “The judge doesn't say, ‘Hey, I'm going to be there tomorrow.' That's not the way it works. They put it on the docket. They give you three days' notice — usually 10.”

More than a dozen defense lawyers did show up, armed with motions to have the grand jury indictments thrown out as baseless.
But Presiding District Judge Manuel BaƱales said that without the prosecutor present, he could not hear them.
BaƱales set arraignments for Friday morning.

All of those indicted — including Cheney, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the GEO Group Inc. prison company, state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., two district judges and others — are expected to waive the arraignments and respond via lawyers.

Lawyer Michael Cowen, who is representing Lucio, said attorneys are preparing pretrial motions in case today's round of motions fails. He said trials with bigwigs bringing motorcades into Willacy County are unlikely after the judge hears the challenges.
“I will bet a large sum of money that if the vice president is in Willacy County, it will be to hunt,” Cowen said.

Guerra said he'll be there, if only to show consideration to the court. He says he's prepared to crack a nationwide scandal involving privately run prisons, the results of a years-long investigation he's dubbed “Operation Goliath.” He said he had an out-of-state legislator and family members of prisoners who were killed or committed suicide in private prisons prepared to testify and could trace the money trail of prison profits to officials including Cheney.

The indictments, which come in his final weeks as a lame-duck district attorney, culminate two years of back-and-forth indictments, hearings, motions and general nastiness surrounding Guerra's contention the system is out to quash his findings.

In early 2007, he heard the county's only district judge had appointed a longtime political rival to investigate him for allegedly pressuring jurors in a separate matter. He presented motions to have the sheriff, district clerk and judge removed from office. He was then arrested on theft, extortion and abuse of office charges that ended up being thrown out.

In March of 2007, he was indicted for allegedly lying to a grand jury and tampering with records. Those charges were dismissed in November. “It took 18 months,” Guerra said. “I never got a hearing. ... This judge is not being fair.”

In motions to be heard today, the lawyers chastise Guerra for presenting evidence with himself as the victim.
“So what that does mean?” Guerra said. “ I think when I got sworn in, I have to go against everybody who goes against the law.”