A federal prosecutor on Monday said the government won’t introduce at trial a lengthy statement from a man charged with setting off bombs in New York and New Jersey in order to keep to a scheduled trial date in March.
The New York Times reports Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Lewin told a judge that his office wanted “both on the government’s behalf and the public’s behalf a speedy trial in this matter.”
The defendant, Ahmad Khan Rahimi, pleaded not guilty in an indictment charging him in the Sept. 17 attacks, which included the detonation of a bomb in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood that injured 30 people. Another bomb did not explode.
Lewin told U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman that Rahimi made a statement to law enforcement over several days. He said the statement was “taken lawfully” under the public-safety exception to the Miranda rule. The exception allows authorities to question a suspect in certain situations before the suspect is represented by a lawyer if public safety is at stake.
Rahimi was questioned by authorities while he was hospitalized after being caught following a Sept. 19 shootout with police in Linden, New Jersey.
On Monday, Rahimi’s federal public defender, Peggy Cross-Goldenberg, said the defense could not be ready by the scheduled March 27 trial date because the government had provided so much discovery material.
“We’re going to have a speedy trial,” Judge Berman countered. “If the 27th is impossible, it’s not going to be long after that.”
Besides the Manhattan attacks, Rahimi, an Afghan-born U.S. citizen from Elizabeth, New Jersey, is charged with detonating a pipe bomb along a Marine Corps charity race in Seaside Park, New Jersey, earlier in the day. Another bomb found at a train station didn’t explode.
Rahimi is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in a New Jersey court on charges he attempted to murder police officers during his capture in Linden.
Information from: The New York Times
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