RealNews

Prosecutors in terror trial cancel witness' testimony

Federal prosecutors have decided not to call a witness to testify today against defendants in the Detroit terrorism trial. Prosecutors, who would not identify the witness, were considering calling Abed Makalda, 33, of Detroit but changed their mind for unexplained reasons Thursday, according to people familiar with the case. A federal judge sentenced Makalda, an Israeli citizen, on Jan. 16 to 52 months in prison for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine. At sentencing, Makalda’s lawyer, Douglas Mullkoff of Ann Arbor, asked the judge for leniency because Makalda was cooperating in another case. That prompted Assistant U.S. Attorney William Sauget to say that Makalda had told so many “fairy tales” in the drug case, agents quit dealing with him. Sauget said he would have an ethical obligation to disclose the unreliable information to defense lawyers if Makalda testifed in the other case — the terrorism trial. A judge’s gag order prevents terror trial lawyers and prosecutors from discussing the case. Sauget and Mulkoff said they couldn’t comment, either. Had Makalda testified, defense lawyers probably would have used the sentencing trancript or Sauget’s statements to discredit him. Full Story

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