On Wednesday, saying she thought it was “most prudent in the interest of public safety,” Flint U.S. District Judge Linda V. Parker denied suspect Amor M. Ftouhi, 49, from seeing witness contact information in a motion requested by Ftouhi’s government-appointed attorney, Joan Morgan.
Parker referenced the statements Ftouhi made following his arrest in her decision.
“Those were very disturbing statements that were made after his arrest,” Parker said, referring to a filing from the U.S. Attorney’s Office stating Ftouhi told officials detaining him that he came to the country with the “sole purpose of killing armed U.S. government employees.”
“There was no ramping down,” Parker said. “He targets a group of people by profession. Those statements need to be taken with some degree of seriousness.”
In June, Ftouhi’s lawyer filed the motion, stating that by denying her the right to the witness information, the court was, by extension, denying her client his right to a fair trial. According to court records, prosecutors have proposed a witness protection agreement by which witness information will be shared only with Ftouhi’s lawyer for trial purposes.
Furthermore, the agreement stipulates that all witness contact information not directly relevant to the case will be redacted. Morgan believes this prevents her from “adequately preparing for trial.”
But the prosecution gave the better argument, noting that Ftouhi’s terrorist intentions were far more hostile than what he was able to accomplish and that it is more than reasonable to be wary he would attempt to recruit outside help in “taking care” of the witnesses should he know their information.
“He had a mission and that mission was not accomplished,” said US Attorney Jules Deporre, while explaining Ftouhi could use his phone call from jail to contact potential terror associates.
After he was arrested, Ftouhi told authorities he was a “soldier of Allah,” that his “mission” was not over and that he would continue to kill police officers until he was killed, according to the government’s filing.
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