The prosecutors also misrepresented facts to the court, attempted to cover up their behavior, and even communicated among themselves about burying evidence, Nathan said.
“In this case, federal prosecutors have by their own admission repeatedly violated their disclosure obligations, and at best, toed the line with respect to their duty of candor. Over the course of years in this prosecution — before, during, and after trial — the Government has made countless belated disclosures of arguably (and in one instance, admittedly) exculpatory evidence,” the judge ruled.
Nathan noted that the prosecutors provided plausible explanations for some late disclosures, no explanation at all for others, and when she pressed the prosecutors, they “made a misrepresentation to her court.”
“This is a serious dereliction,” she scolded, adding she fears there are “patterns that may extend beyond” the Nejad prosecution.
As dramatic and damning as Nathan’s ruling was last month, the judge has signaled she is not finished and wants to know “who knew what when” while she warned she “retains the authority to sanction the prosecutors in this case.”
“If Government lawyers acted in bad faith by knowingly withholding exculpatory material from the defense or intentionally made a misleading statement to the Court, then some sanctions or referral to the Grievance Committee of the Southern District of New York would be appropriate,” she wrote.
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