Padilla Jury Selection Begins

Judge rules that prosecutors can mention 9/11—but can't link Padilla directly
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2007 2:54 PM CDT
Jose Padilla   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Jury selection began today in the trial against accused terrorist Jose Padilla, with  Judge Marcia Cooke ruling that prosecutors may make references to the 9/11 attacks, but not suggest that Padilla and his co-defendants were linked to them. "Any idea, through inference or otherwise, that these defendants are connected to 9/11 is not available to the government," Cooke said.

Some of the strongest evidence against Padilla—including his alleged dirty bomb plot—will be inadmissible, since it was obtained unconstitutionally. Padilla has claimed repeatedly that he was tortured by the U.S. government, and has attempted, unsuccessfully, to get the case dismissed. Jury selection is likely to continue for the next two weeks; the trial should last four months or longer.