SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A federal judge on Monday sharply limited evidence that must be turned over to a father and son being held on terrorism-related charges, ruling they must be given only what pertains directly to the charges that they lied to investigators.
Hamid Hayat (search), 22, is charged with two counts of lying to the FBI earlier this month when he said he did not attend a terrorism camp in Pakistan in 2003 and 2004. His father, Umer Hayat (search), 47, was indicted on a single count of lying to investigators by denying his son attended the camp. The FBI said the elder Hayat later admitted flying his son to Pakistan and paying for the camp, which was run by the friend of a relative.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter A. Nowinski ruled prosecutors have to disclose little evidence beyond what is needed to prove that the men lied to the FBI. Defense attorneys strongly objected and said they may file motions seeking additional disclosures.
National security concerns may affect some evidence, said Assistant U.S. Attorney R. Steven Lapham. But the government has yet to invoke that reasoning in denying any alleged evidence.
"This is an ongoing investigation," Lapham said. "There may be a widening of the investigation, other charges."
Defense attorneys said the government is withholding statements the men made to the FBI that are at the root of the false statement allegations.
For instance, Hamid Hayat took a polygraph test June 4, but prosecutors provided to the defense only his "two simple responses," not the rest of the interrogation, complained his attorney, Wazhma Mojaddidi.
The FBI said its investigation spans several years, and agents have interviewed dozens of people. Yet the government turned over just 55 written pages and 13 compact discs apparently containing recorded interrogations of the two men, said Johnny Griffin III, attorney for Umer Hayat.
The attorneys also were allowed to review evidence from the search of the family's home in Lodi (search).
The evidence is from the period since May 29, when Hamid Hayat's return flight to the United States from Pakistan was diverted to Tokyo because he was on a "no fly" list. He was allowed to continue after questioning.
"It's not a case of whether they were on the 'no fly' list or why not. ... It's about three false statements," the judge said in limiting the evidence disclosures.