BOISE, Idaho – Prosecutors want a federal judge in Idaho to shield the identities of two witnesses in the trial of an Uzbek refugee charged with helping teach people to build bombs to target public transportation.
Prosecutors argue the measure is needed because the witnesses are informants in ongoing cases, the Idaho Statesman (http://bit.ly/1dza91o) reported Wednesday.
Defendant Fazliddin Kurbanov, 32, who lives in Boise, disclosed his plans to FBI informants in 2009, authorities said.
If the prosecutors' request is denied, prosecutors want the courtroom to be closed to the public during the testimony of the two witnesses. However, the public would be allowed to listen to an audio-only broadcast in an adjacent courtroom
Kurbanov is scheduled to go to trial on July 13. He is charged with conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan; conspiring and attempting to provide material support in preparation for, or in carrying out, the use of weapons of mass destruction; and possession of an unregistered explosive device.
Kurbanov could face sentences of up to 20 years for each conspiracy charge and 10 years if convicted for possession of an explosive device.
Court documents say officials are also asking permission to allow four FBI linguists from the Middle East and Central Asia to testify under pseudonyms.
The linguists fear reprisal against family members if it becomes public that they work for the government or testified in the case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Lucoff wrote.
The linguists are being called in to translate communications and videos.
Defense attorney Chuck Peterson has not filed a response to the prosecutors' motions.
Information from: Idaho Statesman, http://www.idahostatesman.com