Government asks court to protect agent in Walker Lindh trial
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Federal prosecutors hope a judge will decide against having an anonymous agent testify at a hearing ahead of the upcoming terrorism trial against John Walker Lindh.
Prosecutors claim the agent was not present when a CIA officer interrogated Lindh at a prison in Afghanistan.
Prosecutors on Tuesday filed a court motion asking District Court Judge T.S. Ellis to quash a subpoena for a government agent known as "CS-1" at a suppression hearing in June. The designation "CS" generally refers to a confidential source.
Walker Lindh is an American accused of a role fighting on behalf of al Qaeda troops who supported the ousted Taliban regime in Afghanistan. He and others were captured and held at a fortress as U.S. and coalition forces began anti-terrorist military action in the region.
CS-1 and CIA officer Johnny Spann tried to question Walker Lindh on November 25 at the fortress near Mazar-e-Sharif during efforts to learn information from al Qaeda and Taliban detainees. The government says the agents were not successful in questioning Walker Lindh. Spann later was killed during an armed uprising by those held at the site.
In its filing, the government says CS-1 was not present at any time when Walker Lindh was interrogated either by special forces, U.S. Army personnel, U.S. Marine Corps personnel or an FBI agent.
"In short, CS-1 was not present on any of the occasions when Lindh made statements which defense counsel may now seek to suppress. Thus, CS-1 has no direct testimony to offer that is relevant to the suppression hearing," the government motion states.
The government says it is not trying to prevent the agent from testifying at the trial scheduled to begin in late August.
Defense attorneys requested the subpoena after CS-1 declined their request to submit to questioning.
"CS-1's true identity and affiliation is classified national security information. Although the Government will seek, and we hope the Court will adopt, procedures intended and designed to protect and preserve the confidentiality of CS-1's true identity and affiliation, it is nevertheless the case that every additional occasion upon which CS-1 testifies in a public forum places CS-1 at greater risk of having his true identity and affiliation revealed," prosecutors argued.
The government says the defense team has to prove the information provided by CS-1 must be "highly relevant," a test the prosecutors say the agent's testimony does not meet for a suppression hearing.
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