CNN O.J. Simpson Trial

Simpson on trial

Simpson 'mystery witness'

Disgruntled FBI agent expected to cast doubt on lab evidence

September 13, 1995
Web posted at: 8:00 a.m. EDT

sketch of Whitehurst

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- CNN has learned that the new Simpson defense "mystery witness" is a disgruntled FBI agent who is expected to cast doubt on the prosecution's lab testing.

Defense and prosecution sources said the so-called mystery witness is FBI agent Frederic Whitehurst. Whitehurst, an FBI explosives expert, also testified in the trial of the World Trade Center bombers, where he claimed he was pressured to change his reports to favor the prosecution.

Johnnie Cochran, 9/12

One defense source told CNN that Whitehurst could offer "devastating" testimony as someone who has grave doubts about government lab work and procedures. If Judge Lance Ito allows Whitehurst to be called, the source said that Simpson's lawyers also would use him to cast doubt on a prosecution expert, FBI agent Roger Martz.

Martz testified that blood on the gate at Nicole Brown Simpson's home had not been treated with a preservative. The defense argued the blood had been planted at the crime scene.

Marcia Clark, 9/12

A prosecution source, however, said Whitehurst is so far removed from the Simpson case that prosecutors will object to him as a witness. "It sounds pretty stupid to us," the source said. "If the judge lets it in, we will be surprised."

In the New York trial of Egyptian cleric Sheik Omar Abdel- Rahman and nine others, Whitehurst disagreed with an FBI report that was to have been used by the government at an earlier trial of four men accused in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

"There was a great deal of pressure put upon me to bias my interpretation," Whitehurst said in Federal Court last month. He said his FBI bosses told him "not to provide alternative theories that could be used by the defense. I was told not to give the defense anything that could be used."

Defense lawyers at the sheik's trial said Whitehurst was called to the stand to show jurors that the FBI has a history of suppressing evidence in criminal cases. Whitehurst alleged that he was demoted from his post as a top chemical analyst after he repeatedly complained that he had been pressured to slant his reports analyzing bomb residue from the blast that killed more than six people and injured over 1,000.

Attorneys in the Simpson case have echoed the theme that the FBI has in the past covered up evidence. Prosecutors deny such charges.



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