NY temple plot suspects may get bail

Assistant US attorney say the four pose danger to public, flight risk.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
June 21, 2010 14:55
2 minute read.
The interior of the renovated and rededicated Whit

wroclaw shul 58. (photo credit: Mirek Koch)

WHITE PLAINS, New York — Four men accused of plotting to blow up New York synagogues and shoot a missile at military planes must not be released on bail because they pose a danger to the public, as well as a flight risk, state prosecutors argued ahead of a hearing set for Monday.

Assistant US Attorney David Raskin detailed the case against the men once again, this time in court papers opposing any bail. The men have been jailed for more than a year.

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Judge Colleen McMahon was scheduled to hear arguments Monday. She set the bail hearing after she delayed the trial at the request of prosecutors, who were dealt a setback on evidence.

James Cromitie, 44, Onta Williams, 32, David Williams, 28, and Laguerre Payen, 27, are accused of placing what they thought were bombs outside two Bronx synagogues last year. They are also accused of planning to use what they thought was a live Stinger missile against planes at the Stewart Air National Guard base near Newburgh, a small city north of New York where they lived.

They have pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges and claim they were entrapped by a federal informant who proposed and directed the plot and then supplied the fake bombs and false missile.

Court demands to see proof Feds contacted plotters

The judge ruled last week that a document in which a federal agent dismisses the likelihood that anything bad would happen at the Stewart air base had to be turned over to the defense. Prosecutor David Raskin argued there could be more classified documents that would also have to be given to the defense and that it would take months to locate and get clearance.


Defense lawyers moved for dismissal, arguing there was no way to get a fair trial. The judge asked for written arguments by July 2.

Meanwhile, she was to decide whether the four would be released, highly unusual for terrorism suspects.

'Suspects may flee in face of lengthy jail time'

In court papers filed Friday opposing any bail, Raskin said the men are flight risks because of the lengthy jail time they face.

"Each of the defendants poses a danger to the community based on the nature of the charges they face, the strength of the evidence against them, their willingness to deal with a terrorist organization, and their history of dealing in guns and drugs," Raskin said.

Defense attorneys had not filed any written motions as of Friday.


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