Friday, March 18, 2011

BingoGate: Closed hearing set for today, judge to hear oral arguments on wiretap motions

image A CLOSED hearing is set for today, March 18, at the federal courthouse in Montgomery, Alabama. Attorneys for Milton McGregor et al and the prosecution will present oral arguments before US Magistrate Judge Wallace Capel.

Since all of the motions filed by the defendants—and the responses filed by the prosecution—are under seal by the Court, the hearing today is closed to the public.

As noted here yesterday, Capel’s decision on the admissibility of the wiretap evidence was expected by many observers as soon as a few days after the three-day open hearing that started February 28. However, Capel gave the parties until the following Monday to file briefs.

The defendants filed a bevy of briefs and arguments, all of which were filed under seal and kept off limits to the public.

Today’s hearing and Capel’s ruling (which could still come at any time), together form a key milestone in this case. If Capel throws out the evidence and the defense prevails on appeal, the case will almost certainly fall apart and no one outside of the prosecution and defense teams will ever learn what those recordings contain. If Capel allows the evidence to be used at trial and the prosecution prevails on appeal, the trial goes forward on June 6.

Stay tuned, sports fans.

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