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News Briefs One

Lawyer Wants McVeigh Trial Delayed

Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON

Against the backdrop of an intense struggle between the government and defense over evidence in the case, attorneys for Timothy J. McVeigh asked Thursday that the trial in the Oklahoma City bombing case be put off until after Labor Day to give lawyers more time to build their defense in the worst terrorist attack in America.

Stephen Jones, who represents McVeigh, also said that he has suggested moving the trial to Denver if the government agrees to that setting by next week. He chose Denver after noting that the new federal judge assigned to the case is from there. Prosecutors want the trial to take place in Oklahoma.

In lengthy court pleadings, Jones complained that federal prosecutors and the FBI are shielding crucial witnesses from defense investigators, refusing to turn over witness statements and denying the defense team access to debris and other possible evidence left at the site of the bombed-out Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

The first judge on the case, U.S. District Judge Wayne E. Alley, set a trial date for May 17. But Jones said that he cannot make that date unless the government opens more of its files to defense investigators and turns over evidence that could exonerate McVeigh.

Gingrich Seeks to Minimize Effects Of Ethics Panel Decision

The Washington Post
WASHINGTON

House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., and his allies in the Republican leadership Thursday sought to minimize the House ethics committee's decision to hire an outside counsel to investigate him, saying the probe is limited to a single, narrowly drawn charge.

"I think I've been dramatically strengthened" by the committee's action, Gingrich said. "I am confident, after the committee examines the remaining charge, it too will be dismissed."

The panel voted unanimously Wednesday that Gingrich had violated House rules in three instances but chose not to discipline him. In addition, the panel dismissed a number of other allegations.

Gingrich aides and allies said the remaining charge was technical and narrow. But history shows that even a narrow opening in a congressional ethics case can be widened by an aggressive investigator and lead to other areas that could prove damaging.

"A strong and independent counsel will ensure that he or she has sufficient elbow room to do what is right and can always come back to the committee for additional authority if it's needed," said Washington criminal defense attorney Robert S. Bennett, special counsel to the Senate ethics committee in numerous cases.

Bosnia Mission on the Web

The Washington Post
WASHINGTON

The Defense Department has found a new way to keep its Bosnia operation in touch with the home front -- or rather the home page front.

The Pentagon established BosniaLINK, a World Wide Web site that provides the public basic information about U.S. troops in the Balkans. The site links the viewer to dozens of other Pentagon-produced documents on Operation Joint Endeavor.

During its first week, BosniaLINK displays maps of the American, French and British sectors of peacekeeping operations, provides biographies of the U.S. high command and describes 14 U.S. Army units deployed to the area. It even lists the standard issue of field equipment and clothing for cold climates, including extreme cold-weather drawers, mittens with trigger finger cutouts and Geneva Convention cards.

The address for BosniaLINK is http://www.dtic.dla.mil/bosnia.