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Prosecution Plays Bin Laden Tape at Padilla Trial

A still image from a 1997 TV interview with Osama bin Laden.
A still image from a 1997 TV interview with Osama bin Laden.

At Jose Padilla's trial in Miami, the prosecution has played a TV interview with Osama Bin Laden and an intercepted telephone call of Padilla's two co-defendants discussing it.

The prosecution fought to get the judge's permission to use the Bin Laden tape, and the defense fought just as hard to block it.

On its face, the old interview seemed to have little to do with the charges that Padilla and his co-defendants, Adham Hassoun and Kifah Jayyousi, were sending money and supplies to terrorists overseas.

In fact, U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke told jurors it has nothing to do with Padilla. Before showing it, she cautioned the jury that there's no evidence Padilla "viewed, heard, commented on or endorsed the videotape."

She allowed it to be shown however, because Hassoun and Jayyousi are heard discussing the interview in intercepted phone calls introduced as evidence at trial.

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As NPR's Miami correspondent, Greg Allen reports on the diverse issues and developments tied to the Southeast. He covers everything from breaking news to economic and political stories to arts and environmental stories. He moved into this role in 2006, after four years as NPR's Midwest correspondent.