An Afghan living in Colorado hid evidence in the case of his son, who pleaded guilty to plotting to bomb New York City’s subways, lawyers for the U.S. said in opening arguments of a trial in Brooklyn Federal Court.
Lawyers for Mohammed Wali Zazi, 55, said he didn’t know of his son’s plans, and miscommunications, not lies, were the source of the U.S.’s allegations.
Zazi has pleaded not guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice. His son, Najibullah Zazi, pleaded guilty in February 2010 to supporting al-Qaeda and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction. The plot was planned for around the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Zazi stood in the way of the FBI’s investigation into his son in 2009 by destroying chemicals and goggles and lying about communications with an imam in Queens, Andrew Goldsmith, a lawyer for the U.S. told the jury today.
“You’ll see Najibullah Zazi’s bomb-making recipe and hear evidence about chemicals found in the drains of Mohammed Zazi’s house,” Goldsmith said.
Zazi, a former New York City taxi driver who worked hard to live the American dream and support his children, took his own son to the FBI upon learning of an investigation, and was the victim of other family members who turned against him, said Justine Harris, a lawyer for Zazi.
“This is a painful story of a family put under intense pressure,” she said.
Zarien Ahmedzay, charged as a co-conspirator, pleaded guilty to his role in the foiled subway plot in April 2010. A third man, Adis Medunjanin, pleaded not guilty in August 2010 to participating in the subway plot.
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