Tahmooressi Lawyer: Prosecutor Doesn't Seem Enthusiastic

Thursday, 10 Jul 2014 08:02 PM

By Greg Richter

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The lawyer for Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, the U.S. Marine veteran held in a Mexican prison for more than three months, says the prosecutor didn't seem "enthusiastic" in court on Wednesday, possibly indicating that he doesn't believe Tahmooressi purposely crossed the border to do anything illegal.

"The prosecutor had a stone face the entire time," defense attorney Fernando Benitez said Thursday on Fox News Channel's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."  "He never opened his mouth until it was time for him to make his questions, and he said nothing, although I did get a sense that he was not enthusiastic. I didn't see any enthusiasm in what he was doing."

Otherwise, Benitez said, the nine-hour hearing was routine. Tahmooressi was upbeat at the beginning, he said, but became bored as time dragged on and witnesses were cross-examined.

Van Susteren, a former lawyer, questioned Benitez on any other indication that the prosecution felt it had a strong case, including whether the prosecutor spoke to the judge privately or whether he indicated to Benitez whether he thought the defense had a good case.

Beneitiz replied that the only thing hurting his case is that the early stages were not "exploited enough" by Tahmooressi's previous legal team.

"The arrest seems to be tainted by several serious civil rights violations," which will come to light as the case proceeds, he said.

Tahmooressi says he accidentally crossed the border with three weapons he legally owns in the United States. He said he took a wrong turn and was funneled into a lane that took him to the border with no way to turn around.

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