Tags: DOJ | Disputes | Ex-agent's | McVeigh | Claim

DOJ Disputes Ex-agent's McVeigh Claim

Thursday, 31 May 2001 12:00 AM

In a letter to the attorneys, a department official says the agent's report was turned over early in the trial, but a separate report in a separate investigation was not. The letter told the attorneys that they were being provided the separate file, even though it was not part of the Oklahoma City bombing case.

The heavily edited letter was supplied Thursday by the department to United Press International and other media.

Attorney General John Ashcroft's special attorney Sean Connelly sent a letter to two of McVeigh's attorneys, Robert Nigh Jr. in Tulsa, Okla., and Nathan Chambers in Denver, disputing the allegations of the ex-FBI agent.

On "60 Minutes II," former FBI agent Rick Ojeda questioned whether leads he developed were ever revealed to defense attorneys.

All documents and evidence produced in the massive Oklahoma City bombing probe, as many as 1 billion pieces by some FBI estimates, were supposed to be turned over to the defense team under an unusually sweeping agreement in 1995, regardless of whether they had bearing on the case.

"I started thinking and I started going back and checking to see if some of the information that I had provided had ever been mentioned at trial," Ojeda is quoted on the CBS News Web site.

"I talked to a couple of agents that worked the case and asked them about leads that I had done - whether they were ever brought up. I even asked them to check to see if some of the [documents] that I had mentioned had ever been turned over and they couldn't find them and so I started to wonder if the stuff had been withheld or just lost, which was common."

The Web site said: "Ojeda believes the latest twist in the bombing case is a reflection of what's wrong with the FBI. 'The main problem is, who does the FBI answer to? When somebody in the FBI screws up, when the FBI screws up, who do they answer to? Nobody.'"

In his letter to Nigh and Chambers, the Justice Department's Connelly said Ojeda's Oklahoma City bombing, or "OKBOMB," material already had been supplied to the defense.

In a heavily redacted version of the letter - some of the information is protected under court order - Connelly said all "OKBOMB documents have now been produced for you. These include several reports, produced prior to trial, prepared by former agent Ojeda.

"For example, an April 1, 1997, OKBOMB report by Agent Ojeda details information (edited out) … Agent Ojeda's April 1, 1997, report was provided in pretrial (actually, early trial as to McVeigh) discovery because it was part of the FBI's OKBOMB file ….

"I am not aware of any FBI OKBOMB interview reports, by Ojeda or any other agent, that have not been turned over in pretrial discovery or a part of the recent production," Connelly said. "An Ojeda report of interview (edited out) … is, however, part of a different case file. Ojeda prepared that report on April 15, 1997, not as part of the OKBOMB file …. "

Connelly told the lawyers in light of "the Ojeda allegations, we are provided you the Ojeda report of interview (edited out) … even though it is not an OKBOMB file document."

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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In a letter to the attorneys, a department official says the agent's report was turned over early in the trial, but a separate report in a separate investigation was not. The letter told the attorneys that they were being provided the separate file, even though it was not...
DOJ,Disputes,Ex-agent's,McVeigh,Claim
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2001-00-31
Thursday, 31 May 2001 12:00 AM
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