Mention of 9/11 Barred in Kerik Trial; Giuliani Testimony in Doubt

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Former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik, indicted in May by federal authorities for making false statements to the Bush White House when he was being vetted for Secretary of Homeland Security, has suffered a great setback: his defense team is prohibited from mentioning 9/11 during the trial. Judge Stephen Robinson said it isn't relevant to the proceedings -- we may assume he considered the possibility that the defense would use it to sway jurors to Kerik's side -- but he will consider exceptions if Kerik's much-lauded role in the city's operations that day have direct bearing on a witness' testimony.

The ruling effectively prohibits the testimony of Mayor Giuliani, for reasons noted by Joe Biden.

At the hearing the judge also slammed the defense for trying to arrange publication in the Washington Times, via the head of Kerik's legal defense fund, of information that's supposed to be under legal seal. Kerik denies knowledge of the fund head's actions. The judge ordered a sworn affidavit from Kerik to that effect by Monday, and seemed to threaten him with jail if he was found to be horsing around.


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