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Defense attorney doesn't want the T-word used in local terrorism trial

TAMPA — Sami Osmakac is charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction in a South Tampa party district.

But his attorney wants a federal judge to bar prosecutors from exposing jurors to the words "terrorism" or "homegrown terrorist" during Osmakac's May trial in Tampa.

The use of those words is "inflammatory" and "designed to prejudice the defendant and attack his character," defense attorney George E. Tragos wrote in his latest motion to the court.

"The words have no evidentiary value and they are not necessary to prove any of the elements in the case," he wrote.

Earlier in the week, Tragos sought an order to exclude speculative testimony from private international terrorism consultant Evan Kohlmann, or to exclude Kohlmann's testimony altogether. The government expects to respond in opposition to both motions by March 27.

Osmakac, 27, known in the local Muslim community as a democracy-hating extremist, is accused of planning attacks on local bars and bridges as payback for wrongs done to Muslims. No attack was carried out.

He is a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Kosovo.

Defense attorney doesn't want the T-word used in local terrorism trial 03/14/14 [Last modified: Friday, March 14, 2014 2:06pm]
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