Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Defense says feds go too far to conceal witness in Tampa terror trial

TAMPA — An attorney for the Pinellas Park man accused of trying to obtain explosives to attack targets in Tampa is objecting to one of the provisions that the government wants to publicly conceal the identity of a key witness.

Sami Osmakac, 26, is scheduled for trial Oct. 21 in federal court, accused of trying to acquire guns and bombs to attack a Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office operations center and a South Tampa nightclub. He is being held in jail without bail.

Last month, prosecutors proposed a series of steps to conceal the identity of an FBI agent they say met undercover with Osmakac in 2011 and 2012. Prosecutors say his safety could be in danger if his identity is revealed.

In a motion last week, the defense objected to one of the provisions: removing non-essential personnel while the agent testifies.

"Clearing the courtroom would indicate that the (agent) is a special witness, requiring special treatment, and thereby giving him special credibility," wrote defense attorney George Tragos.

At a minimum, he said, Osmakac's family should be allowed to stay in the courtroom.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Friday.

Defense says feds go too far to conceal witness in Tampa terror trial 09/10/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 11:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review: Mumford and Sons shower Amalie Arena with love in euphoric Tampa debut


    There are releases, and then there are releases. And minutes into their concert Wednesday at Amalie Arena, Mumford and Sons gave Tampa the latter.

    Mumford and Sons performed at Tampa's Amalie Arena on Sept. 20, 2017.
  2. FEMA to open disaster recovery center in Riverview


    The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it will open a disaster recovery center Thursday in Riverview for Hillsborough County residents impacted by Hurricane Irma.

  3. Life sentence for man convicted in killing of brother of Bucs' Kwon Alexander


    An Alabama man who shot and killed the 17-year-old brother of Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander in 2015 was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday, the Anniston (Ala.) Star reported.

  4. Remember him? Numbers prove Ben Zobrist is one of greatest Rays of all time

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first foray back to the Trop by the best manager the Rays have had obscured the second return visit by arguably the second-best player in franchise history.


    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) takes the field to start the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.
  5. GOP's new repeal bill would likely leave millions more uninsured, analyses suggest


    WASHINGTON — The latest Republican bid to roll back the Affordable Care Act would likely leave millions of currently insured Americans without health coverage in the coming decades, and strip benefits and protections from millions more, a growing number of independent studies suggest.

    Vice President Mike Pence listens as President Donald Trump talks to reporters about the Graham-Cassidy health care bill during a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in New York. [Evan Vucci | Associated Press]