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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09KHARTOUM653 2009-05-17 15:55:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Khartoum
Cable title:  

MAY 13 SESSION OF GRANVILLE/ABBAS MURDER TRIAL

Tags:   ASEC PTER PGOV SU 
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VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKH #0653 1371555
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 171555Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3804
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC 0075
					  UNCLAS KHARTOUM 000653 

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DOJ FOR NATIONAL SECURITY DIVISION
DEPT FOR M, P, L, AF, DS, S/USSES, CA AND S/CT
DEPT FOR USAID

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC PTER PGOV SU
SUBJECT: MAY 13 SESSION OF GRANVILLE/ABBAS MURDER TRIAL



1. (SBU) SUMMARY: On May 13, 2009, four U.S. Embassy Foreign
Service National (FSN) employees from the Regional Security Office,
Political/Economic and Public Affairs sections attended the trial of
five Sudanese men accused in the January 1, 2008 murders of USAID
Officer John Granville and FSN driver Abdelrahman Abbas. The
defense called one witness to testify, Captain Mohamed Abdelgadir, a
former weapons expert in the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF). The next
trial session is scheduled for May 17, 2009 at which time Abdelgadir
will be cross-examined by the prosecution. END SUMMARY.



2. (U) The trial of the five Sudanese men accused of the January
1, 2008 terrorist murders of USAID Officer John Granville and FSN
driver Abdelrahman Abbas continued on May 13, 2009. The prosecution
was represented by Chair Mohamed Mustafa Musa, Juma Al Wakul
Al-Asir, and Granville family attorney Taha Ibrahim. Abbas family
attorney, Ismail Abu Sugra, was absent. The defense was represented
by deputy defense Chair Adil Abdul Ghani, Ahmed Abu Agla, and Wajdi
Salih. The defense Chair, Siddiq Kadoda, was not present.



3. (U) The defense called one witness to testify, Captain Mohamed
Abdelgadir, a retired weapons expert in the SAF. Abdelgadir served
in a military manufacturing corporation for the SAF. The witness
requested that the judge instruct journalists not to mention his
name and profession, but rather only that he is a "weapons expert".
The defense referenced earlier reports from firearms experts used as
witnesses for the prosecution and attempted to discredit those
reports with testimony from Abdelgadir as their weapons expert.



4. (U) The defense requested that Abdelgadir present to the court
his examination results from the shooting incident. Abdelgadir
explained that the rounds could not have been fired from inside the
attack vehicle based on his examination of the trajectories of the
bullets fired. Based on this assessment and evidentiary
discrepancies he found between the number of bullet holes and shell
casings found, Abdelgadir said that in his opinion the crime scene
had been tampered with, and the forensic methodology used by
investigators was flawed.



5. (U) Abdelgadir stated that he conducted his own forensic tests
of the weapons collected as evidence. Based on his investigation,
he testified that casings fired from the weapons held in evidence do
not match those casings that were found at the scene. Abdelgadir
also stated that the shot groupings of 9mm rounds from the crime
scene indicate that a 9mm pistol was not the weapon used, but was
instead an automatic weapon. Based on this data, he suggested that
evidence is being withheld from the defense.



6. (U) Abdelgadir attempted to discredit the crime scene sketch
created during the initial investigation. He stated that the
directional arrows were improperly drawn on the sketch and shell
casings were placed too far from the victims' vehicle, thus
confusing the investigation. The judge interrupted his statement,
and declared that this argument was inconsequential to the
proceedings.



7. (U) The defense requested the witness provide information on
his whereabouts since his first appearance in court. [Note:
Abdelgadir had been detained and questioned by the Sudanese National
Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) following a previous trial
session. The witness had not requested permission from the SAF to
testify as a weapons expert at the trial. End Note] The defense
asked the question with the apparent intent of establishing an
argument that there had been witness intimidation. The judge
stopped this line of defense questioning, ruling that it was not
relevant.



8. (U) The next trial date is scheduled for May 17, 2009, when
Mohamed Abdelgadir will be cross-examined by the prosecution.

ASQUINO