Man Without Qualities

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

The Amazingly Weak Case Against Martha Stewart

The Man Without Qualities has previously noted the government's transparently weak case against Martha Stewart. That opinion has not changed. Now the federal judge presiding in a related civil case seems to agree, as the Financial Times reports:

Judge John Sprizzo took a dim view of the government's case against Ms Stewart during a pre-trial hearing last week for a related investor lawsuit that he is overseeing.

In frank terms, Judge Sprizzo told lawyers at the hearing that he believed the government's case fell short of other obstruction of justice cases he had seen in court, including one against one of New York's most notorious mafia bosses.

"I have read this indictment," Judge Sprizzo said, according to the transcript. "I will tell you something, in my experience as a prosecutor for five years . . . [I] have seen a lot more serious obstruction cases. This is not the strongest obstruction case I have seen... This is not John Gotti."

Is that "in frank terms?" Actually, from the evidence I've seen so far, Judge Sprizzo is putting things rather mildly.

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