Friday, December 02, 2011
Feds ask again for more time to sort through 101 million documents in Global Horizons human trafficking case
by Larry Geller
The Department of Justice asked judge Richard L. Puglisi again today (Friday, 12/2/2011) to grant them more time to sort through the mountain of documents and hard drives that they removed from the offices of Global Horizons about a year ago. The DOJ has asked the court for a six month delay in the Global Horizons trial, billed as the largest human trafficking case in US history.
Judge Puglisi denied the request one month ago. The case is currently scheduled for trial in February, 2012. The DOJ renewed their motion, which was delivered to the court only last night.
Defense attorney William Kopeny (for Mordechai Orian) objected, holding that the government did little in the first ten months they had possession of the documents, and now are asking the court to delay the hearing. He stated that he received the DOJ motion at 8 p.m. Thursday night and asked the court for a few days to file a response.
The delay, according to the DOJ, was caused by the assertion of attorney-client privilege by Orian over communications with 72 attorneys he has identified to the DOJ. This requires that the documents be vetted to see which might be affected. The government estimated that a million pages that may be privileged. They reported that there are 101 million documents on 77 hard drives. They estimated that there could be 20 million potentially privileged documents.
Kopeny noted that at the rate the government was reviewing documents, it would take them 25 years for ten agents to go through the material.
DOJ reported to the Court that they imaged the drives and sent them to labs across the country and to Quantico (the Marine Corp. base in Virginia where the FBI academy is located).
The DOJ reminded the judge that 600-900 victims are involved in the case.
Puglisi gave the defense until Wednesday to file a brief, and gave the government until the following Monday to file a response.
The Department of Justice appeared to be on the defensive. Unspoken was the DOJ failure to complete the Aloun Farms prosecution due to an error on the part of the lead prosecutor that resulted in the dismissal of the case. An entirely new team of prosecutors is in place for Global Horizons.
An aside: today no one in the court managed to properly pronounce the defendant’s name. The accent is on the first syllable. Even his own attorney pronounced his name as “Orion.”