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NXIVM: Prosecutors ask for 2-week delay to trial, Keith Raniere asks judge to reject it

[Keith Raniere]

Former Nxivm leader Keith Raniere really doesn’t like to be in jail and doesn’t want to delay the start of his trial, which is scheduled to begin on April 29.

Despite a flurry of activity leading up to jury selection, Judge Nicholas Garaufis has been able to keep things generally on track, but now US government prosecutors have submitted a request to move opening statements back to May 14.

“The government notes that there are a significant number of pending motions, including ongoing privilege litigation, that will require additional time to resolve and will impact the evidence the government will seek to offer at trial in this case,” writes Assistant US Attorney Moira Kim Penza. In part, she blamed new requests for information from Raniere.

But Raniere isn’t having it. His attorneys have commitments in another trial in Utah in June, they point out, and they accuse prosecutors of misusing the time that’s left.

What’s a judge to do? We don’t know how to predict this one.


Meanwhile, the government came back with its response to Kathy Russell and her argument about being lied to when she went to testify to a grand jury last year.

Prosecutors point out that it was their impression from Monday’s hearing that Judge Garaufis may have accepted the idea that Russell wasn’t informed that she was a target of the investigation when she was asked testify to the grand jury, but it wouldn’t be enough to have charges against her dismissed.

And if that’s how the judge feels, then prosecutors are satisfied, they said. But just in case the judge was having some doubts, the government submitted a nine-page letter trashing the idea that Russell was treated improperly.

They spell out a complex situation where some evidence of Russell’s wrongdoing may have been in government hands, but it was in regards to a tax matter that was separate from the case the grand jury was investigating, and that evidence of Russell’s involvement in the Nxivm racketeering evidence only came later, after she had appeared.

You can practically smell the sweat off this document, and we imagine that prosecutors were pulling an all-nighter to make double sure that Russell wasn’t going to slip the net so close to the start of trial.

Anyway, here are all three documents…

Prosecutors ask for a 2-week delay:

Nxivm: Doc 522 Government asks for delay by Tony Ortega on Scribd

Raniere objects to a delay:

Nxivm: Doc 523 Raniere objection to delay by Tony Ortega on Scribd

Prosecutors oppose Kathy Russell’s dismissal claim:

Nxivm: Doc 521 Government response to Russell dismiss claim by Tony Ortega on Scribd


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 11, 2019 at 15:45

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Tony Ortega is a journalist who was formerly the editor of The Village Voice. He’s written about Scientology since 1995, and in May 2015 released a book about Scientology’s harassment of Paulette Cooper titled ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely,’ and more recently a compilation of his stories, ‘Battlefield Scientology.’ He continues to monitor breaking developments in the Scientology world, as well as other subjects at The Underground Bunker. You can reach him by sending him a message at tonyo94 AT (Drop him a line if you’d like to get an e-mail whenever a new story is posted.)


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