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NXIVM: Prosecutors ask judge to protect victims and guard against jury nullification

[Judge Nicholas Garaufis and Keith Raniere]

Now that Seagram heiress Clare Bronfman got her sweet deal and Nxivm bookkeeper Kathy Russell got her slap on the wrist, the government is making final preparations for its showdown with Nxivm leader Keith Raniere.

In anticipation of the trial, which is scheduled to begin on May 7, prosecutors made several requests in a motion in limine to Judge Nicholas Garaufis. Let’s go through them.

First, the government asks that victims who come to court to testify against Raniere be protected by identifying themselves on the witness stand only by their first names.

Evidence is going to be put on trial that Raniere was running a sex slavery cult, and not only should those testifying him in court be protected, but also those victims not in court should also be referred to only by a first name or nickname.

“These measures are necessary to protect victims from potential harassment from the media and others, undue embarrassment and other adverse consequences,” prosecutors say.


Second, the government doesn’t want there to be an attempt by Raniere to raise questions about its motives in bringing him to trial, or allegations of misconduct.

“The defendant and his co-defendants have raised allegations of this sort in their pretrial motions,” say prosecutors, adding in a footnote that the defense suggested “government overreach resulting from a ‘firestorm of press’ and the ‘ire of the Justice Department.'”

They go on to explain that they think Raniere will try to use these kinds of suggestions to nullify the jury by claiming the government is out to get him, and they want Judge Garaufis to keep it from happening.

Third, they ask the judge to tell Raniere’s attorney, Marc Agnifilo, not to refer to himself as a “former prosecutor” when he’s addressing the jury.

“It could suggest to the jury that an argument or question should be given greater weight simply because of defense counsel’s background.”

And finally, the government does not want Raniere to be able to have supporting witnesses in Mexico testify by closed-circuit television, supposedly because they fear being arrested if they travel to New York to testify in the courtroom.

But Raniere hasn’t supplied the names of these witnesses, what they will testify to, or the reasons why they fear arrest.

So, which of these conditions do you think Judge Garaufis is going to go along with? Let us know your thoughts.

Here’s the document…

Nxivm Doc 567: Us Motion in Limine by Tony Ortega on Scribd


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 22, 2019 at 12:00

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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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