Defense in Michigan Hutaree militia case: Feds withheld key info
Attorneys asking for mistral of 7 defendants accused of conspiring to commit rebellion
Defense lawyers in the trial of seven Michigan militia members want a mistrial, claiming they should have been given details about the past work of an FBI agent who infiltrated the group.
Attorneys found out only this week that agent Steve Haug was the handler for a New Jersey man who was paid by the FBI to collect information on white supremacists and hate groups, starting in 2003. The informant was a right-wing radio host and blogger who made threats against critics and public officials while on the FBI payroll.
Attorney William Swor told a judge Wednesday that prosecutors had an obligation to turn over material that could aid the defense. The government says there was no violation.
Who are the Hutaree:
The Hutaree are self-proclaimed "Christian warriors" who trained themselves in paramilitary techniques in preparation for what they say on their Web site is a battle against the Antichrist.
On it's website, the group says it will be "prepared to defend all those who belong to Christ and save those who aren't."
--David Stone Sr., a Hutaree leader
Accusations against them:
During a series of raids in late March, authorities arrested nine members of the southern Michigan group. The government claims they were scheming to kill a police officer then attack officers who attended the funeral in the first steps toward a broader rebellion.
Much of the government's evidence made public so far shows militia members talking about killing police officers and attacking officers who turn up for the funeral. No specific plot with specific targets has been disclosed. The judge did acknowledge the group had "stockpiles" of legal weapons and ammunition.
The FBI said it broke up the plot with the help of an undercover agent and informants.