By Alexie Villegas Zotomayor
The requested discovery is material and critical to the defense in the Mariana fruit bat poaching case involving a former Fish and Wildlife staffer and a Customs officer.
In his reply to the government’s opposition to specific discovery requests he made, co-defendant Albert Taitno, through his counsel Bruce Berline, asked the federal court to order the government to provide all information in its possession, custody or control regarding Mariana fruit bat poaching activities on Rota.
The production of such information, the defense believes, is material as it will allow the defense to effectively rebut the expert testimony and to effectively cross-examine the government’s experts on the procedures and methodology of the tests conducted.
Taitano earlier filed a motion for discovery asking full disclosure of all information available to the government that show taking of the Mariana fruit bat by persons other than Taitano and his co-defendant David Santos.
Taitano asked the government to disclose (a) any reports of scientific tests or experiments, and results in the government’s possession, custody or control; (b) a written summary of any testimony that the government intends to use under Rules 702, 703, or 705 of the Federal Rules of Evidence during its case-in-chief at trial; (c) un-redacted copies of all books, papers, documents, data, photographs, tangible objects or portions of any of these items that was in any way relied upon by any expert witness that the government intends to use in its case-in-chief; (d) un-redacted copies of the laboratory case file for any scientific test or experiment that is material to preparing the defense of that the government intends to use; (e) all relevant laboratory protocols for any scientific test or experiment that is material to preparing the defense or that the government intends to use; (f) results of any relevant proficiency testing performed by any analyst who performed any scientific test or experiment that is material to preparing the defense or that the government intends to use; and (g) un-redacted copies of any audits, external or internal, for any laboratory that performed any scientific test or experiment material to preparing the defense or that the government intends to use.
Taitano’s motion for discovery was prompted by the release of a list of 108 suspected fruit bat poachers compiled in 1998 and updated in 2008. The defense noted that the list had been redacted showing only three names: Adrian Mendiola, David A. Santos and Albert Taitano.
For the defense, there is ample evidence indicating the possibility that people other than the defendants poached fruit bats on Rota. As there were no witnesses, the government’s case is based upon circumstantial evidence. More....