Monday, February 16, 2009
Hon. Marcia G. Cooke, of the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division, issued an Order dismissing a co-defendant in the case against Ben Kuehne. (For background on the Ben Kuehne case see here) This co-defendant had been charged with a "single count of conspiracy to commit money laundering." In dismissing the case, the court stated:
"Considering the Government’s substantial pre-indictment and post-indictment delay, the Government’s inability to present an adequate reason for the delay, the Government’s concession that Velez did not contribute in any way to the delay between October 2005 and October 2007, Velez’s timely assertion of her speedy trial rights, the actual prejudice she has shown, and the prejudice that should be presumed considering the length of the delay and the outcome of the other factors, these two counterbalancing factors are insufficient to support a conclusion that Velez’s speedy trial rights have not been violated."
The Order speaks directly to the reasons provided by the government for their delay in this matter. Each of these arguments is easily dismissed by the court. For example, the court states, "The Government’s argument, that it was necessary to sacrifice Velez’s Sixth Amendment rights so that it could engage in discussions with her co- defendants to ensure that all relevant facts were considered before returning an indictment, rings hollow considering that, at that point, Velez had already been indicted."