Hearing on Cheney indictment turns chaotic - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Hearing on Cheney indictment turns chaotic

A South Texas prosecutor who brought indictments against Vice President Dick Cheney, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and others pounded his fist and shouted at the judge today.

The table-pounding rant by Willacy County District Attorney Juan Angel Guerra alleged special treatment for high-profile defendants. That sent the routine motions hearing in a state district court in Raymondville into chaos. He complained to

Presiding Judge Manuel Banales about his handling of the case and asked him to recuse himself

Guerra's accusing the public officials of culpability in the alleged abuse of prisoners in a federal detention center.

Attorneys for Cheney and the other defendants leapt to their feet in objection as Guerra pounded the table. The prosecutor accused Banales of special treatment by allowing defense motions to quash the indictments to be heard before the defendants' arraignments.

Banales called a recess to contact the chief justice of the state Supreme Court for suggestions on how to proceed. He also ordered Guerra, who had slipped out once before in the hearing, to remain in the courthouse.

Guerra said he'd refuse to obey, but when Banales implied he'd keep Guerra in court by force, the prosecutor agreed to stay if the judge asked him respectfully.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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