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"Underwear bomber" due back in court

The man known as the “underwear bomber” will get a look at about 300 potential jurors in federal court in Detroit tomorrow.

The jurors will hear about the case against Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab from Judge Nancy Edmunds, then fill out questionnaires. The idea is to speed the jury selection process set to start next month by finding out whether any jurors have obvious biases.

It’s also the day when Judge Edmunds will hear arguments on some unresolved pre-trial issues. Those include Abdulmutallab’s request to change the trial’s venue.

He’s also asking the judge to throw out statements he made at U of M Hospital. He was treated there for chemical burns after his alleged attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner in 2009 using chemical explosives hidden in his underwear.

Abdulmutallab and his standby counsel say federal agents questioned him after he was given a 300 milligram dose of the potent narcotic fentanyl – even though hospital staff advised the agents he was in no position to conduct a legal interview.

The trial is set to begin October 4.

Sarah Hulett is Michigan Public's Director of Amplify & Longform, helping reporters to do their best work.
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