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Judge: Abdulmutallab's hospital statements admissible

A federal judge in Detroit says she will allow prosecutors to use statements at trial made by the so-called “underwear bomber.”

At issue were statements Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab made at U of M Hospital after he was removed from Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas Day 2009.

Abdulmutallab’s stand-by attorney argued the statements should be thrown out. He said they were made after Abdulmutallab was given a powerful narcotic. And he said Abdulmutallab was never read his Miranda rights.

But Judge Nancy Edmunds said testimony from a nurse who cared for him at the hospital convinced her that the defendant was lucid, and not confused. She said there’s no reason to believe he did not understand the questions he was asked, or the importance of the situation.

Edmunds also said she’s satisfied there were valid national security reasons for skipping the Miranda warnings.  An FBI agent said he chose not to tell Abdulmutallab about his right to remain silent because he feared an imminent threat of similar bombing attempts on other airliners.

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