judge refuses trail delay
By Jeff Smith
Rocky Mountain News
Friday, February 9, 2007
Denver Federal Judge Edward
Nottingham on Thursday scolded prosecutors and Joe Nacchio's
defense attorneys, saying they were acting like "petulant
children in a sandbox" in arguing over how quickly evidence is
being exchanged. He said there would not be a delay in the
former Qwest chief executive's trial, scheduled to begin March
Rather than kicking sand at each other, "I think what you need
to do is stop whining and get on with the business of preparing
for this trial," Nottingham said.
Nottingham rebuked government prosecutors for not turning over
certain evidence such as witness interviews faster, but he also
called the defense team's request for a 60-day trial delay as a
"backhanded, lame request" because it was buried in a court
The judge said he saw nothing, such as government misconduct,
that would cause him to delay the trial. And he noted the court
already is in the process of summoning jurors.
Nacchio faces 42 counts of insider trading in connection with
sale of $101 million of stock in the first five months of 2001.
A possible appellate issue also emerged at the status conference
when Nottingham agreed with the government that certain highly
sensitive classified information shouldn't be seen by the
He said the material is irrelevant based on his current
understanding of the issues and that the inadvertent disclosure
of the information increases as more people are allowed to look
at it. But he said his ruling is subject to being reviewed by
an appellate court after the trial.
Nacchio attorney Herbert Stern, who was participating via
telephone, said the defense is "trustworthy," which set
Nottingham off on a tirade.
Nottingham, raising his voice, said he hadn't said anything
about whether or not the defense was trustworthy.
"Why are you talking about that?"
- A pretrial conference in two weeks.