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Judge grills Rahimi's lawyers about slow review of evidence

 

A judge on Wednesday grilled lawyers for Ahmad Khan Rahimi, seen Dec. 20, about why they haven't reviewed more of the information in the case.

A judge on Wednesday grilled lawyers for Ahmad Khan Rahimi, seen Dec. 20, about why they haven't reviewed more of the information in the case.

(Mel Evans/AP)

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Updated: Wednesday, January 4, 2017, 1:10 PM

A judge on Wednesday grilled accused Chelsea bomber Ahmad Khan Rahimi's lawyers about why they hadn't reviewed more of the evidence against him.

Manhattan Federal Judge Richard Berman repeatedly asked Rahimi's lawyers how much progress they had made in reviewing the materials.

Rahimi faces eight counts in New York relating to the Sept. 17 explosion in Manhattan that injured 31.

Rahimi, who pleaded not guilty last month, also faces federal and state charges in New Jersey for allegedly placing bombs in Elizabeth and Seaside Park.

Peggy Cross-Goldenberg said her team had 10 terabytes of material to review and had started on info from three computers out of the 10 furnished by the government.

"We have made a lot of progress in terms of processing it," she said during the hearing.

Rahimi faces eight counts in New York relating to the Sept. 17 explosion in Manhattan that injured 31.

Rahimi faces eight counts in New York relating to the Sept. 17 explosion in Manhattan that injured 31.

(AP)

But an increasingly incredulous Berman kept pressing Cross-Goldenberg and her colleague, Sabrina Shroff, to explain why they hadn't gone through more of the evidence — and why, in his opinion, they weren't providing a solid answer about how much time they needed.

"I'm just thinking, if I were in your shoes, I couldn't wait to get into the discovery material and see what was there," Berman said, reiterating shortly thereafter, "Someone else in your shoes would be doing this night and day — this is an important case."

Cross-Goldenberg said she didn't have time sheets with her to quantify their efforts, but maintained, "We're working as hard as we do on every case."

"This is not every case," Berman said.

Prosecutors downplayed the extent of the documents, saying there are six terabytes, not 10 — and claimed most of the data was surveillance video that doesn't require lengthy processing.

They also disputed the defense's position that prosecutors had an advantage because they were able to review evidence since September.

"Because of ongoing investigations, our priorities were elsewhere," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Crowley.

Amid the tense back-and-forth, Rahimi appeared healthier than at prior proceedings.

Rahimi — who had a significant limp at previous court dates because of a shootout with cops during his Sept. 19 arrest — walked into Manhattan Federal Judge with seeming ease.

His beard was trimmed and he wore a traditional white skull cap. He smiled several times before the hearing.

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