In a hearing in which the judge scolded the prosecution sharply, a date was set for retrial in the case of the state’s persecution of Rabbi Osher Eisemann. The judge ordered the state to release evidence it had been working hard to hide, and the defense is combing through it now.
On Thursday, June 1, lawyers for the defense and prosecution in the case met before Judge Joseph Paone to discuss the way forward after the appellate court upheld the dismissal of the previous convictions. Paone set the date for the new trial for the beginning of August, with a pretrial hearing to be held on July 5th.
In a major win, Paone also ordered the prosecution to turn over the complete Exhibit F, which contains 347 pages of evidence that the prosecution had hidden from the defense. The document was released on Friday. Lawyers and accountants for the defense team are currently analyzing the material, and expect that additional motions to be filed based on their findings.
The document given over did not include the detective’s handwritten notes in the margin. It is possible that the judge will compel the prosecution to hand over those notes in the coming weeks.
Paone had very strong words for the prosecution team, which tried to stay the proceedings. “Why are you so protective of this particular document?” he demanded. “In this state we have open discovery. Put out your case- if you can prove the case, show that you can.”
The state tried to slow things down by referring to a planned appeal to the Supreme Court. “We're at a position, in which we're going to move forward with this case, and all I get from the state is delay, delay delay,” Paone fired back. Referring to the chances of the appeal, he said, “Isn’t that wishful thinking? I'm not going to wait for them. I'm not going to wait for the Supreme Court. You're going to produce the document forthwith. Mr. Vartan, you give me an order, and I'll sign it.”
Legal experts have pointed to another suspected delaying tactic by the prosecution: the introduction of a third, new prosecutor to handle the case. Jeffery Manis took over, and asked for time to familiarize himself with the details of the case and to respond in writing for the request for the evidence. “What are you going to tell me in writing that you haven’t been able to tell me orally?” Paone demanded to know.
The defense have seen tremendous Siyatta Dishmaya in the last few weeks. Askanim are asking that the tzibbur continue to pour out their hearts over the coming days, as the period ahead are expected to be critical, with preparations for a new trial – set to begin in just seven weeks – is in full swing.
Please continue to have in mind Osher ben Chana Frumet.