FBI De-filed At Wounded Knee
The federal judge in the St. Paul Wounded Knee trial – in an unprecedented ruling – has ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to turn over its confidential files on informers at Wounded Knee to Justice Department prosecutors.
Presiding Judge Fred Nichol recessed the trial of Dennis Banks and Russell Means for the next five days to give the prosecutors time to comb through the sensitive F.B.I. files. Never before has the F.B.I. been ordered to surrender its informer files to non-bureau personnel.
The judge handed down his ruling after the F.B.I. had repeatedly failed to produce wiretapping and informant intelligence on the Wounded Knee occupation, as was ordered earlier by the judge.
When the trial of the Wounded Knee leaders opened two months ago, the F.B.I. and government prosecutors assured the judge that no wiretapping had been used against Means and Banks, and that F.B.I. informers had not infiltrated the defense team. Since that time, however, a number of documents from the F.B.I. files indicate that the Bureau has been withholding evidence to the contrary.
Judge Nichol has stated that if F.B.I. informers are found to have infiltrated the Means-Russell defense team, he might be forced to dismiss all charges in the case. His ruling is expected next Monday April 8th.
Said the Judge after hearing testimony about possible F.B.I. infiltration: “I deplore a democracy that has a spy system but unfortunately we do.”