Two recent developments in the ongoing case of Marine Major Mark Thompson (CAAFlog news page), which is currently scheduled for trial in January (according to this news report), are worthy of mention.
The 45-minute audio recording of The Post’s interview with Thompson, which the newspaper published online in July, is part of the military’s case set to begin in January.
At a preliminary hearing at Marine Corps Base Quantico on Tuesday, Thompson’s attorneys asked a military judge to order The Post to turn over the original recording and contemporaneous notes from the reporter.
“Our contention is that there are portions of the interview missing,” Thompson attorney Kevin B. McDermott said in the courtroom in the basement of Lejeune Hall. “If the government intends to use my client’s statements against him, we believe we should have access to it.”
Second, as reported here, Thompson’s attorneys are asserting prosecutorial misconduct in connection with the immunized statement of another Marine, Major Pretus, who will be a witness against Thompson:
In a motions hearing Sept. 13 at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, defense attorney Navy Lt. Clay Bridges said the three attorneys for the prosecution engaged in misconduct by not allowing Pretus to confer with an attorney before signing the immunity offer, made by Vice Adm. Walter E. “Ted” Carter, superintendent of the Naval Academy.
At the time of the offer, Pretus made a lengthy statement in which he described his friendship with Thompson, the sexual encounter with a midshipman, and phone calls between the two on another night, in which he alleges Thompson revealed his intent to have sex with two drunken midshipmen then at his house.
“The actions of the trial team have resulted in a different testimony,” Bridges said in Wednesday’s motions hearing. “And we will never be able to get the testimony back.”
It’s not clear how Pretus’ testimony might have been different if he had been allowed to confer with an attorney, as he requested.