Gov't Staring At Humiliation Over Unauthorized Transcripts

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — A judge suddenly stopped jury deliberations Friday in the trial of four men charged in a plot to bomb synagogues in the Bronx.

It’s a potential disaster for the government. Jurors have been sent home in the Riverdale terror trial while the judge contemplates a possible mistrial, reports CBS 2’s Lou Young.

The defendants are four Newburgh men arrested outside a Bronx synagogue in May 2009 with fake bombs provided to them by a government informant.

They’re also accused of plotting to shoot down aircraft with fake missiles from that same informant.

However, on Friday, in the fourth day of deliberations, several jurors reported finding unauthorized evidence in their deliberation packets prepared by the government — namely transcripts of recorded conversations that had not been presented at trial.

Judge Colleen McMahon said she’ll rule on Tuesday if that mistake ends the trial or if deliberations can continue.

The defendants are all jailhouse converts to Islam who were recruited and recorded by government informant Shahed Hussein.