Jan Handzlik, defense counsel for Lindsey Manufacturing and Dr. Keith Lindsey, writes from LA this hour:
“Out of court around 5:00 pm our time. The Judge issued rulings on about 16 motions this afternoon. This included our ‘foreign official’ dismissal motion, which he denied. The Judge ruled orally from the bench, but stated he will follow-up shortly with a written opinion.
“The Judge’s decision was primarily based on the nature of CFE and the essential governmental functions it performs. This appeared to be more important to his ruling than the legislative history of the FCPA. While the Judge touched on the legislative history concerning ‘instrumentalities,’ it was clear he felt CFE functioned as an agency or department of the Mexican government.
“The Judge relied heavily on the Mexican Constitution and related statutes recognizing the exploitation of natural resources and delivery of electricity as essential public functions. Mexican law also recognizes that these functions are performed by and through CFE.
“While the dismissal motion was denied on the legal grounds we raised, the prosecutors will still have to prove the governmental nature and function of CFE at trial. Opening statements and the start of the evidence are still set for Tuesday.”
Judge A. Howard Matz is presiding over the case — U.S. v. Noriega et al, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Western Division – Los Angeles), Case #: 2:10-cr-01031-AHM-4.
Jan L. Handzlik of Greenberg Traurig is defending Lindsey Manufacturing and Dr. Keith Lindsey. Steve K. Lee is represented by Janet Levine of Crowell & Moring. Angela Aguilar is represented by Stephen G. Larson of Garardi Keese.