Thursday, April 28, 2005

Pantano Accuser Read Rights During Hearing

The hearing investigating charges of pre-meditated murder against Marine 2nd lieutenant Ilario Pantano was stopped Wednesday to read Pantano's accuser his rights and offer him counsel. Sergeant Daniel Coburn is suspected of discussing details of the case with the media in violation of a direct order. From The Jacksonville Daily News:
Coburn was taken out of the courtroom and given the opportunity to speak with military counsel in Quantico, Va., by telephone. He was then released for the day as a witness, although Charles Gittins, Pantano's civilian defense attorney, made it clear to Winn that he wasn't done with his cross-examination of Coburn and wanted to continue it later.

Coburn, 28, was apprised of his rights after he admitted he violated orders, given to him by two Marine officers, that he shouldn't talk to the media about the case. Coburn gave interviews to CBS, the Daily News of New York and to New York magazine. He is also alleged to have posted his opinion about the case, using the name "Marine that knows," on a Web site.
Pantano could face the death penalty if convicted of murder in the deaths of two Iraqis in 2004.