The judge overseeing the federal conspiracy trial of Viktor Bout aide Richard Chichakli has turned down the defendant’s effort to force Merchant of Death co-author Douglas Farah to testify on his behalf.
U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III moved Wednesday to quash a subpoena Chichakli’s legal team had served on Farah last week. According to the subpoena, Farah would have had to be available to testify on Dec. 3.
Pauley ruled earlier this month against Chichakli’s attempt to use Merchant of Death as evidence to show the government’s vindictive prosecution against him. Pauley had ruled the book was inadmissable hearsay and could not be used as evidence.
In his ruling on the Chichakli subpoena, Pauley said that Farah’s testimony would also be hearsay and added that Chichakli had shown no evidence that his testimony would be admissable. “Chichakli has not proved any relevant hearsay purpose,” Pauley wrote in his one-page order.
Farah and co-author Stephen Braun had both previously interviewed Chichakli and Farah had sparred several times with Chichakli during media appearances.
Chichakli is on trial for conspiring with Bout to illegally transfer funds to purchase cargo aircraft to be used in an aborted arms deal.