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Prosecutors Stay Within Bounds In Bombing Case

January 23, 1988

DERBY LINE, Vt. (AP) _ Prosecutors seeking to question five Canadian witnesses who refused to come to the United States have found a way around the problem - they’ve set up a hearing room that straddles the border.

The arrangement calls for the prosecutors, the defense attorneys and a federal hearing master to sit on the U.S. side of the room, while the five Canadians sit on the Canadian side, answering questions posed by the lawyers.

The deposition hearing in the case of three men charged with smuggling a bomb into the United States will be held Monday in the library of the Haskell Opera House. The library floor is painted with an inch-wide black line denoting the boundary.

Three Canadians of Lebanese descent, Walid Mourad, Walid Kabbani and Georges Younan, have been accused of transporting an explosive device into this country. They are scheduled to go on trial in the United States on Tuesday.

They were arrested in Richford, Vt., on Oct. 23 after authorities found a black bag containing an explosive device, a detonator, surgical gloves, wire cutters and a black mask.

Monday’s hearing will allow lawyers for both sides to question five Canadians who declined to come to the United States to testify.

″We’re going to be in a building ... seated on one side of the line and they (the Canadians) on the other,″ said Younan’s attorney, Arthur Anderson.

Those scheduled to give depositions include store clerks and a friend of Mourad’s who may testify that the three knew one another, said Richard Shadyac, Mourad’s attorney.

Benoit Blais, a town trustee, said the library is used regularly by Canadians who enter through the door on the Canadian side. He said the black line was painted when a trial involving citizens from both countries was held there.

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