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Federal Court Orders FBI To Turn Over Evidence for Independent Forensic Analysis in 1990 Judi Bari Car Bombing Case

Note: Judi Bari was a dues paying member of the IWW from 1988-94 and active in the IWW when the bombing on May 24, 1990 took place.

By Ben Rosenfeld - April 2, 2012

In an order dated March 31, 2012 and released today, Honorable Claudia Wilken, United States District Judge of the Northern District of California, affirmed a March 21, 2011 Order by Magistrate Judge James Larson, directing the United States, through the FBI, to turn over evidence in the 1990 car bomb assassination attempt of Judi Bari in Oakland, CA to a third party forensic laboratory for independent testing.

"This is a historic and momentous development", said Ben Rosenfeld, attorney for plaintiff Darryl Cherney, Judi Bari's co-organizer in the sustained campaign to preserve California's ancient redwoods, who was also injured when the bomb went off. Cherney went to Court in 2010 to prevent the FBI from destroying the evidence. That evidence includes a mostly intact explosive device built by the same hands as the car bomb, a cardboard sign, and latent fingerprints.

The FBI never subjected this evidence to basic forensic examination. Its lawyers contacted Cherney's lawyers in 2010 announcing plans to destroy the evidence. In 2002, an Oakland federal jury found three FBI agents and three Oakland police officers liable for violating Bari and Cherney's First and Fourth Amendment Rights in trying to frame them by falsely accusing them of transporting the bomb which nearly killed them. The FBI never looked elsewhere.

Cherney alone has continued to pursue the bomber(s). With co-Director Mary Liz Thomson, he just released a new documentary entitled Who Bombed Judi Bari? The evidence, hitherto sealed away in an FBI locker, may finally yield an answer to that question.

Request a copy of the Court order via one of the contacts above, or look it up on PACER under federal Case No. 91-01057 (Document Number 686). For historic information about the case, visit judibari.org.