|Zarrab airport questioning: Custodial Interrogation ?
The US Attorney's Office in New York has moved for an order, in limine,* precluding the defense in the Zarrab case from calling FBI SA Scott Geissler, as a witness, in connection with the pending defense motion to suppress evidence obtained from the search of his mobile telephone. Zarrab was asked to provide his passcode/password to his telephone, which he did, without being given any Miranda warnings, in advance.
The Government's position:
(1) Special Agent Geissler's testimony would be both cumulative and legally irrelevant; the Government has previously provided testimony from several other law enforcement witnesses, who are FBI and CBP, which were sufficient, detailing the circumstances of his Miami Airport interrogation.
(2) Affidavits provided showed, the Government argues, that the action taken, the search of Reza Zarrab's cellular telephone, was a border inspection, by Customs & Border Protection, and not a custodial search by the FBI, nor did the FBI order it.
Obviously, the defense wants to establish that Zarrab's encounter with US law enforcement, upon his arrival at Miami International Airport, amounted to a custodial interrogation, which then raises the issue of whether the failure to give Miranda warnings requires suppression of physical evidence discovered as a consequence of unwarned statements of the defendant. The Government asserts that any statements from Geissler are not relevant to the resolution of the issues raised in the suppression motion.
The defense wants to ask SA Geissler about his activities, on the day that Zarrab arrived at the airport.
* In limine: a motion filed to request that a Court order that certain testimony be excluded, in advance, from being presented at a hearing, or trial.