Central Valley

Federal prosecutors respond to misconduct allegations in Vang Pao case

SACRAMENTO -- Federal prosecutors fired back Monday in response to a motion that seeks dismissal of charges against 11 men accused of plotting the violent overthrow of the communist regime in Laos. The motion by defense lawyers alleged government misconduct.

Monday's response declared: The defendants have "failed to demonstrate that law enforcement agents or prosecutors in this case engaged in any sort of misconduct, much less conduct that would violate due process standards."

It accused defense lawyers of "'cherry pick(ing)' a series of seemingly supportive facts from the record (frequently out of context), omit(ing) other pertinent non-supportive facts, and then blithely alleg(ing) that the government 'concocted' its entire case, lied repeatedly to judicial officers...., and otherwise committed outrageous....conduct."

In March, defense attorneys alleged that that agents and prosecutors fabricated a case against the men, including Gen. Vang Pao and retired Army Lt. Col. Harrison Jack of Woodland, and that the dishonesty of the charges is revealed in hundreds of pages of reports and dozens of hours of wiretap recordings turned over to the defense team by prosecutors.

Vang, 79, is a leader of the Hmong community in the United States. Under the guidance of the CIA, he led a guerrilla army during the Vietnam War. A number of Hmong who fought under him are defendants. The case dates back to 2007.