Judge Nicholas S. Nunzio met with prosecution and defense attorneys in the Hanafi Muslim murder-kidnap trial yesterday to discuss the instructions of law Nunzio will give to the jury after closing agruments, which are scheduled to begin Monday.
Although the meeting was held in the same courtroom of D.C. Superior Court where the case has been tried since May 31, the discussion was off the record. The judge permitted only the lawyers to be present, a usual procedure for such conferences.
The evidentiary phase of the case ended Thursday, when the trial was recessed until Monday.
Prior to the closing arguments beginning Monday. Nunzio will announce for the record that jury instructions he will give. Any prosecution or defense objections to them also will be noted on the record at that time, but no alterations will be made.
The final arguments are expected to last three days. The instruction to the jury will follow, and the jury is expected to begin deliberations by the end of next week.
The defendants are 12 Hanafi Muslims charged with murder, kidnaping, conspiracy and other offenses in the taking of 149 hostages last March at three Washington buildings. One person was killed in the incidents and several were injured.
The government charges that the purpose of the conspiracy was to force officials to turn over to the Hanafis for purposes of revenge five Black Muslims convicted of murdering seven members of the family of Hamaas Abdul Khaalis, 55, in 1973. Khaalis was the alleged leader of the building takeovers.