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Judge Rules On Evidence For Shabazz Trial

A statement in which Malcolm X’s daughter said she wanted Louis Farrakhan dead will be allowed at her trial, a judge ruled Thursday.

U.S. District Judge James M. Rosenbaum ruled, however, that a videotape of Qubilah Shabazz paying $250 to a supposed hit man will not be allowed.

Rosenbaum reversed a magistrate’s recommendations in allowing the document and barring the videotape at Shabazz’s trial on charges she plotted to kill the Nation of Islam leader. The trial is scheduled to begin Monday.

The three-page, hand-written statement was prepared by an FBI agent while another agent interviewed Shabazz in her apartment on Dec. 20. Shabazz initialed each paragraph.

U.S. Attorney David Lillehaug said the decision to allow the statement, portrayed by prosecutors as a confession, “is welcomed by the government.” He said prosecutors are considering whether to appeal the ruling barring the videotape.

Defense lawyer William Kunstler called the decision a “puzzlement.” He has said the statement could help the defense as much as it hurts.

The judge upheld the magistrate’s recommendation on a third key piece of evidence, allowing audiotapes of telephone conversations between Shabazz and Fitzpatrick to be used at the trial.

The tapes indicate Shabazz believed Farrakhan was behind the 1965 assassination of her father. Farrakhan has denied any involvement.