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May 26, 2019

Sayfullo Saipov trial for Hudson River bike path attack delayed so his family can testify in his defense

March 13, 2019
Photo provided by the St. Charles County Department of Corrections in St. Charles, Mo., shows Sayfullo Saipov. Saipov, charged with murdering eight people on a New York City bike path and injuring many more. (AP)

The death penalty trial of an ISIS sympathizer accused of mowing down and killing eight people in a truck attack along the Hudson River bike path was delayed Tuesday in the hope his family will take the stand in his defense.

The trial of Sayfullo Saipov, 30, in Manhattan Federal Court will now begin April 13, 2020.

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Judge Vernon Broderick ordered the delay after hearing arguments from prosecutors and Saipov’s defense about complications caused by the government shutdown, a large amount of evidence — much of it in Uzbek — and the challenges of arranging for the accused terrorist’s family to enter the United States.

“I do see this request as not something that’s a modest request,” Broderick said. “We just have an enormous amount of work to do to be constitutionally effective in this case which we can’t possibly do with the current schedule.”

Attorney David Patton said Saipov’s mother obtained a visa and visited her son in prison, but the visa was revoked without an explanation. Patton said he hoped to get her and other family members into the country so they could take the stand and make the case for mercy for Saipov, who has ranted in court about ISIS.

“Live family testimony is still vitally important,” Patton said. “Their mutual love says something about the possibility of redemption in this life.”

Broderick ruled in February that Saipov could face the death penalty despite President Trump’s calls for his execution in the aftermath of the 2017 attack that also injured 11 people.

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