TRIALS: Formless & Obscure

Last week, in Washington, two key counts in a Government perjury indictment against Owen Lattimore, onetime State Department adviser on Far East policy, were thrown out of court by U.S. District Judge Luther W. Youngdahl. The court ruled that the charges were "formless and obscure," and therefore denied the defendant protections guaranteed him in the Constitution and the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The Justice Department has three alternatives: to appeal (although an appeal failed the last time a similar decision was handed down by Judge Youngdahl); to go to trial with the remaining counts on the original indictment;...

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