The death of a key witness against two Manuel Noriega co-defendants will not stop their trial, a federal judge ruled.

But U.S. District Judge William Hoeveler said that could change if police find foul play in the car crash that killed Ramon Navarro, an admitted drug trafficker who received government immunity and $170,000 for his cooperation."There is no suggestion that either of the defendants had anything to do with this," the judge said Thursday. "But if somebody finds he was shot or his car was tampered with, then we can reopen the (mistrial) question."

Lawyers for co-defendants William Saldarriaga, 44, and Brian Davidow, 29, sought a mistrial but failed. They said jurors may think their clients had something to do with Navarro's death. The trial began Monday.