A judge again refused to declare a mistrial for two of Manuel Noriega's co-defendants, saying jurors in the drug case would not be prejudiced by the death of a key prosecution witness in an auto accident.
Lawyers for Brian Davidow and William Saldarriga asked Monday for the mistrial. They said there was widespread public suspicion that drug informant Ramon Navarro met had with foul play.The two are charged with conspiracy in connection with a cocaine-laden yacht seized by Colombian authorities in 1986.
Noriega will be tried separately in June in connection with the drug yacht and other charges.
"Wherever I went - to the barber, the video store, everywhere - everyone had the same cynical and suspicious conclusion," said Davi-dow's lawyer, Richard Sharpstein. "That there was something sinister, not just a mere accident."
U.S. District Judge William Hoe-veler ruled that public suspicion was insufficient reason for a mistrial. He denied a similar request immediately after Navarro's death last week.