A federal judge has denied two motions to drop charges, brought by a man suspected of setting off a pipe bomb at the main Salt Lake City Library in 2006.
In a joint ruling issued Monday, U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball said attorneys for Thomas James Zajac failed to provide convincing proof to warrant dismissing a list of charges against him.
Zajac first claimed that charges should be dismissed because federal prosecutors violated his constitutional rights when they obtained copies of jail phone conversations between Zajac and his defense attorneys.
Prosecutors said they had obtained those conversations along with other phone calls placed at the Weber County Jail, but the government maintained they never listened to them, which would violate Zajac's right to attorney-client privilege.
In his ruling, Kimball said Zajac's attorneys made accusations that were "conclusory and speculative" but provided no proof that the government had listened to those conversations. In fact, Kimball said there was evidence that the government took steps to avoid listening to the tapes.
"There are no specific facts to support defendant's allegations that there was an intrusion of the attorney-client privilege or that such intrusion was purposeful," Kimball wrote.
Zajac also claimed that federal charges against him should be dismissed because the government could not prove that the library dealt in interstate commerce.
Under federal law, prosecutors must prove in some charges that a person's actions interfered with interstate commerce.
Zajac argued that the library's core goal is to service residents of Salt Lake City. Prosecutors point out that the library offers service to anyone, even from out of state or from out of the country. The library also imports books, CDs and DVDs from all over the world.
Kimball agreed with the government, saying that although a facility may appear to be only local in nature, the library also serves travelers from other states and countries.Zajac faces trial on charges relating to possessing and detonating an explosive device. He is accused of setting off a pipe bomb inside the main library on Sept. 15, 2006, forcing the evacuation of the building and causing damage.
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