[conspire] Reiser case: Rory Reiser testimony ends

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Nov 15 18:22:21 PST 2007

Note:  Having seen a photo from the front of 6979 Exeter Drive (just
downhill from Skyline Blvd., Oakland hills), I am further convinced
that the "staircase scenario" implied by Rory's drawing makes zero
sense:  The ground level has a garage and front door in front, with the
lot sloping steeply downwards from the street, and a basement level
(with the children's rooms and a family room) down the hill.  Hans as a
murderer taking a corpse downstairs from street level, to downstairs
near the children and away from the house exit, is not logistically

Th 2007-11-15:  After prosecutor Paul Hora produced Reiser elder child
Rory, now age 8, as his lead witness on Tu 2007-11-13 and We 2007-11-14, 
doing his best to _invalidate_ Rory's prior testimony (at December 2006
preliminary examination in front of Judge Julie Conger) and dropping new
claims in the form of Rory's recent drawing and a series of accusatory
letters to Hans ("Where is Nina?",  "For my birthday present, get me Nina",
and so on) from Russia, defence counsel William DuBois got his chance at
cross-examination.  DuBois's main aim was to make clear to the jury that 
Rory's current anti-Hans testimony is the result of manipulation by
maternal grandmother Irina Sharanova (who clearly has it in for Hans)
and Russian psychiatric and social workers.  (In fact, DuBois opined to
reporters that Rory had been "brainwashed".)

In a criminal trial, prosecutor's case goes first, with a series of
prosecution witnesses testifying, plus evidence being presented.  After
the prosecutor's "direct examination" of each witness, defence gets to
"cross-examine" -- to question the meaning and credibility of that
witness's testimony.  (Leading questions are permitted during cross
examination, whereas usually not during direct examination.)  When
prosecution is done, it "rests", and defence calls _its_ witnesses, each
of whom prosecution can cross-examine in turn.  When defence also rests,
prosecution gives a closing statement, then defence does, then the jury
(if any) deliberates and decides guilt or innocence, and the judge
pronounces sentence if necessary.

DuBois asked Rory if he had ever discussed the case with Nina's mother
and his grandmother, Irina Sharanova -- whom he's lived with in Russia
since last December.  Rory replied "No."  DuBois then asked him if
Sharanova ever told him not to discuss with others what they have said
about the case.  Rory replied, "Yes."

DuBois established that Rory speaks fluent Russian (for an 8-year-old)
as well as English, and asked if Rory were able to discuss the case in
Russian.  "Yes", said Rory.  "Would it be better for you to testify in
Russian than in English?"  <long pause>  "No."

Judge Goodman mouthed "Good try" towards DuBois -- as this very nearly 
established for certain that Rory had been coached for the trial in St.

DuBois _did_ eventually get Rory to admit that his Russian grandparents
had indeed talked to him about the case, and had told him that his
father did something terrible to his mother:

DuBois: "They told you, for example, that Hans killed Nina?"
Rory:   "Hide Nina."
DuBois: "Oh.  They told you he did something bad to Nina and hid her?"
Rory:   "Yes."

DuBois also got him to talk about the "recent" drawing with "I think
here is Nina" written on it that Rory suggested "might" depict Hans
"going downstairs with somebody" in a bag down some stairs, and that the
somebody "could be" Nina curled up in fetal position:  He says he was
encouraged to draw it by three Russian social workers who were with him
at the time, who told him "Good" when he drew it and inscribed it.  

Rory went on to say that Sharanova had showed him Internet stories about
his father's murder trial, but then had told him not to mention her
doing so to anyone.

Near the end of his testimony, Rory got asked whether Sharanova had told
him that his father killed his mother.  "My grandmother say [sic] that
Hans killed her."

All of the above contradicts Rory's earlier claims that nobody in Russia
had coached or talked with him on such matters.

Rory was tiring fast, and his testimony became fragmentary.  DuBois
tried repeatedly to question him about his earlier, crucial testimony
that he's seen Nina off, on the Sunday of Labor Day, finally arriving

DuBois: "You remember you saw your mom go up into the street?"
Rory:   "Yes."

During Hora's prior direct testimony, he had been a bit confusing on
that same point:

Hora: "Do you remember whether your mom even left after she gave you a hug?"
Rory: "No."  <pause>  "She left."
Hora: "How do you know?"
Rory: "What can she do?"
Hora: "What do you mean by that?"
Rory: "No one stays in a house if they say goodbye."
Hora: "Do you remember your mom saying goodbye?"
Rory: "Yes."
Hora: "So, you think if she said goodbye, she must have left?"
Rory: "Yes."

After Rory and the jurors cleared the courtroom (3:30 PM), Hans raised
an understandable if misaimed scene with Judge Goodman:  He quietly but
firmly insisted that measures be taken to prevent Alameda County Child
Protective Services and/or Russian Child Protective Services illegally
spiriting his son away to Russia again, now that his testimony was over
(a quite reasonable concern).  Unfortunately for Hans, Judge Goodman has
zero jurisdiction over child-custody disputes or international affairs,
and he brusquely told Hans:  "You can have whatever paranoid delusions you
want.  This court is going to having nothing to do with that." He added that
he's just "a lowly trial judge doing a criminal trial".

Hans asked to be made co-counsel so that he could, also, ask witnesses
questions, and was denied -- as Goodman feels DuBois is a competent
lawyer with sound reasons for asking only certain questions of

Court has recessed for a week; Irina Sharanova will be prosecution's 
second witness, starting Mo 2007-11-26.

More information about the conspire mailing list