[conspire] (forw) Reiser trial: DNA tests partially flubbed, defence motion for mistrial

Christian Einfeldt einfeldt at gmail.com
Tue Feb 5 20:22:17 PST 2008


On Feb 5, 2008 7:50 PM, Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:

> Quoting Dire Red (deirdre at deirdre.net):
> > My problem with the case is that I'm not convinced beyond a
> > reasonable doubt that Nina's even dead, much less that Hans killed her.
> Not dead would mean either:
> 1. went abroad, abandoned the kids
> 2. went abroad, re-united with the kids in Russia
> 3. is being held prisoner somewhere, unknown to the world

All very good points.  My replies are below.

> #1 does seem unlikely on the basis of copious evidence of (a) ongoing
> involvement with the kids and (b) evidence of ongoing, active affairs in
> the Bay Area and nothing especially to flee from:  She had a new job
> offer, was about to shed the family indebtedness via bankruptcy and dump
> almost all of it onto Hans, left a bunch of money in bank accounts and
> sitting as cash around her house, etc.

Right, so none of this is plausible, but does it mean that a death has
occurred AND that Hans is the killer *beyond a reasonable doubt*?  IMHO,
no.  So the failure to produce a body breaks the prosecution case, IMHO.

#2 is the intriguing one, and much beloved of Mr. DuBois.  If I were
> Hans and were innocent, I'd have long ago hired private detectives in
> St. Petersburg to investigate.

The absence of evidence is not, in this case, admissible evidence.  Nor
should we, as a society, draw inferences from it without extraordinary
caution.  I agree, it looks bad for Hans, but Russia is a big place, and the
world is even bigger.  I wonder if the judge is letting the prosecution
submit evidence on this point or examine witnesses on this point.  It would
also be interesting to see if the judge permits argument on this point in

> #3 is logically possible, but there's no evidence.

Same analysis as #2.
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