Judge Orders Tiller To Hand Over Records
Wichita, KS – Judge Paul Buchanan rejected arguments made yesterday by attorneys for late-term abortionist George R. Tiller and ruled that subpoenas for records issued by a citizen-called grand jury must be honored.
Lee Thompson and Laura Shanneyfelt argued in vain that privacy considerations should override the ability of the grand jury to investigate crimes that may have been committed by their client, Tiller.
“We are encouraged that Judge Buchanan is allowing the grand jury to have access to the evidence they require,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, who testified before the grand jury earlier this month. “But we must now ask if Tiller will comply with the subpoenas, and if he does provide the requested documents, will they be doctored like the Planned Parenthood records?”
Last week, Judge Richard Anderson testified in a Johnson County court that abortion records he examined from Planned Parenthood had been falsified to eradicate incriminating information that the Overland Park abortion mill was providing illegal late-term abortions. Judge Anderson even when so far as to have a police handwriting expert confirm that the records had been tampered with.
Tiller has ties to the Overland Park Planned Parenthood clinic. They often share attorneys and have joined together in legal actions to oppose the release of abortion records that were subpoenaed by former Attorney General Phill Kline. It took Kline over three years to finally get the records to which the court ruled he was entitled.
Deputy District Attorney Ann Swegle argued yesterday that Tiller’s records should be provided to the grand jury, but Operation Rescue continues to doubt Swegle’s ability to properly advise the grand jury based on allegations that she blocked information during a previous investigation in 2006. That investigation looked into the death of 19-year old Christin Gilbert who died from a botched third-trimester abortion.
“We do not place full confidence in Ann Swegle, but are thankful that she argued to allow the grand jury to access necessary evidence,” said Newman. “However, I doubt if she had a choice but to make those arguments.”
“We suspect that Tiller would rather gnaw off his right arm than turn over truthful records to this grand jury,” said Newman. “This battle is far from over.”