Gorilla Warfare: Part 2

Ape trader Matthew Block has been sentenced in the case of the Bangkok Six. But the monkey business continues.

"[My] client became a super-snitch," Metzger went on. "His cooperation was not limited to his own case. Despite this, your office broke two written promises to make a 5K1 motion. During the sentence proceedings I stated that I was going to tell every defense lawyer in our nation not to enter any plea agreement with your office. Your office cannot be trusted."

Last Friday Metzger filed motions asking Kehoe to make a written determination of the credibility of the government's arguments for not granting Block a 5K1 motion and to reconsider his ruling that the government was not acting irrationally. He gave notice to the Eleventh Circuit on last Monday that Block will appeal the government's refusal to grant a 5K1 motion and the length of his sentence, among other points.

Lewis, meanwhile, faces criticism from all sides. "I think in view of the amazingly weak presentation by both the prosecution and the wildlife agents, it's a miracle anything was accomplished," says Shirley McGreal, chairwoman of the International Primate Protection League in Summerville, South Carolina, a group that was instrumental in getting the government to prosecute Block in the first place.

Block, Metzger, and their allies say the government's snub resulted from the considerable political pressure exerted by animal-rights groups, or possibly pressure from even higher up, such as a new presidential administration thought to be more attuned to ecological issues such as endangered-species preservation. "Rubbish," says Guy Lewis.

Block is not in prison yet, and it will be a long time before he is, if he is.

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