Abortion Practitioner Tiller Asks for Dismissal of Charges
Lawyers for the late-term abortion provider, George Tiller, are again trying to dismiss criminal charges against him, filing papers Monday that claimed former Kansas Attorney General Phil Kline illegally obtained evidence presented in the case.
The 154-page motion sought to suppress the evidence resulting from Kline's investigation of Tiller's clinic, accusing his office for "outrageous governmental conduct" and a "deeply-flawed inquisition process."
The evidence includes medical records that supports the 19 misdemeanor charges against Tiller, who ran an abortion clinic in Wichita.
This is not the first time lawyers representing Tiller have attempted to clear him. Earlier this year, Tiller attorneys attacked the Kansas law banning most late-term abortions as unconstitutional.
But in July, Judge Clark Owens refused to drop the charges against Tiller, upholding the constitutionality of the late-term abortion law.
State law requires a second physician to sign off on the validity of late-term abortions.
Former Attorney General Paul Morrison filed the charges against Tiller, claiming the late-term abortions were illegally performed because the physician who verified them, Ann Kristin Neuhaus, had financial ties to Tiller. Kline took over after Morrison stepped down from a sex scandal.
In the motion, Tiller attorneys this time alleged Kline obtained the evidence in the case under false pretenses. One claim argued that Kline appealed to attorney generals in other states and reported about possible child abuse in their jurisdictions in order to access to Tiller's patient records.
At one point in the court papers, Tiller's attorneys described Kline as "obsessed" with their client.
Kline maintained the legitimacy of his handling of the probe.
"Every judge that has seen the evidence has found probable cause that Mr. Tiller committed crimes. Patient names are not a part of the record, and it is clear Mr. Tiller and his attorneys believe he is above the law," said Kline, according to The Associated Press.
Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, the pro-life group that purchased and shut down Tiller's abortion clinic in 2006, also weighed in on Monday's motion.
"In today's motions, Tiller's attorneys whine about every imaginable complaint - most of which are unrelated to the charges of having committed illegal late-term abortions with the help of another abortionist, Ann Kristin Neuhaus, who had illegal affiliations with him," said Newman.
"It seems to me they are attempting to muddy the waters by bringing up years of bad blood between Tiller and Kline, perhaps for the purpose of influencing a potential jury pool," he added. "In any case, we seriously doubt that these motions will succeed any more than any of their other failed attempts to get these charges dropped."
State attorneys have until October 17 while a hearing on the defense motion is scheduled for Nov. 17.
A trial date has been set for March 16, 2009.