Lawyers in artifact looting case told to prepare

Lawyers in artifact looting case told to prepare

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A federal magistrate has admonished a courtroom full of lawyers to get ready for proceedings in a bust of artifact looting and grave-robbing in the Four Corners area.

Magistrate Samuel Alba told defense lawyers Tuesday to get to work reviewing stacks of video and audio recordings made by a government informant at the center of felony charges against 25 defendants -- two of who have committed suicide.

Alba wanted to set a series of motion deadlines and trial dates, but the lawyers said they weren't ready, forcing him to schedule another status conference for Nov. 23.

Lawyers have just started to review the government's evidence and want more, including the informant's FBI service agreement. Prosecutors didn't immediately commit to more disclosures.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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