Ed. Note: This is part of a series on the forthcoming Rule 33 Motion. Stories on this topic will be posted under the category of FBI Tampering. However, I am taking no position on the innocence or guilt of the FBI. The allegations warrant serious scrutiny by their very nature. I have not changed my position on the defendant Keith Raniere. This is not about Raniere, this is about allegations of government corruption.
The Rule Motion 33 Has Been Delayed
In a week, Keith Raniere will file a Rule 33 motion for a new trial, his power of attorney, Suneel Chakravorty, said.
FR reported earlier that Raniere would file the motion today.
Asked to explain the delay, Chakravorty said. “The evidence points to malfeasance. There is new information that may shed additional light on one of the participants.”
The Rule 33 motion alleges that the FBI tampered with electronic evidence presented at trial.
A team of attorneys, led by Joseph Tully of California, is preparing the motion, Chakravorty said.
“There have been extensive efforts to vet, review, examine case law, and vet everything again,” he said. “The evidence is convincing.”
Raniere will file two additional motions at the same time, he added.
Appellant Raniere will ask the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit to suspend his appeal until the Rule 33 motion is decided.
Raniere will also make a motion before the trial judge, Nicholas G. Garaufis, to recuse himself from deciding the motion for a new trial. Raniere maintains the judge displayed a bias against him during the trial.
New Evidence Boils Down to 167 Nude Images
The government admitted a series of 167 digital images of 12 females found on a hard drive seized from his library during the trial. All of the females posed nude.
Among the series, the government alleged that 22 images were of a female under 18, which constitutes child pornography.
Camila, the subject of the images, was 15 when the images were created, according to forensic dating of the photos. Camila did not testify.
The other 11 women in the images were not alleged to be underage. However, the entire series of 167 was admitted into evidence to establish Camila’s images’ creation date. In addition, the prosecution showed that Raniere’s camera created the images.
After taking the photographs with his camera, allegedly, he transferred the images to a camera card, then to a computer, and finally to a hard drive.
Metadata Is the Evidence
Because the subject of the child porn images, Camila, was not a witness at the trial, the government relied on the images’ metadata.
Metadata means “data about data.” The images themselves are considered data.
Metadata is information about the images such as the date of creation and the dates the images were modified or transferred to another computer or storage device. For example, metadata can provide information about the camera used to take the picture, the location, the date down to the year, month, day, hour, minute, and second. In addition, it can provide information about alterations to the image, such as if someone used Adobe Photoshop.
Metadata can show when an image arrives on a device.
Metadata can show that a digital image was created in 2005 and transferred in 2009 to a hard drive.
When looking at the image, one does not see the metadata. But it can be seen separately on the image’s digital file.
Some metadata is generated automatically by computers or digital cameras programmed to record it to the image’s file.
Users can modify computer-generated metadata. In some cases, even experts may not be able to detect the changes, and it will appear as computer-generated metadata.
According to Chakravorty, Raniere’s forensic experts found that the FBI altered metadata of the series of 167 images.
Yet the prosecution presented the metadata of the images as computer or camera-generated.
The Rule 33 motion will be supported by the reports of three digital forensics experts, Chakravorty said.
The lead expert, Dr. James Richard Kiper, was an FBI special agent for 20 years.
At the FBI, he worked in cybersecurity and trained forensic examiners and trainers of examiners in digital forensics.
He says, “in the absence of any other plausible explanation, it is my expert opinion that the FBI must have been involved in this evidence tampering.”
Another expert witness is Stephen M. Abrams, JD, M.S., an attorney who teaches digital forensics to police and military organizations.
The third is Wayne B. Norris, who has been an expert witness in over 100 technology-related cases in federal, state, and municipal courts.
When newly discovered evidence shows the prosecution presented false evidence, the remedy is a Rule 33 motion for a new trial.
Pressed for details about new evidence discovered yesterday, Chakravorty said, “All I can say is that it supplements the body of findings, points to possible perjurious testimony of witnesses, and potential collusion from non-government actors.”