Flint stabbing suspect seeks witnesses’ contact info

Kaylee McGhee
The Detroit News

The man accused of stabbing a police officer at Bishop International Airport is asking that the contact information of key witnesses against him be disclosed.

Amor M. Ftouhi, 49, of Montreal, is accused of stabbing airport police Lt. Jeff Neville with a 12-inch knife, and was indicted earlier this month by a federal grand jury.

“There is a compelling need to order disclosure of the contact information for a fair, effective, and orderly trial. Such information is essential to prepare effectively for trial and advise Mr. Ftouhi,” reads a motion filed in U.S. District Court.

Ftouhi’s defense attorney, Joan Morgan, declined to comment Wednesday.

Ftouhi was arrested and has been in custody without bond, charged with carrying out violence at an international airport — a crime punishable with up to 20 years in federal prison.

The indictment added a new charge against the Tunisian native: using a dangerous weapon to interfere with airport security.

A witness said Ftouhi walked up to Neville and stabbed the officer in the neck after yelling, “Allahu Akbar.”

“You have killed people in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are all going to die,” Ftouhi said, according to the federal criminal complaint filed against him.

The attack was carried out around 9:28 a.m. June 21, shortly after Ftouhi dropped a red duffel and dark satchel bag in an airport bathroom, according to authorities.

Federal prosecutors have refused to provide the contact information, claiming the protective order Ftouhi agreed to allows them to withhold it to ensure witness security.

The defendants argue that since the government has not proven that disclosing the information is a threat to witness safety, the Court has the right to order the government to reveal their names and addresses.

Ftouhi’s attorneys said that without this information, he is being denied a fair trial, since withholding it will cripple his defense.

“Defendants cannot adequately prepare for trial without witnesses’ names and contact information,” the motion says. “In short, adequate investigation is a key component of a good defense and a fair trial. Disclosure of the government’s non-expert witnesses’ names and contact information will help ensure Mr. Ftouhi’s trial is fair and his defense robust.”

The U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment, but will file a written response to the defense’s motion before Aug. 1.