Prosecutors call it the dead man excuse: you're accused of a crime and blame a dead guy who confessed to his brother.
"It doesn't even pass the laugh test," Barbara Kittay, an assistant U.S. Attorney told Judge John Bates at a hearing this morning.
The case involved was that of Njock Eyong, a law school student who allegedly impersonated an official acting for Rep. Donald Payne (D-N.J.), for whom the student interned on Capitol Hill.
Eyong argues that his friend Stephen Ndip from Cameroon set him up. But Ndip is dead. So the only way to prove that, Eyong argues, is by deposing Stephen's brother Thompson Ndip.
The complications come from whether Bates will allow Eyong and his defense team to travel abroad to take Thompson's deposition.
During a hearing Bates wavered. Though he held off ruling just yet, he told Eyong's attorney, A.J. Kramer, who heads the D.C.'s Public Defender Service, that he "will have substantial question of admissibility to deal with," even if Bates allows the deposition to go forward.