A Texas judge has set an arraignment for Vice President Dick Cheney, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, a state senator and others named in indictments accusing them of involvement in prisoner abuse in a South Texas federal detention center.
Presiding Judge Manuel Banales said Wednesday he will allow them to waive arraignment or have their attorneys present rather than appear in person at the hearing on Friday.
Banales also said he would issue summonses rather than warrants for the indicted since all are either current or former public officials. That would allow them to avoid arrest and the need to post bond.
But the prosecutor who won the indictments, lame duck Willacy County District Attorney Juan Guerra, was a no-show in court. Banales ordered Texas Rangers to go to his house, check on his well-being and order him to court on Friday.
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Because Guerra wasn't there, Banales refused to hear any of the motions to dismiss the indictments until Friday.