In other testimony later yesterday, Hora pressed Hans about the hard drive issue. The result was potentially cataclysmic for the case.

I’m quoting extensively from the live blog of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Henry Lee here as it as was updated after 7 PM last evening.

Reiser has confirmed that his home computer was vital to him, containing among other things all of his emails and the novel Hans was writing.

HORA: You lost your novel?

HANS: Yeah, I think it might be in Russia.

HORA: What else was on the hard drive on this computer that was important to you?

HANS: …. My e-mails. My home directory.

When first questioned, Hans said he removed the hard drives between September 6 and 8. Recall that September 5 is when Ellen, Nina’s friend didn’t pick up the children.

HORA: Why are you saying things and you know they’re not precise?

HANS: Because I’m a fool.

Reiser’s best guess is that he removed the hard drives at night.

HANS: I was being inaccurate as to the precision of my memory. There is a possibility that it was in the night.

Then the bombshell:

Hans now says that he gave the hard drives to DuBois. They were in bankers boxes along with other personal effects.

From this point forward, the defense attorney’s license to practice law hangs in the balance as does a mistrial in the case.

HANS: If you examine the hard drive–

HORA: I really can’t, can I, if I don’t have them?

HORA: When did you give him the hard drives?

HANS: I don’t know.

HORA: Do you have a best estimate?

Reiser claims it was between September 7 and 15th.

HORA: What were they going to see on the hard drive that you didn’t want them to see?

HANS I don’t think that anybody would particularly want the government going through their hard drive.

HORA: Why did you think if you removed this on Sept. 7, Nina’s missing, nobody knows where she is, according to your testimony — you don’t know either — why did you think police would be searching your house and your computer on Sept. 7?

HANS: I was told by my attorney that as the husband, I would be the primary suspect.

HORA: In what?

HANS: The disappearance of my wife.

DuBois rejected reporters questions based on the gag order.

An attorney who comes into possession of physical evidence relevant to a murder case has an obligation to turn it over to the prosecution. An attorney may not destroy or conceal physical evidence. We know that the DA has not seen the hard drives. DuBois’ best defense is that the drives were hidden in the bottom of the bankers box wrapped in dirty underwear.

I hear a ticking bomb….


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