Family of accused subway plotter testify

The sister and mother of accused New York City subway bombing plotter Adis Medunjanin described a federal raid on their Queens home and agents' efforts to pressure him into confessing as the terrorism trial neared completion in Brooklyn federal court Wednesday.

"They just barged in," said a tearful Alisa Medunjanin, the former doorman's sister. "They told us to get on the floor and they handcuffed us. An agent said, 'You should tell your brother to tell us what he knows. He's in a lot of trouble.' "

Medunjanin, 28, is accused of plotting to attack the subways with former schoolmates Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay after being recruited by al-Qaida during a visit to Pakistan in 2008. Zazi and Ahmedzay both pleaded guilty and have testified at the trial.

Medunjanin claims that he never agreed to join the subway bombing plot, and that pressure applied to him and his family eventually led to him crashing into another car on the Whitestone Expressway while he was being followed by the FBI. The government says the car crash was itself an act of terrorism.

Closing arguments in the case are expected Thursday, and the jury could begin deliberating as early as Friday.

-- JOHN RILEY


MTA OKs transfer of transit site to NYU

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority Wednesday approved the transfer of its former New York City Transit headquarters in Brooklyn over to New York University to build a school.

The MTA board voted unanimously to return the building at 370 Jay St. to the city, which owns it and has leased it to the agency since 1953 for $1 a year. The city plans to turn it over to NYU for use as a new urban science school.

As part of the deal, NYU will pay the MTA $50 million to remove telecommunications equipment from the building, which it vacated in 2006.

MTA board member Allen Cappelli called it a "prudent action" that would forward the MTA's eventual plan to consolidate all corporate activities under one roof, and lift the burden of having to maintain and renovate the vacant Brooklyn building.

But some members of the Transport Workers Union opposed the plan, saying that the MTA should have moved its Transit operations back to the Brooklyn building, rather than continue to pay rent at its current headquarters at 2 Broadway. MTA officials said it would cost $200 million to renovate the Brooklyn building, and that it "no longer meets our needs."

-- ALFONSO CASTILLO


Suspect in pharmacy holdup is charged

A suspect is being held without bail after authorities said he escaped a violent Manhattan pharmacy holdup.

It ended with a retired police lieutenant shooting another suspect dead.

Luis Hiraldo, 19, was arraigned early Wednesday on robbery and burglary charges. His lawyer didn't immediately return a call.

Authorities say accomplice Rudolph Wyatt was shot by the retired officer during the chaotic getaway on April 12.

Police say Wyatt and Hiraldo demanded painkillers and cash from the Harlem pharmacy. They say after officers arrived, Wyatt fled the pharmacy trying to fire a gun, but the weapon jammed.

Police say Hiraldo managed to slip away during the confusion.


Ruling in DSK lawsuit expected Tuesday

A ruling is now expected next week on whether to throw out a city hotel maid's lawsuit claiming that Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexually attacked her.

Court system spokesman David Bookstaver says the decision will be posted online at 10 a.m. Tuesday. The ruling initially had been expected this week.

Bronx state Supreme Court Justice Douglas McKeon is making the ruling.

The housekeeper says Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her in his Manhattan hotel suite last May. The former International Monetary Fund leader has denied doing anything violent in their encounter.

Prosecutors dropped related criminal charges last summer.

Compiled with wire service reports

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