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Defense in Hate Crime Case Submits Evidence Against State's Key Witness

Defense attorneys for two men accused of assaulting a women haven't said what the evidence is they've brought against prosecution's key witness.

Two men facing trial on will have to wait until next month to find out if a Cook County judge will allow a jury to hear evidence against the prosecution's key witness.

Akram Alshoweat, 24, of Oak Lawn and Mohammed Shaban, 37, of Hickory Hills are accused of attacking and robbing a woman they believed to be a lesbian on June 28, 2010, outside a restaurant, police said.

Attorneys said the two men have pleaded not guilty and claim they acted in self-defense. They in March.

Gregg Smith, Shaban's attorney, told Patch on Friday, Aug. 31 that the defense has filed a motion to submit information and evidence to Judge Colleen Ann Hyland against the key witness, John Mitsis.

"I don't want to go into those facts, in case we are not able to use them in court," Smith said. "But the state is supposed to respond to our motion in writing."

Discovery of Mitsis' background postponed the pair's trial, which was scheduled to begin on July 24. Mitsis has been charged with . Mitsis was an "active participant" in the incident that spurred charges against Alshoweat and Shaban, defense attorneys have said previously. Mitsis has two pending battery cases, including one case that is also being heard in Hyland's courtroom.

Mitsis has been charged with four counts of aggravated battery of a police officer and pleaded not guilty on May 22, according to court records. In a the second case, Mitsis was found not guilty of a misdemeanor battery charge by Judge Daniel Lawrence Peters in Bridgeview, according to the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.

After a , Hyland is expected to rule on the issue on Sept. 18.

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