Posted: 3:43 PM- A judge has given permission for a Utah attorney to conduct taped depositions of Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols and a death-row inmate in a lawsuit that claims the attorney's brother was murdered in a federal prison.
    Attorney Jesse Trentadue says the two prisoners have valuable information on his brother's death in 1995 and the FBI's alleged withholding of many of the relevant documents requested in his Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suit. He believes federal authorities mistook Kenneth Trentadue for a bombing conspirator and that guards strangled him with a set of plastic handcuffs in an interrogation that got out of hand.
    Kenneth Trentadue, who had served time for bank robbery, was arrested near San Diego in June 1995, two months after the bombing. He later was sent to a federal prison in Oklahoma City for an alleged parole violation.
    Guards found Trentadue's blood-soaked body in his cell on Aug. 21, 1995, hanging from a noose made of torn bedsheets.
    Prison officials say the 44-year-old inmate committed suicide and have adamantly denied any wrongdoing in his death.
    However, the inmate's family insists Trentadue was mistaken for John Doe No. 2, a suspect sought in connection with the bombing who turned out to be bank robber Richard Lee Guthrie.
    In Februay,


Trentadue requested an order allowing the depositions from Nichols and David Paul Hammer, who now is on death row at the federal penitentiary at Terre Haute, Ind.
    Lawyers for the FBI objected, saying the agency has made appropriate searches for documents requested by Trentadue and that judges in FOIA cases lack the authority to order depositions.
    In an order issued Thursday allowing the depositions, U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball in Salt Lake City said information from the two inmates might help Trentadue better identify the existence of other records pertaining to his FOIA request.
    "While the FBI's failure to discover documents is not necessarily an indication of bad faith, it is puzzling that so many judge's emphasis documents could be referenced but not produced," Kimball wrote.
    The judge notes that he is not compelling the two prisoners to cooperate, only allowing Trentadue to take videotaped testimony if they agree. Kimball said the federal institutions housing Nichols and Hammer - who supplied Trentadue with affidavits to include with his request - must cooperate in arranging these sessions.
    Nichols said in his affidavit that a high-ranking FBI official "apparently" was directing Timothy McVeigh in a plot to blow up government buildings. Both Nichols and Hammer - who says he had lengthy conversations with McVeigh during the 11 months the two were housed on the same tier at the Terre Haute facility - say McVeigh claimed to be an undercover operative for the military.
    The FBI has denied participating in the bombing or having any advance warning of it. Nichols is serving a life sentence at the U.S. Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility in Florence, Colo., for his part in the attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, which took 168 lives.
    McVeigh, who carried out the bombing, was executed in 2001. Hammer was sentenced to death for the 1996 slaying of a fellow inmate at the U.S. Penitentiary in Allenwood, Penn.
    Guthrie was eventually captured and struck a plea deal in 1996 on bank robbery charges. A few months later, he was found hanged in his cell in Kentucky in what was ruled a suicide.