Jodi Rave: Cobell trial ends after 10 days

"The 11-year legal battle pitting a half-million American Indian landowners against the U.S. government has closed another chapter, but it isn't over yet.

A 10-day trial wrapped up Thursday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. Lawyers on both sides have 36 days to present written closing arguments to the newly appointed federal judge overseeing the case.

Elouise Cobell, a community development expert in Browning, filed the suit in 1996. She attended the proceedings this week where federal attorneys defended the government's handling of billions of dollars that never made it into the accounts of landowners who earned money from natural resources on 11 million acres of tribal land.

"Testimony here showed everything is on the honor system," Cobell said. "The way the systems are, anyone has a license to steal from IIM (Individual Indian Money) account holders because there's nothing in place."

After a century of undisputed mismanagement, witnesses and whistle-blowers stepped forward to testify that Indian landowners are still losers in a land management game where the U.S. Interior Department has been trying to explain, and fix, an accounting system operated with few checks and balances."

Get the Story:
Jodi Rave: Cobell, government to file closing remarks in lawsuit (The Missoulian 10/29)

Trial Transcripts:
Day 1 AM | Day 1 PM | Day 2 AM | Day 2 PM | Day 3 AM | Day 3 PM | Day 4 AM | Day 4 PM | Day 5 AM | Day 5 PM | Day 6 AM | Day 6 PM | Day 7 AM | Day 7 PM | Day 8 AM | Day 8 PM | Day 9 AM | Day 9 PM | Day 10 AM | Day 10 PM

Trial Order:
Cobell v. Kempthorne (April 20,2007)

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Kempthorne -
Cobell v. Norton, Department of Justice -

Related Stories:
Cobell historical accounting trial concludes in DC (10/26)
BIA faulted for trust management in Palm Springs (10/24)
DOJ objected to testimony from Interior attorney (10/24)
Interior attorney set to testify in Cobell case (10/22)
Interior says Cobell suit not worth billions (10/15)
Cason wraps up testimony in trust case (10/12)
Cobell accounting trial opens in DC (10/11)
Cobell historical accounting trial starts in DC (10/10)
CFO Magazine: The Indian trust fund accounting (10/5)
Cobell historical accounting trial starts October 10 (10/1)
BIA agency lacks accounting for millions in trust (09/25)
Audit finds Indian trust management problems (9/24)
Cobell: Upcoming trial tackles important issues (09/19)
Interior attorney to testify at upcoming Cobell trial (9/18)
DOI won't release trust data in Cobell case (9/11)
Interior attorney accused of disclosing trust data (08/29)
Judge opens electronic data to Cobell plaintiffs (07/10)
Another Cobell historical accounting hearing (7/9)
Judge expresses views on Indian trust fund accounting (06/19)
Hearing on Cobell historical accounting trial (6/18)
Cobell prepares for court battle on accounting (5/30)
Cobell prepares for historical accounting trial (5/18)
Judge prods DOI on Indian trust fund accounting (5/15)
First status conference for Cobell accounting trial (5/14)
Cobell status conference pushed back to May 14 (05/02)
Attorney calls $7B Cobell offer pennies on dollar (4/24)
Cobell heads to landmark accounting trial (4/23)
Judge orders Cobell accounting trial for October 10 (4/20)
Jodi Rave: Cobell calls for accountability (4/12)
BIA office in Palm Springs criticized by landowners (4/11)
BIA office in Palm Springs under investigation (4/10)