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Justice for Lynne Stewart!
Notes from the trial...

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Friday, October 9th

Dear Friends, Comrades, Supporters:

Sorry I haven't been faithful to the Blog but the onslaught of the government has kept us busy at the barricades (2004 style). In the four month smear, they have presented Bin Laden on video and in translation by NY Times reporter Judith Miller (herself now in the clutches of persecutor US attorney Pat Fitzgerald in connection with the White House outing of the CIA agent wife). We have also had endless newspaper articles found in FILES in my office, found in my co-defendant's study where he was preparing his dissertation and in the garage of my other co-defendant.

On the final day of the trial and "faithfully" reported by all the media they played a conversation between Sattar and a Reuters reporter on September 24,2001. In this, she asks him about a "link" between Bin Laden and my client, Sheik Omar. A french reporter, interviewed Bin Laden(when? where? How? who?) and was told that he was influenced by Sheik Omar's words in 1996, THEREFORE... The Judge dutifully and dully repeated the admonition to the JUry, "Bin Laden is not part of this case. He is not a co-conspirator. This is not offered for the truth". Supporters in the audience have been wondering so why is the jury hearing this at all???? There is an answer to that question and it's the same answer to why we are in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Following this scurrilous presentation--and these young prosecutors were all but high fiving each other, Tigar (the great) made argument to dismiss all the charges--read it on the web site. It lifted all our bruised spirits and got us ready for this week to come!

Now, on Wednesday, October 13, I will take the witness stand. Tigar and I will have discourse on my life and lawyering and the Sheik's. case. I will be there for probably a week at least. They will be ugly on cross examination...but untutored. I have the WILL to do this but I need endurance and stamina. Part of that will be supplied (no pun) by the people in the audience ...fellow stugglers for decades, new believers, friends dating from elementary and high school, my beloved family meaning Ralph, children, sister, grandchildren (12 going on 13). All who see my fight as their fight--standing on the brink of disaster in this USA and no way to go but forward to victory.

Thanks -- too weak a word--for all the heartfelt greetings. I went to the YMHA in Manhattan to hear Adrienne Rich read her poetry ... these are things that sustain me and my optimistic view that there can be a world of difference and diversity where the poets (and lawyers!) are not the warriors. Keep me in your thoughts and hearts



posted by Pat  # 2:19 PM (134) comments
October 10, 2004

Dear Friends, Comrades, Supporters:

Sorry I haven't been faithful to the Blog but the onslaught of the government has kept us busy at the barricades (2004 style). In the four month smear, they have presented Bin Laden on video and in translation by NY Times reporter Judith Miller (herself now in the clutches of persecutor US attorney Pat Fitzgerald in connection with the White House outing of the CIA agent wife). We have also had endless newspaper articles found in FILES in my office, found in my co-defendant's study where he was preparing his dissertation and in the garage of my other co-defendant.

On the final day of the trial and "faithfully" reported by all the media they played a conversation between Sattar and a Reuters reporter on September 24,2001. In this, she asks him about a "link" between Bin Laden and my client, Sheik Omar. A french reporter, interviewed Bin Laden(when? where? How? who?) and was told that he was influenced by Sheik Omar's words in 1996, THEREFORE... The Judge dutifully and dully repeated the admonition to the JUry, "Bin Laden is not part of this case. He is not a co-conspirator. This is not offered for the truth". Supporters in the audience have been wondering so why is the jury hearing this at all???? There is an answer to that question and it's the same answer to why we are in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Following this scurrilous presentation--and these young prosecutors were all but high fiving each other, Tigar (the great) made argument to dismiss all the charges--read it on the web site. It lifted all our bruised spirits and got us ready for this week to come!

Now, on Wednesday, October 13, I will take the witness stand. Tigar and I will have discourse on my life and lawyering and the Sheik's. case. I will be there for probably a week at least. They will be ugly on cross examination...but untutored. I have the WILL to do this but I need endurance and stamina. Part of that will be supplied (no pun) by the people in the audience ...fellow stugglers for decades, new believers, friends dating from elementary and high school, my beloved family meaning Ralph, children, sister, grandchildren (12 going on 13). All who see my fight as their fight--standing on the brink of disaster in this USA and no way to go but forward to victory.

Thanks -- too weak a word--for all the heartfelt greetings. I went to the YMHA in Manhattan to hear Adrienne Rich read her poetry ... these are things that sustain me and my optimistic view that there can be a world of difference and diversity where the poets (and lawyers!) are not the warriors. Keep me in your thoughts and hearts


posted by Pat  # 9:26 AM (0) comments

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

After a three week hiatus, for the government to completely translate their centerpiece prison tapes of my visits in May of 2000 and July 2001, we were back in harness for the long stretch on Friday the 13 of August. Before Court, speaking with my co defendant, Mohammed Yousry, I learned that the excerpted version of the tapes that the government wanted to play had a portion that included me reading to the Sheik a list, with the prices of food that he bought from the prison commissary.*1 At the end of the reading (because he is blind and nobody in the prison spoke arabic) I commented on the outrageous prices and then asked him if he wanted the list back. He said, "No, just take it out with you and rip it up." The prosecution in their dievious small minded way had excised out all but that last sentence, making it appear as if something clandestine and sinister was happening. They are extremely singleminded and we find the need to be on our guard at ALL times!!

At any rate we continued with the Conference on Friday morning and the Judge resolved that certain other items were not to be admitted(Charlie Rose program about the Sheik paired with a sermon) and a witness (second hand, somebody told him) to the Luxor incident in 1997) Other items we were not so successful with but Tigar the Great keeps up the assault on the integrity of these tapes as we find more and more nonfeasance and malofeasance on the part of the FBI paired with this prosecution who seems to believe that the procedural guarantees of fair trial are observed only at the Government’s pleasure ie, documents concerning the testimony of government witnesses are produced two months after the witness testifies or not at all or are "classified"!!

So, we’re back, the contest for right vs might continues without ANY breaks (according to the Judge) until Verdict. Translated, this means we get off for Labor Day and the Jewish holidays but NOT for the RNC etc. Going back was hard to do after watching the grass grow in our beloved upstate NY hideaway (NOT hideout) but now I’m anxious to get it DONE.

MONDAY August 16. and Tuesday August 17

Two days were spent with reading aloud( once again!) calls between co-defendant Sattar and activists in the Egyptian anti-Mubarak forces world wide. Also, since the government discovered more calls they wished to play, we once again had the FBI translators on the stand . These two women who listened to tens of thousands of calls fulfill pretty much the levels of "competence" of Arabic translators highlighted on 60 minutes. Testimony that is led by the government, hearing what the government wants them to hear, getting the" forgets"when Tigar questions about "technical problem". etc.

Legal questions concerned the late production of classified documents and Tigar refused to question the FBI Agent, Ex Marine Kerns until he had them all. We had also served a subpeona on the Bureau of Prisons to discover if there was any record of the Sheik deliberately injuring himself to get attention (none of the Sheik’s lawyers recall this--only the prosecutor of that time, who testified about it, Pat Fitzgerald. We think this is completely Bogus and the government response -- too much to look through to try to find this, seems to show us as right. The Judge "suggested" that the lawyers work this out.(!)

Wednesday August 18,2004

More wiretapped conversations seized from Sattar's phone, including even his call to make plane reservations for us to go to visit the Sheik in Minnesota. Boring loses its connotation here. I guess the government wants to show that we were "financed". Is that why he books the cheapest connecting flight and we wait two weeks to get the bargain?? Everything in this case seems to disintegrate when given the slightest scrutiny!!

The afternoon continued with long conversations between Egyptian activists,connected on Sattars phone,. discussing arcane politics and security. It is as the reporters said Snoozeville. It is also, however, a case that will decide how the 6 amendment (right to counsel) will operate in the forseeable future.

ThursdayAugust 19

Started off the day arriving late--hate this. Tigar made impassioned argument for the production of materials TIMELY and refused to x eamine until he received it Amazingly (heavy sarcasm intended) the government, after the JUdge sided with us, managed to get everything declassified so that their schedule would roll as they set it up. Lynne Stewart

posted by Pat  # 7:40 AM (106) comments

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

As the trial passes the one month anniversary – it becomes more surreal than real and yet it is happening – it unfolds each day in the familiar (to me!) trappings of a federal trial. We moved daily this week thru more sermons, more newspaper clippings, more telephone calls - all read (drone) aloud to the jury and hypnotically scrolled through on T.V. monitors (normal and gargantuan).

On the legal argument front, we (all the defendants) have demanded that the Government play the complete tapes of the prison visits and prison phone calls rather than just "selected" (by them) excerpts. They have objected strenuously – besides wanting to have it their way, they also seem to be unprepared for this (no translations of the Arabic or enhancements by the FBI audio people) We’ll see – the Judge seems to "get" it – that the defense is entitled by fairness and the rules of "completeness" so stay tuned.1

Monday - July 19, 2004

In the morning, Tigar continued to attack the technical foundations of the tapes’ reliability. Once again, Agent Scott Kerns was on the stand to be prodded and poked and skewered. The government also introduced the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a 1928 book that is a scurrilously anti-Semitic attack, purporting to be the "discovery" of the Jewish "plot" to "rule" the world. (This copy was found in my co-defendant’s garage.) By last weekend (7/25) the government in their usual convoluted style was now firing off letters asking to call witnesses to tell the jury that the Government did not believe the document to be the truth. It is still extremely troublesome to me that you could possibly be convicted for the books, the newspaper articles etc. you allegedly have in your possession ...first amendment, anyone?!

That afternoon, we saw the first of the Minnesota FBI agents who set up the taping of the Sheik’s visits in the prison hospital in Rochester. (All of them were from the Minneapolis office – wasn’t that the very place the whistle blower was ignored after she reported Mr. Massaoui’s flying lessons before 9/11? I guess they were too busy taping privileged conversations!!) We heard from Agents Cynthia McGrath, Richard Osborn, David Price and ultimately Brian Bartholomey.

In attendance on this Monday were Guild executive Board member David Gespass and his wife, Kathleen Johnson (organizing for the upcoming 2004 Guild Convention in Birmingham, Alabama) Also here were student interns from PRLDE, (Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund) with their mentor. So good to see and speak with these folks!

Tuesday - July 20

We heard this morning from an expert’s expert on the enhancement of audio tapes, Ex FBI agent Noel Herrold. 30 years experience who using state of the art equipment (D3 Tapes and player) listened to and enhanced the prison tapes. What a contrast to FBI Agents Kerns and Elliot – their "experts," pursuant to Raytheon & Lockheed, who seized, stored and decompressed the degraded tapes!

The day also had more readings from the New York Times, etc. - Snoozeville - but with a looming wake-up call probably at the time of government’s summation.

In the audience this day, actress Elizabeth Quincey and an ex-client (acquitted in this very Courthouse after the Brinks trial 9/83!) Bilal Sunni Ali, who has been organizing around numerous good causes, including Jamel Al Amin (formerly Rap Brown) ever since. What a lift for me to be reminded of that day when he walked right out of this very place!! Also, my heart’s delight Aillanna Eyssellene, grandchild number 5 (numerical order), came in at the end of the day for a quick hug.

Wednesday, July 21

More news reports, Scott Kerns FBI Technical Agent for the third time, followed by FBI Agent Losinski another long time techie, who really had difficulty remembering what he did and why to the tapes, much less HOW! Tigar gave up on him. We’ll do it through our experts.
Another first was that after a month of trial, Lynne Stewart’s voice was heard in the Court, as I left a message on Sattar’s answering machine back in 1999. Innocuous? Yes! But not to this over-reaching prosecutorial team.

Thursday, July 22

Driving to Court, listening to WBAI while talking with Ralph and thinking about the day ahead I heard the tragic news that Farouk Abdel Muhti, Palestinian activist had passed away. He was in Philadelphia, speaking, as he and I have so often shared a podium, trying to win hearts and minds; when his own heart gave out. How ironic! That this simple man whose politic embraced the downtrodden of the whole world should be taken from the struggle by a weak heart – his heart was his strength! And my heart that morning was heavy indeed at the loss of such a staunch comrade friend and supporter.

The trial seemed even more perverse and imperial than usual.

The Government played more telephone conversations of Sattar, mainly in his role as activist and press spokesperson to Frontline, NBC etc. in the US, UK and Egypt. There’s a lot in these conversations about the repatriation of the Sheik – "getting him out of their (US) hair," "the Sheik should be released" etc. By the end of the morning (½ day for a juror), I was ready to go back to the office pondering life and death and ways to defeat this juggernaut of a US Government.

Monday, July 26 - Moncada - Viva!

It’s clear as we start today that the Judge is not going to allow the government to play pieces of the prison visits or prison calls. It’s also clear that a "solution" must be reached while not necessarily elongating the trial past October.

Then it was on to more read-aloud tapes of co-defendant Sattar. Most important to my case was a three way with Yousry, Sattar and Ramsey Clark, where ultimately the ex Attorney General on tape, in late 1999 makes a press release to a Cairo reporter indicating that the Sheik’s position is NOT to form a political party within the repressive Egyptian government framework. A press release? Materially Aiding? Providing the Sheik to his "followers"? So – Equal Justice? Or is it Orwell - some of us are more equal than others?! Not to us – because Ramsey is as strong in my defense as he has been in all his other causes!

At the end of the day, which saw lawyer visitors from Japan and Brazil (Columbia University) and France (accompanied by the unexpectedly by US. Judge Conboy) we adjourned for summer recess.

July 26 - August 9

OFF for the 10 day hiatus – to give the prosecutor a chance to get their act together(!?) WE are finishing up some commitments in the city this week and hope to do some loafing next. I know we’ll be back strong AND hope to see all of you as well!! 

1As announced -- this dispute has led to the government requesting a 2 week adjournment -- and so we will be back in Court on August 9th.




posted by Pat  # 2:43 PM (9) comments

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

This week - the fourth (!) Of my trial was Tapes and monotone readings by the Government Troupe, interspersed with fierce legal arguments. It was a week of the continuing smear - "T" word style - any chance to introduce Ben Laden "evidence" no matter how remote and tenuous the connection (a mention in a telephone conversation, of a newspaper article to my co-defendant Sattar is enough for this Judge to allow that paper Ben Laden bombast to be placed before the jury. Absolutely no evidence that anyone on trial ever saw or read this !) The highlight of this week for me took place behind the Bar, in the audience.

Monday, July 12, 2004
The entire day was taken with ex-Marine, no FBI Technical Agent Scott Kerns. He was called by the Government to introduce (sanitize) the tapes they want to use in the case.
Originally conversations were seized on magnetic tape (you know like those cassettes prior to CD & DVDs?) This system was sold to the Government by Raytheon (along with cluster bombs?!) At some point the Government compressed these tapes for storage (4 to 1) and they switched to a different system (Lockheed Martin?!) To (computer-digital) of seizing and the storage to no discs. In 2002, Agent Kerns started converting the earlier taped conversation to no discs and ultimately, DVDs for use at this trial.

We have contested, from day one, not only the seizure of all these conversations but the careless, sloppy and destructive methodology used by the Government to store and retrieve this crucial evidence. Tigar went after Kerns on Cross Examination - revealing among other things, that a number of the "tapes" had degraded in storage and that they had to visit an expert in Minneapolis to try to "retrieve" these lost tapes. (Did they make a list of what he retrieved? Oh. No!) Also, we learned that for storage, the tapes had been compressed 4 times - the experts say that there is always a quantum of loss that accompanies such compression. (There is much more but being of modest technical ability, I would advise any of you who want to get the whole picture to read the transcript of Kerns vs. Tigar 7/12/04)

Tuesday, July 13, 2004
Convening Court at 9 am, the Judge listened to Tigar’s argument against the admission of the tapes. (We, hopefully, have reproduced this on the Website) Despite the brilliance and strength of the argument, the Judge, as expected, as usual, admitted the tapes into evidence.
To the witness stand next came the Arabic translator and although she and another were not disputed, it is of interest to note that neither, although Arab, was of the Muslim faith.
After the lunch break on Tuesday, the Government began reading once again. The phone calls between Sattar, my co-defendant, and various Egyptians active in the Anti Mubarak, pro-Islamist struggle are an insight for me (by hindsight, now) of the factionalism I know to be inherent in most political organizations and organizing. Ahmed Sattar speaks to all; from the lawyer for the imprisoned "brothers" and who engineered the peace initiative to the Taha Musa, who fled Egypt after being sentenced to execution in absentia by a court from whom there is no appeal - and was residing as an exile in Afghanistan - close then to the Taliban and as the conversations do show ever closer to Ben Laden. (Wow - too long a sentence, I think?!) The discussions, between Sattar and these others involve events in Egypt and the Sheik’s situation in this country. As time progresses Sattar in the tapes appears to be moving toward Taha’s position. The Government obviously makes NO distinctions - both the non-militant Egyptian lawyer Montessor and Taha are now announced to be "unindicted co-conspirators" and as mentioned if they mention a newspaper article over the phone to each other - the Government gets a copy, especially if it’s blood curdling or Ben Laden, and the Judge allows it as evidence. Do I sound enraged? – Well, I am. It’s like moving in to some kind of parallel universe where they have suspended all the rules and laws. We are in our time the Communists of the Fifties, the Scottsboro Boys, the Anarchists. And now the Terrorists – whatever Imperial America can frighten the People with. Judges included.

July 14, 2004
It was Bastille Da and we never even mentioned Robespierre but Michael Tigar and I hummed the Marseilles (spelling) The day started when my irreproachable, brilliant lawyer was so concentrated on the case that he left his suit jacket in his car and didn’t realize it until he was on the train bound for New York City! A quick call to the client - me - every resourceful got him out of his predicament. Ralph wears a 44 but the last time he wore a sports jacket was when we went to Paris in 1992! My son Geoffrey (42 long) was a better idea and I found that he had stashed at the office a wrinkled, but serviceable, blue blazer which I delivered to the Courthouse in the Nick of Time – only to sit for the rest of the day and listen to phone conversations and (you guessed it) more sermons! A local newspaper article here in New York called the trial "snoozeville" based on jury - sleeping complaints. The Judge has now instituted stand up and stretch breaks during the dullest stuff!

July 15, 2004 - ½ day - Juror to Doctor
More sermons, some bombast, some prophetic all tough listening - Snoozeville indeed.
Our audiences are thinning out - with the trial stuck in the doldrums but the quality of people showing up is 18 Karat. With the usual mix of players and activists, this week featured, on Wednesday afternoon, the invited students of my daughter in law Marta Stewart. These 10 year old public school students asked me pertinent questions, spoke with Michael and were perfectly behaved during their stay. Cheers for them and their lovely teacher! WE also saw Sharon Salaam - the mother of Yuosef, of the youths wrongfully convicted by police forced confession, in the Central Park jogger case. Sharon KNOWS justice gone terribly wrong and the importance of continually asserting innocence. We too know that and we’re fighting on – no matter how the clever, wicked government tries to twist the facts and the process!!

P.S.  Check out the website for our "theme song" by Linda Allen, famed Seattle activist folk singer who sang this to me over the phone while Larry Hildes was here for the trial. She’ll be back in New York in September and will participate in a Lynne Stewart benefit! The words to the chorus:

"You will know who I am
You will know where I stand
If it all falls down" 

  
  


 




posted by Pat  # 2:25 PM (30) comments

Thursday, July 15, 2004

July 15, 2004
 
We have had the Government reading aloud from Ahmed Abdel Sattar’s (AAS) home phone wiretapped conversations and from items discovered in the search of his garage for most of the week.  There’s the list of exhibits to help with the transcript reading.  IG refers to Egyptian Islamist Group.
 
July 14, 2004
 
Ex        1000S - Stipulation re: translator
Ex        1003x - AAS call w Mustafa Hamza (IG activist) 12/14/98
Ex        1004x - AAS call - continuation of 1003
Ex        1005x - AAS call - Mustafa Hamza ½6/99 (IG activist)
Ex        1006x - AAS call - continuation of 1005
Ex        1007x - AAS call - Mustafa Hamza 3/9/99
Ex        1008x - AAS call - Mustafa Hamza 3/9/99
Ex        1009x - AAS call - Taha Musa (IG activist - in exile in Afghanistan 3/22/99
Ex        1010x - AAS call (3 way) Montasser (IG lawyer in Cairo) and Taha 3/24/99
Ex        1011x - Same as above
Ex        1012x - AAS call Montasser (excerpt) 3/24/99
Ex        1013x - AAS call - Mustafa Hamzi 3/25/99
Ex        1014x - AAS call - Montessor and Taha 4/6/99
Ex        1016x - AAS call - Al Sirri (Egyptian - Coordinates Islamic Center - London) 4/29/99
Ex        1017x - AAS call - as above
Ex        1022x - AAS call - Jandali 9/13/99
Ex        1023x - AAS call - Hamzi 9/13/99
Ex        1025x - AAS call - Taha excerpts 9/13/99
Ex        1026x - AAS call - Taha 9/13/99
Ex        1027x - AAS call - Taha and Montessor 9/13/99
Ex        1028x - AAS call - Mohammed Yousry (codefendant, interpreter) 9/19/99
Ex        1029x - AAS call - Taha 9/20/99
Ex        1030x - AAS call - Mohammed Yousry 9/20/99
Ex        1031x - AAS call - Al Sirri 10/23/99
Ex        1032x - AAS call - Taha, Salah Hashim (IG activist) Montasser 10/30/99
Ex        1033x - AAS call - Taha 10/30/99
Ex        1035x - AAS call - Taha 11/7/99
Ex        1044x - AAS call - Hasaballah (lawyer for IG, Cairo) 11/14/99
Ex        1313 - Stip re: Transcripts and Excerpts
Ex        1314 - Stip re: voice attributions on tapes
Ex        2062 - AAS search - letter denying access to MCC
Ex        2072 - AAS CJA Vouchers 1995-1996
Ex        2081 - AAS Search - Business Cards
 
July 15, 2004
 
Ex        2040T (Sattar Search) Sermon of Sheik
Ex        2042T (Sattar Search) Sermon of Sheik (sermon of Sheik from Islamic Center of the Americas 12/4/92)
Ex        2086B - Stipulation re: translations Ex 2000 series
Ex        580(?) Arabic Newspaper Article - w. Interview of Taha and Ben Ladin fatwa
 
Ex        2086B

posted by Pat  # 2:56 PM (51) comments

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Exhibits 7/13/04

Exhibit 405 - Chart prepared by translator to give definitions for 6 sources of Arabic words that have been Americanized (ie Jihad) by Government translator Banout

Exhibit 407 - Demonstrative Exhibit Header of Transcript wiretap calls by Government Translator Banout.

Exhibit 1000S - Stipulation Re: Translator Benjamin

Exhibit 1001T - 1229T - Complete Transcripts of Sattar Phone conversations by Translator Banout.

Exhibit 1001 - Excerpt of call, 1996, between Sattar and wife, Lisa

Exhibit 1002 - Call with Al Jayatt (Egyptian lawyer for IG) and Taha (IG activist) and Sattar 1998

Exhibit 1003 - Call with Mustafa Hamza (IG activist) and Sattar 1998

Exhibit 1004 - (Continuation of 1003) Mustafa Hamza and Sattar

Exhibit(s) 1313, 1314 - Stipulations re: Transcripts, Voice Attributions etc.

Sattar Search


Exhibit 2035 - SAMS, the law 28 CFR

Exhibit 2061 - Notification (1998) to Abdel Rahman of SAMS

Exhibit 2062 - Letter Denying Sattar Paralegal Status MCC 1998

Exhibit 2063 - Notification (1999) to Abdel Rahman of SAMS

Exhibit 2072 - Sattar’s CJA Vouchers and work sheets from 1994-1996 Abdel Rahman case

Exhibit 2081 - Business Cards from Lawyers, Media, Press Personal of Sattar

posted by Pat  # 2:45 PM (0) comments

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Update:

Starting Monday, July 12 we will try to aid the transcript readers by putting a list of the daily exhibits, so that you can figure out what’s being talked about.

Also, we’ll put one of the representative sermons on the web page in the near future.

*****************************************************************************
Exhibits: July 12

Exhibit 1000 - DVD with Telephone and other conversations to be played at trial by Government
Exhibit 1000 L - List of audio files on the DVD
Exhibit 1310 - A visual about how the taped conversations came in to court via MO Discs converted by computer from 8 mm tapes
Exhibit 1310a - Above as drawn on by witness FBI Kerns with additional servers as the source of the 8 mm tapes.
Exhibit LS16 - Not received - A listing of the seized audio by date and time, was prepared by the Government and they objected to it.


Another short week due to 4th of July and the “crucial” FBI Agent being on his honeymoon (!)(?), we were in Court on Tuesday and Wednesday and left at noon on Thursday. It was probably not short enough for the Jury who were once again subjected to seemingly endless reading aloud of sermons of Sheik Abdel Rahman and items from files of newspaper clippings etc. that were found scattered around the garage of co-defendant Sattar. (These were permitted by the Judge not for the “truth” but for my “state of mind”, who attended the Sheik’s trial and heard the sermons (rather!). And Sattar, who was in possession of the news articles. Some of the folks who are reading the daily trial transcript (linked to www.lynnestewart.org) want to know when evidence offered as Truth will show up? With the Ashcroft-Bush gang in charge - that is indeed the question.)

Tuesday, July 6.

Started off the day with Detective - Constable Sloper of Scotland Yard to talk about the London search of Al Sirri’s home (You remember Al Sirri, he was a purported co-defendant that the U.S. never gave the British Home Office sufficient evidence to extradite) DC Sloper testified on the search and the government, in their pedantic way even asked him to explain how New Scotland Yard came to be so called when it wasn’t in Scotland?!

Following this, our attack was mounted on the integrity of the electronically seized evidence (attorney client telephone conversations and the attorney-counsel recording in the jail, as well as the FISA seizures of my co-defendants) It is our contention that the systems utilized (Raytheon and Lockheed Martin - do those name ring a bell?) to digitally store this material were flawed and therefore the conversations cannot be relied upon by the jury. Supervising Special Agent Elliot, an 18 year veteran of the FBI, was called as the witness “experienced in and responsible for” the electronic surveillance system. Amazingly, this upgraded mechanical engineer, who has never taken a course in computers, never attended a computer conference, and subscribes to no computer journals or magazines relies completely for training and updates on the company that provides the program! Upon cross, he readily admitted to the compression of the tapes for storage, the fact that some of the metallic tape originally used had fallen apart upon retrieval and that the program being utilized originally was replaced during his tenure. Amazingly, not a memo nor a note, reflected that or the reasons for it. After Michael Tigar, following a great cross, requested documents Elliot referred to - the Government reluctantly agreed to make him available again.

Wednesday, July 7.

Once again we were greeted by Britain’s best(?) This time DC Kileen, from the Special Anti-Terrorism Unit, who was asked, among other things, for the edification of the jury - what a pound was - testified about the three day search of a Paddington Islamic book store staffed by Al Sirri. Guess what - they found a lot of books (!) and phone bills and internet bills. The detective was the last live witness of the week.

From that point, the Government read aloud a series of sermons while we tried to find the “good” parts that they will rely on to try to prove my “knowledge and intent”. Clearly not the part in (Exhibit 202) that described the prisons of Mubarik’s Egypt as torture chambers with “electric shocks and mad starving dogs”! (Sound familiar?)

They also read a sermon in which Sheik Abdel Rahman urges his listeners not to join the U.S. Army because even being a Doctor would aid the efforts of what he sees as an anti-Muslim force of arms.

They finished Wednesday afternoon with two of the Sheik’s FISA taped phone conversations dating from 1993 and another sermon.(Yawn)

Thursday, July 8

On Thursday morning, the day began with a videotape of the prison officials reading the SAMs to the Sheik at Rochester Prison Hospital. It showed the Sheik, now an elderly, frail, bent man, on a plastic garden chair, with his feet on another chair. His wheelchair is nearby. He listens to the translator and when asked to sign, refuses. They ask if he has any questions. He replies that his questions are for Janet Reno, not for the prison guards. As the tape finished, Michael Tigar called on the government to play all the SAM tapes depicting the Sheik. They didn’t want to do that because it would have revealed that more times than not, there was no interpreter and so they just read them to him in English!

For the rest of the morning we heard readings from the newspaper clippings. It truly is breathtaking when you consider that three people are facing from 45 years to life in prison based on newspaper clippings, books and sermons. Don’t mourn — let’s just fight for the 1st Amendment!

Greatest Hits of Sattar’s Garage included:
They also wanted to introduce the Government’s opening to the jury from the 1995 Sheik’s trial but Michael Tigar claimed that we would then have the absolute right to also put in my opening. That is something else they don’t want! We also were able to keep out the Indictment of Osama Bin Laden for the Embassy Bombings and the summations of the Government in the Sheik’s trial. Hard won victories but, we hope, telling.

The Government has informally said their case will finish in mid-August. So any of you who are planning to come for the defense case should plan accordingly. We are not sure what the order of testimony will be but it will be stellar - with Ramsey Clark, myself and others yet to be announced.

Our courtroom is looking a little thin. I know it’s the toll of New York City in the summer but people who are working with summer programs should consider bringing the kids. We’ll be happy to speak with them. The schedule is 9:30 to 4:30 Monday through Thursday, lunch at 12:45, breaks at 11:30 and 3:30 at 40 Centre Street, the old federal courthouse, Room 110. You never know who you’ll meet there!
posted by Pat  # 7:39 AM (20) comments

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