Justice for Lynne Stewart!
Notes from the trial...
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.
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
06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004
07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004
08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004
10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004