[Ppnews] San Diego Grand Jury Questions activist

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Thu Jun 23 18:07:32 EDT 2005


http://sandiego.indymedia.org/en/2005/06/109418.shtml
michael cardenas | 21.06.2005 21:16


I went in to the grand jury today. I pleaded the 5th, have been granted 
immunity and have to go back on the 28th.

(story updated 6/22)

It was, as I expected, an aggressive inquisition into who I know and where 
I've been. So, I pleaded the 5th on the grounds that these statements may 
incriminate me. Now, I have to come back on the 28th of June, with the rest 
of the subpoenaed folks.

Here are some exchanges that took place in the courtroom:

CO: court officer
CR: court reporter
M: me
P1: Stephen Cook, Assistant US Attorney
P2: Other prosecutor

CO: do you swear...
M: yes.

CO: Please say and spell your name
M: michael...

M: Can I make a very short statement?
P1: No. Where do you live?

M: I feel that I haven't been given adequate time to prepare for this and I 
would like a continuance because my girlfriend is in going through a 
medical procedure right now and will be on June 28th.

P1: Where do you live?
...

P1: Were you at the Rod Coronado speech on August 1st, 2003?
M: I need to confer with my lawyer on that question.

//i leave the grand jury room, return a few minutes later//

CO: Mr. Cardenas, you are still under oath.
M: Thank you.

P1: Were you at the Rod Coronado speech on August 1st, 2003?
M: I respectfully wish to rely on my Fifth Amendment right and decline to 
answer this question.

P1: Were you at the Gay/Lesbian/Transgender/BiSexual Center in Hillcrest on 
August 1st, 2003?
M: I respectfully wish to rely on my Fifth Amendment right and decline to 
answer this question.

P1: Do you know Rodney Coronado?
M: I need to confer with my lawyer on that question.

//i leave the grand jury room, return a few minutes later//

CO: Mr. Cardenas, you are still under oath.
M: Thank you.

P1: Do you know Rodney Coronado?
M: I respectfully wish to rely on my Fifth Amendment right and decline to 
answer this question. I also object based on my First Amendment right of 
free association, and my right to privacy.

//one of the jurors audibly scoffs//

P1: Do you know David Agranoff?
M: I respectfully wish to rely on my Fifth Amendment right and decline to 
answer this question. I care strongly about the First Amendment and my 
right to freedom of association. I object to the use of this grand jury to 
intimidate and harass activists who are only working for a better world for 
their children.

...

//P1 walks to the witness stand with papers in hand//

P1: I would like to show you exhibit 5. Do you recognize the person in 
these photos?
M: Yes.

P1: Who is it?
M: It's Rod Coronado.

P1: Do you recognize the setting?
M: No. There is no setting. Its just a head shot on a black background.

P1: I would like to show you exhibit 6. Do you recognize this building?
M: Yes.

P1: What is it?
M: It's the Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Center in Hillcrest.

P1: Have you been there?
M: Yes.

//P1 returns to his table. P1 and P2 whisper to each other//

P2: Do our questions intimidate you?
M: No.

P2: Do our questions harass you?
M: Yes.

P2: Does our specific question about your attendance at the Rodney Coronado 
speech at the Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Center in Hillcrest harass you?
M: I need to confer with my lawyer on that question.

//i leave the grand jury room, return a few minutes later//

CO: Mr. Cardenas, you are still under oath.
M: Thank you.

P1: Court Reporter, can you please repeat the question?

//CR repeats the question//

M: Yes, that question harasses me. This entire grand jury process is only 
meant to intimidate and harass activists who are merely working for a 
better world for their children.

P1: Are there any questions you'll answer?
M: I'm sorry, that question is too vague for me to answer.


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