[Ppnews] Charges Against Richard Picariello Dismissed

Political Prisoner News PPnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Mar 8 08:32:21 EST 2006




from the New England Committee to Defend Palestine:
Charges Against Richard Picariello Dismissed
March 7, 2006


After two days in Boston Municipal Court, all charges in the trial of 
Richard Picariello have finally been dismissed. Richard was targeted 
and arrested by Boston Police in March of 2004 on two separate 
occasions - once while handing out antiwar leaflets, again for being 
present at a protest against a Bush fundraising event. At issue in 
the trial was the "intelligence" upon which the Boston police were 
acting when they made the arrests. Over the course of two years, 15 
court appearances, and repeated requests, Richard's lawyers were 
unable to obtain either the file, dossier, or briefing information 
which the Boston Police and "Joint Terrorism Task Force" used to 
profile and arrest Richard on these two occasions.  Instead the DA 
provided varying stories about the file, and presented police 
officers who ended up contradicting each other on the existence of 
files on political activists. The case was an elaborate shell game 
played by the police and the District Attorney - one in which the 
"secret evidence" under the shell was never produced. The judge 
hearing the case finally said today that the Commonwealth's failure 
to comply with discovery had gone on long enough, and dismissed the 
charges against Richard.

It is well known that Richard Picariello and other Boston antiwar and 
pro-Palestine activists have been profiled by the Boston police for 
years. At a time when the police think they have a right to keep 
their surveillance activities secret, this case shone a light on the 
ugly story of domestic spying as it is being played out today in 
Boston. Key to this victory was the consistent presence of supporters 
in the courtroom, which reminded the authorities that people were 
watching this case, and of the pro-bono work of Richard's lawyers, 
John Pavlos and Dan Beck.

The struggle continues, but we mark this victory against police repression.

Jericho Boston
P.O. Box 301057
JP, MA 02130
www.jerichoboston.org




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