[Ppnews] Supreme Court Will Not Address Dr. Al-Arian's Appeal

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Oct 7 20:09:32 EDT 2008

Supreme Court Will Not Address Dr. Al-Arian's Appeal
Defense attorneys will now pursue second avenue to avert trial


Washington, DC - October 7, 2008 - Yesterday, the Supreme Court of 
the United States denied certiorari for Dr. Sami Al-Arian's petition 
regarding the plea agreement he concluded with the government more 
than two years ago. While this development is unfortunate, it should 
nevertheless be borne in mind that out of more than 2,000 cases, the 
Supreme Court has only agreed to accept ten cases during the current term.

        Dr. Al-Arian has steadfastly maintained that the terms of his 
plea agreement exempt him from having to testify before any federal 
grand jury. On June 26th, government prosecutors charged Dr. Al-Arian 
with criminal contempt for refusing to testify in a federal grand 
jury investigating a Virginia-based Islamic think-tank. Although the 
trial was originally scheduled for August 13th, Judge Leonie Brinkema 
of the Eastern District of Virginia had the trial postponed until the 
Supreme Court addressed Dr. Al-Arian's appeal.

        In a move considered unprecedented by various legal experts, 
Assistant US Attorney Gordon Kromberg had modified the 
Congressionally-mandated wording of the immunity order. Kromberg 
maintains that he was attempting to improve on the language of the 
immunity order, while Dr. Al-Arian's attorneys Professor Jonathan 
Turley from George Washington University, and Will Olson and PJ Meitl 
of Bryan Cave, argue that this move is completely unconstitutional. 
For her part, the Judge has said that the prosecutor's action "has 
taken this case into uncharted waters" and has accordingly asked both 
sides to submit the relevant briefs for her consideration.

        It is expected that a pre-trial hearing will be held on this 
very issue later this month. More updates will be sent out in the 
near future with more information on how to help.

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