[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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