[Ppnews] Moment of Truth in Dr. Al-Arian's Case

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Sat Apr 18 10:27:05 EDT 2009

Moment of Truth in Dr. Al-Arian's Case
Judge to definitely decide whether to let trial go forward or to have 
charges dropped altogether

  Alexandria, VA - April 17, 2009
  - On Monday, Dr. Sami Al-Arian's attorneys filed in federal court a 
motion replying to the government's brief which opposes Dr. 
motion (filed three weeks ago) to have the criminal contempt charges 
against him dismissed.

        Prosecutors seem to hope that sheer repetition will be the 
key to prevailing in this legal dispute. In their opposition motion, 
they had nothing new to say that had not already been stated in their 
last four filings and three hearings.

        Judge Leonie Brinkema has already rejected at least four 
requests asking her to reverse her decision compelling the government 
to present evidence related to the 2006 plea negotiations. Despite 
this, the government has repeatedly refused to submit a single sworn 
statement or declaration.

        Instead, even in the face of a motion to dismiss, the 
government has refused to address the facts of the plea negotiations, 
a deliberate exclusion which, according to the judge, leaves a "very 
significant cloud over this criminal prosecution."

        In their motion, prosecutors essentially told the judge that 
they would rather face a dismissal than address the facts surrounding 
the plea negotiations. Should the charges be dismissed, the 
government will be required to finally fulfill its promise to end Dr. 
Al-Arian's case - albeit after extending his confinement by almost 
three years beyond the agreed sentence.

        In response, the defense has filed 
motion arguing that the un-rebutted declarations of Dr. Al-Arian and 
his trial attorneys, Bill Moffitt and Linda Moreno, constitute 
conclusive evidence of government overreach. The Supreme Court has 
determined that when the government breaks its promise in plea deal 
negotiations, such violation requires an appropriate response, such 
as dismissal of the case or withdrawal of the plea.

        The defense motion also states that even if the case goes to 
trial, the government must still prove Dr. Al-Arian had acted 
willfully. But "because Dr. Al-Arian believed his plea agreement 
relieved him from testifying before the grand jury, his conduct 
before the grand jury did not constitute a willful violation" of the 
judge's orders.

        The motion further states that the law on this matter is 
clear: "To support a conviction of criminal contempt for violation of 
a court order, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt 
that a person willfully, contumaciously, intentionally, with a 
wrongful state of mind, violated a decree which was definite, clear, 
specific, and left no doubt or uncertainty in the minds of those to 
whom it was addressed." Given the fact that the government has 
completely failed to provide the court with any evidence that refutes 
the affidavits provided by the defense, the motion has called for a 
dismissal of the charges.

        Finally, the motion concludes that if the government can 
simply refuse to supply the information requested by the judge and 
still prosecute an individual, then the criminal justice system as a 
whole offers little constitutional protection. In so arguing, the 
government has left the court with the prospect of creating a 
precedent to fulfill the very dangers that the judge has warned of in 
prior hearings. Judge Brinkema had previously stated that: "I think 
the integrity of the Justice Department and the integrity of the 
criminal justice plea bargaining process is too significant to just 
let it die on the vine given the nature of the record before this Court."

Let us hope that justice will soon be served.

        Dr. Al-Arian is being represented by a 
legal team led by George Washington Law professor Jonathan Turley, 
and including Will Olson and P.J. Meitl of Bryan Cave.
Friday Hearing!
Next Friday, Judge Brinkema is expected to definitively rule whether 
Dr. Al-Arian should stand trial, or whether the charges against him 
should be dropped altogether. There have been several hearings in the 
past few months, but this is the most important so far.

here to RSVP via Facebook) The courthouse (address below) is within 
walking distance from the King Street Station (Blue and Yellow 
Lines). <http://www.wmata.com/>Click here for metro schedules and 
maps. <http://maps.google.com/>Click here for Google Maps for 
directions to the courthouse.

WHAT: Hearing to Dismiss Dr. Sami Al-Arian's Case

WHEN: Friday, April 24, 2009 at 8:30 a.m. (hearing begins at 9 sharp)

WHERE: Albert V. Bryan U.S. Courthouse
401 Courthouse Square, Alexandria, VA 22314

Hope to see you there!!

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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