[Pnews] Trump Prosecutors Make Move to Ensure that Embassy Protectors are Convicted

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Jan 15 18:19:41 EST 2020


https://www.blackagendareport.com/trump-prosecutors-make-move-ensure-embassy-protectors-are-convicted 



  Trump Prosecutors Make Move to Ensure that Embassy Protectors are
  Convicted

Ajamu Baraka - 15 Jan 2020
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Trump’s prosecutors are trying to suppress the facts of the US attempted 
coup in Venezuela, and railroad the Embassy Protectors to prison.

*/“The prosecutors would leave the jury wearing a blindfold, unaware of 
the facts, context or why the Embassy Protectors were in the embassy.”/*

As the trial approaches, the lawyers for the Trump Administration’s  
prosecution of the four Venezuelan Embassy Protectors who were arrested 
last May are asking the court to make sure the jury is kept ignorant 
about the facts and circumstances surrounding the actions of the protectors.

In a recently filed motion by government lawyers, state prosecutors are 
seeking to severely restrict what can be discussed during the 
trial scheduled for February 11, 2020. Judge Beryl Howell will hear 
arguments on the motion at the pre-trial hearing on January 29.

What does the prosecution want to repress? Everything that might give 
the defenders the ability to challenge the state’s case.

The prosecutors do not want jurors to know that Nicolas Maduro is the 
democratically elected president of Venezuela. They also do not want the 
illegitimacy of the failed coup leader Juan Guaido to be known to the 
jurors as the eviction and arrest of the four was based on the direction 
of a fake ambassador, Carlos Vecchio, who is wanted for violent crimes 
in Venezuela and is allied with Guaido.

The Trump prosecutors do not want the jury to know that the Embassy 
Protectors were inside the embassy with the permission of the elected 
government of Venezuela that is recognized under Venezuelan law and by 
the United Nations.

And, they do not want the Vienna Convention discussed so jurors are 
unaware that the United States violated international law when police 
entered the embassy to arrest the four who remained inside.

*/“The Embassy Protectors were inside the embassy with the permission of 
the elected government of Venezuela.”/*

The parties will also discuss /voir dire/, i.e., the questions that will 
be used to pick the jury and ensure they are not biased, as well as jury 
instructions, which the court will read to the jurors before they 
deliberate.

The government’s motion /in limine/, if approved by the judge, would 
leave the jury wearing a blindfold, unaware of the facts, context or why 
the Embassy Protectors were in the embassy. This will ensure the desired 
outcome of the state which is to convict the defenders and make them a 
model for how the state intends to deal with challenges to its illegal 
policies.

The jurors will also not be told that the protectors were under siege, 
surrounded by a pro-coup mob that was working with the police, 
threatening the protectors and blocking food from going into the 
embassy. And, they will not know the government had the electricity and 
water turned off in the embassy.

While there were negotiations between the US and Venezuela for a mutual 
protecting power agreement during the final days of the embassy 
protection, the jurors will not be told that the negotiations were 
occurring and that they would have resulted in Switzerland protecting 
the US embassy in Caracas and Turkey protecting the Venezuelan embassy 
in DC. The embassy protectors told the police they would leave 
voluntarily when that agreement was reached. The day before the four 
were arrested, Samuel Moncada, the Venezuelan ambassador to the UN, held 
a press conference<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdSVUP4gTm4> where he 
discussed the negotiations for a protecting power agreement and said the 
Embassy Protectors were in the embassy with Venezuela’s permission.

*/“The United States violated international law when police entered the 
embassy to arrest the four who remained inside.”/*

The government is also urging the court not to allow the four to explain 
they were exercising their rights under the First Amendment to political 
expression and criticizing the US government for their continuing 
efforts to force the overthrow of the democratically elected government 
of Venezuela.

If Judge Howell grants the Trump government’s motion, it will leave the 
Embassy Protectors virtually defenseless. The government wants the 
prosecution to be about three things (1) the four were in the embassy, 
(2) they were given a notice of eviction by the police, and (3) they 
refused to leave.

The judge has thus far shown she leans toward the government’s narrow 
view of the case and does not want the questionable legality of the 
state’s order to vacate the embassy and its clearly illegal entry into 
the embassy and arrest of the defenders as part of the trial. When the 
motion for discovery was argued, the judge ruled against the Embassy 
Protectors regarding documents and other materials related to some of 
the above issues. See this article we wrote at the time, “Embassy 
Protectors Are Being Denied Their Right To A Fair 
Trial<https://defendembassyprotectors.org/embassy-protectors-are-being-denied-their-right-to-a-fair-trial/>.”

In this period of normalized illegality and attempts at intimidation, we 
shall not allow the state to move against these courageous activists 
without resistance from our movements. While today it is the defenders, 
tomorrow it could be any of us.

*/Ajamu Baraka and Bahman Azad are the co-chairs of/**/the Embassy 
Protectors Defense Committee/*<https://defendembassyprotectors.org/>*/. 
Baraka is the national organizer for the/**/Black Alliance for 
Peace/*<https://blackallianceforpeace.com/>*/ and /**/member of the 
Secretariat of the U.S. Peace Council. Azad is coordinator for 
the/**/Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases 
/*<https://noforeignbases.org/>*/and the Executive Secretary of the 
/**/U.S. Peace Council/*<https://uspeacecouncil.org/>*/./*

*/COMMENTS?/*

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at http://facebook.com/blackagendareport/*

*/Or, you can comment by emailing us at /*/comments at blackagendareport.com/

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