Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Padilla Challenges Detention

In depth article by Julie Kay in today's Daily Business Review about the alleged "dirty bomber." Here are some highlights. Lawyers for Jose Padilla have appealed Magistrate Judge Garber's pre trial detention order. In their appeal, his lawyers contend that Mr. Padilla's application may be a fraud. The Government argued at the detention hearing that Mr. Padilla completed the form in 2000. Defense lawyers also assert that the government did not present evidence that Mr. Padilla could speak Arabic and therefore understand the contents of the form, or that he ever adopted the Arabic name Abu Adallah al Mujahir. Justice Department lawyer Stephanie Pell explained at the hearing that the application was authenticated by a cooperating government witness. One of the most interesting assertions in the appeal is that there were apparently more than 50,000 phone calls in the alleged 8 year terrorism conspiracy, and Padilla participated in only seven conversations. Defendant's counsel believes that Padilla should be released because he has signficant family ties to this community and to the United States and that he is not a flight risk.

The case is presently set for trial in September before U.S. District Judge Judge Marcia Cooke. Hard to argue that this case should not be added to the list of one of the most high profile cases ever in the Southern District of Florida. Thoughts?

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