Public Defender Says Prosecutor Denied Him Access to Ahmad Rahami


#1

NY Times:

Public Defender Says Prosecutor Denied Him Access to Ahmad Rahami

Since he was captured on Monday, Ahmad Khan Rahami, the man accused of carrying out bombings last weekend in Manhattan and on the Jersey Shore, has been hospitalized in Newark, recovering from gunshot wounds he sustained in a confrontation with the police.From his bed at University Hospital, he has been charged by three different prosecutors: the United States attorneys in Manhattan and New Jersey, for his alleged role in the bombings; and the Union County, N.J., prosecutor, for allegedly trying to kill police officers who tracked him down on Monday in the city of Linden. A New Jersey judge has ordered him held on $5.2 million bail on the state charges.

Yet despite the burst of legal proceedings and litany of charges made public this week, Mr. Rahami has not had a lawyer for almost the entire time he has been in custody, and even now, the question of his legal representation remains unsettled.
On Thursday, Peter A. Liguori, a state public defender in Union County, sought to meet with Mr. Rahami but was prevented by a lawyer with the Union County prosecutor’s office, according to a filing Mr. Liguori submitted to a judge in Superior Court in Elizabeth, the county seat.
“I attempted to meet with or at least see Mr. Rahami to confirm his condition,” Mr. Liguori wrote to the judge, Regina Caulfield. But, he said, a prosecutor, Ann Luvera, told him that Mr. Rahami was “unconscious and unable to speak,” and she “would not give me permission to visit.”

“I attempted to meet with or at least see Mr. Rahami to confirm his condition,” Mr. Liguori wrote to the judge, Regina Caulfield. But, he said, a prosecutor, Ann Luvera, told him that Mr. Rahami was “unconscious and unable to speak,” and she “would not give me permission to visit.”

Earlier in the week, Mr. Liguori had said that neither Mr. Rahami nor his family had sought representation from the public defender. But since then, Mr. Rahami’s father had asked the office to represent his son, who had been found to be eligible as an indigent defendant, Mr. Liguori said In the court filing, Mr. Liguori said he was formally entering his appearance in the case, the latest twist in a flurry of unusual activity to secure legal representation for Mr. Rahami.
Usually when people are arrested on federal or state charges, they are taken to court promptly, informed of their rights and, if they cannot afford a lawyer, appointed one. But the delay in providing Mr. Rahami a lawyer has raised concerns among legal rights advocacy groups as well as lawyers who have been seeking to represent him.

The article says Rahmani has been charged but doesn’ say if he’s been arraigned, I do know it is not uncommon for the judge and lawyers to go to the hospital and do the arraignment there.
I don’t know why the government would withhold a lawyer from him, it will certainly cause problems at his trials.


#2

Maybe they’re assuming he is guilty. Just be glad it’s not us. :shrug:


#3

Do they expect him to live? How do they arraign someone who is unconscious?


#4

Even if he were assigned counsel right away, in a typical case he could sit in jail for several weeks or longer before he actually meets his public defender. A lot of defendants wait longer than that to meet their lawyer for the first time. And frequently, that “meeting” is about a five minute conversation in the hallway before trial.

But this isn’t a typical case.

The “right to a speedy trial” is truly a myth across the U.S.


#5

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